July 10, 2007
I think Transformers is probably the most awaited film of this summer. The #2s (FF4), #3s (Spider-man, Ocean’s 11, Shrek, Pirates), #4s (Die Hard), and #5s (Harry Potter) don’t count because there have already been movies about that subject matter. The Simpsons is probably up there, but you can think of it as an extra-long episode of an ongoing TV series. Transformers however, has not been in the mainstream media in its original incarnation (i.e., not Beast Wars) for many years now; and the now 20-somethings that grew up with them have been patiently waiting to waste their money on a full-length movie.
As Nelson pointed out, it was a weird demographic in the audience for our sold-out late-night showing. Basically, you would not feel a burning desire to see this movie unless you grew up playing with the toys. So as expected, the majority of the audience were people (guys) our age. I only saw 1 family of kids, (probably because the small boys wanted to see robotsss). There were girls, but those that went didn’t go alone, such as the one in our row who decided to go to the washroom 5 or 6 times in the 2 and a half hour movie.
I was not a huge Transformers collector when I was a kid. I remember I had a Starscream clone (I guess I thought purple was cooler) and a Devestator, although the Devestator was probably a Chinese knock off because I know I got it from the Kitts store at Chartwell. I guess I didn’t like the Autobots, because the only one I remember having was Grimlock. It has also been a long time so I don’t really remember everything I once knew about Transformers.
So I went into the movie without expectations (I didn’t even bother reading any reviews either). After the fact, I read some people say that it was simultaneously the best and the worst movie ever. I think that’s a fair assessment of it. From the get go, there was horribly staged emotional scenes, product placement that would shame FF2, and really crappy script writing. Plus, it was long and yet another all-genre movie. But there were robots that transform from moving vehicles to blow things up and transform back which is So. Cool.
I kind of wished that instead of a live action, they made the movie into a cartoon. That way, it would end in an hour and a half and I wouldn’t have to sit through silly scenes. Case in point, the scene where the main character (whose name I have already forgotten) went back to his house to look for some stuff. The Autobots crept around outside avoiding the parents, while the parents crept around inside, while the girl, Mikela (hey look I remembered her name) crept around trying to avoid the parents. Guess what, the nerdy boy’s parents found the girl in his bedroom, happily laughed because there was a chance that he wouldn’t live at home until he was 40, and left them alone. Who did not see that punch line coming half an hour away??
Also, I would like to ask why technologically superior, evil robotic warriors would be so dumb as to attack the group of Autobots one at a time. That is a completely boneheaded strategy for seasoned veterans of a war. But I guess the writers had to figure out how to make an outnumbered group of good guys win without the Alamo. Speaking of which, why would you fight a war by taking the battle to a more populated place? Wouldn’t a smart move have been to move away from the city?
Ok, I should stop discussing my views of this film before it affects my rating of Transformers. I’m giving it three out of five stars because it is a reasonably entertaining movie for the generation that grew up with Transformers. Now, next up is G.I. Joe?