Town Square

Post a New Topic

Movie review: "Transformers"

Original post made by Tyler Hanley on Jul 6, 2007

At first glance, "Transformers" seems like a noisy, octane-driven action flick devoid of a decent plot and littered with overt advertising for auto manufacturers such as Chevrolet and Pontiac.

At second glance, that's exactly what it is.

Although the effects-heavy blockbuster satisfies fans of cinematic eye candy and features some entertaining tongue-in-cheek humor, the spectacle is exhausting and leaves thoughtful viewers feeling as if they've paid to see a 150-minute commercial for General Motors and the military. As a fan of the 1980s Saturday morning cartoon and Hasbro toys the film is based on, I was saddened to see characters I grew up with transformed into a corporate ad tool.

In the film's first moments, a military base in Qatar is devastated when a mysterious helicopter lands and suddenly changes into a massive robot that lays waste to the area and infiltrates the computer systems. A handful of soldiers (including Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel) survive the attack and trek across the Middle East in search of help. Meanwhile, high school student Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) scores his first car -- a beat-up yellow-and-black Camaro.

As U.S. Secretary of Defense John Keller (Jon Voight) and a team of communication experts hunt for an explanation, Sam's Camaro changes into a sentient alien being called Bumblebee. Through flashbacks we discover that Sam's grandfather was an explorer who happened upon a life-giving cosmic cube called the "all spark."

Now two robotic alien races -- the noble Autobots and the sinister Decepticons -- are in search of the cube and on a collision course with each other. Car chases, Godzilla-esque robot battles and explosions ensue as the Decepticons hunt for the cube and the Autobots cozy up with Sam.

LaBeouf is an excellent casting choice. The young actor supplies the film's humor and offers its target audience a human character to relate to. But the talents of Gibson, Voight and John Turturro (as a sarcastic government agent) are wasted in roles unworthy of their collective charisma, although Voight's presence does lend the picture a bit of respectability. The insipid script is reminiscent of an after-hours movie on the Sci-Fi channel and features unbelievable characters, such as brilliant techie Maggie Madsen (Rachael Taylor) -- an Australian bombshell with a wardrobe better suited for nightclubs than the Pentagon.

The visual effects are stunning, although it's sometimes difficult to tell what's happening when the robots battle -- wheels, glass and metal bang around with the expected amount of headache-inducing cacophony. Some of the Autobots, such as Bumblebee and leader Optimus Prime, are a treat. And the relationship that develops between Bumblebee and Sam is one of the movie's high points.

Despite the classic catch phrase, "Transformers" is not more than meets the eye.

Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor and language. 2 hours, 24 minutes.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Touring the Southern California “Ivies:” Pomona and Cal Tech
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 5 comments | 2,403 views

Chai Brisket
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 1,711 views

Sometimes "I'm Sorry" Doesn't Cut It
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 920 views

Couples: Parallel Play or Interactive Play?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 781 views

SJSU Center for Steinbeck Studies to Honor Author Khaled Hosseini on Weds Sept 10
By Nick Taylor | 0 comments | 558 views