If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Greetings fellow Spillios. With the final installment of the Michael Bay directed Transformers series coming out soon, I've decided to create a little retrospective on the previous films in the series, and go over what worked, and what didn't work.
This Movie and Me
I was born in 1989 so I pretty much missed the golden age of this franchise, but when I was in pre-school I met a kid named Liam who was quiet enamored with Transformers. This love of the shape shifting robots proved to be quiet infectious, and I quickly became a fan as well. I got some the Generation 2 toys, and even watched the original show when it was rerun on TV. I followed the franchise until it got to the start of what fans call the Unicron Trilogy, and eventually lost interest in where it was going. Then in 2006 when I went to see the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie I saw the first teaser to the live action movie, and my reaction to the title card that appeared below it that read “a Michael Bay film” was, unsurprisingly one of immediate disdain. Then I saw the infamous leaked concept art of Megatron, and it gave me more disdain for a film I haven't even seen yet. Eventually, I decided to wait and see when another trailer showed up. I kept up with all Transformers news I could find, and eventually I saw the next trailer. It showed promise, but I wanted to see more of the Transformers. I continued to follow the news regarding the movie, and when initial reviews came out saying that it was good, I couldn't help but get excited. I went on opening day with Liam, and another friend of mine named Ethan. I remember that we loved the movie, but that was then. It's been about three years since I last saw it, and I have recently re-watched the film with a more critical eye. I still enjoy it on certain level, although I see a lot more flaws then before. Before get to that however, let's start off this analysis on a more positive note.
The Transformers: Undoubtedly the best thing this movie had going for it was the effects work. Say what you want about how the Transformers were designed, (I personally don't have a problem with them) but the way they were detailed and integrated into the scenery was at times breathtaking. Although I do have to admit that in this post Avatar world we live in, they do look antiquated at times.
The Voice Acting: Another highlight are voice talents that breathed life into the Autobots, and Decipticons. Unfortunately, other then Optimus Prime, and Megatron the Transformers don't really get a lot of dialogue which was pretty disappointing upon revisiting the movie.
The Musical Score: It may not contain any variation of the classic Transformers theme, but Steve Jablonsky's music has a power all of it's own, and without it, I don't think that the grand entrance of the Autobots would be as effective as it already is.
Shia LaBeouf: I know a lot of people are going to cry fowl over this, but honestly I feel that a lot of his ticks, and quirks are a lot more restrained here then in some of his future films. Also, he's one of the few actors who actually make an effort to interact with the Transformers.
What Didn't Work
The Humor: The jokes in this movie are very hit or miss. When they work, they work,(Ironhide saying that killing Sam's parents is an option, Frenzy getting freaked out by a goldfish)but when the jokes fail, they fail hard. The Bobby Bolivia segment, the robot pissing, and Sam's parents talking about masturbating are the greatest offenders in this category. What seems to be the most reviled attempt at comic relief however is John Turturro's performance as Agent Simmons. To me, however I can't really decided if I hated his performance or not.
The Number of Human Characters: A lot of people have complained that the human characters get to much screen time. I personally believe that real problem is that there are to many human characters, and while some them work (the soldiers) others (the hackers, and the government officials) fail to make an impression.
Megan Fox: Watching this movie again really made me realize what a, shall we say not very good actress Megan Fox is. Now a lot of you are saying, “no shit pal,” and I do realize I shouldn't known that all along because when you think about it, her character isn't that badly written. She just recites her dialogue with little to no conviction, but then again, what do you expect from someone who got their part just by washing the director's car.
While I enjoyed the movie upon revisiting it, I feel that it hasn't aged all that well. This is most likely due to two things. The presence of it's almost universally reviled sequel, and the fact that it came before what I like to call the Summer Movie renaissance. It's still fun to watch, but nowhere near as satisfying as many of the summer films that have come since then.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this review, on to Revenge of the Fallen, and may God have mercy on my soul.