I think I’ve been in the room whilst “Transformers” was on about 6 or 7 times since it was released, I know the whole movie but I’ve never sat and actually watched the entire thing from start to finish (I’m sure a lot of people have had this experience with at least one movie). So I thought “Hey let’s give that one a shot” because I thought you couldn’t really go wrong with a blockbuster to waste a few hours of your time that could be better spent wasting away on games and daydreaming. Well… I guess I was kind of right, I mean, it could have been worse, right?
“Transformers” is brought to us by Michael Bay, notorious for his huge explosions and big budget spectacle, and he definitely lives up to his name with this one. The story concerns Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBouef) who is the Grandson of Captain Archibald Witwicky — a famous explorer who discovered within the ice of the Arctic Circle the so called “Iceman”, which has been confiscated and hidden by the government ever since its discovery. Sam meets a girl by the name of Mikaela (Megan Fox) and they inevitably bond whilst Sam’s new car eventually is forced to transform into a robot in order to protect Sam against another of his kind, known as a Decepticon. The Decepticons are here to capture an artefact known as the Cube and it’s up to the Autobots — led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) — to stop them. Sam and Mikaela get caught up in the fight against the leader of the Decepticons — Megatron (Hugo Weaving) — because of some glasses with co-ordinates on them (I don’t know) and get to witness all kinds of top secret robot business.
I really did try with that plot summary, but somewhere in the movie most of what I had been taught about what was going on was pushed out by the obnoxiously noisy and endless explosions that occur in the films second half. Believe it or not, there was actually a reason why the Decepticons getting the Cube was a bad thing, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. All I knew was that I should hate the big metal baddies which are identified by being the ones without brightly coloured paint jobs. Why should I hate them? Because for some reason they will destroy all human life if they get the Cube. I can’t even tell you about the Transformers, I can’t even tell you the names of more than three of them. They function as a big metal unit that fights each other rather than as individual characters (besides Optimus Prime) as well as having the personality and aesthetic of a scrap heap.
The first part of the film is somewhat enjoyable, if unnecessarily stretched out. After about a half hour I found myself wanting things to get going, an hour of the movie is build up and the build up is average at best. There is some sub par humour, though there was one Porsche gag that was genuinely funny) but this doesn’t even come close to alleviating the problem that is the boring characters and the bad pacing. At first we are actually supposed to care about some side characters that are also getting caught up in this huge breach of national security. One soldier for example has a child that he frequently almost nearly never gets to see again. We are supposed to care, but we don’t, maybe we would if he was a little more interesting instead of just another machine gun wielding grunt, who knows? There is a chance I’ve become apathetic to babies after all the dead baby jokes I’ve heard in my time, all of them less heart crushing than the run time of “Transformers”. Why do blockbusters feel they have to be two and a half hours long? I’ve noticed I keep asking you questions here but please, any answers would be greatly appreciated.
The film is mildly entertaining for the most part, and if it was a good 30-45 minutes shorter I would have thought a bit more of it, but there is too much time spent padding the run time with booms and bangs.The character of Sam Witwicky is also just downright annoying with his stutter that is twice as bad as Porky Pig without even half the charm, and Mikaela who is just there to be the Michael Bay girl. She’s like a companion in Doctor Who. There always has to be one in a Bay film, they always have to be a girl, the only difference is that they are pretty whereas the Who girls usually serve a purpose beyond keeping peoples eyes fixed to the screen.
Some people enjoy the endless whirring of overloaded car engines whizzing around their heads all day, these people will have a field day with “Transformers”. I might put in some ear plugs next time I’m in the same room though.