So here’s my post as to why Transformers, “the movie,” the new one anyhow, sucks.
The movie ignores all the things that are expected of the Transformers. We want to see giant robots fighting and transforming, which we did get to see, but it took about an hour to get there after the initial teaser in the beginning. The opening narration was cool to hear Prime’s voice again but it was all negated by the quality of the narration. Cybertron is a metal planet where the Autobots and Decepticons have waged their war for control and energy, sounds poignant. Cybertron would never be destroyed.
To have Optimus Prime’s original voice, voicing him in the movie is not that great, due to the fact, and it is a big one, that Optimus is not Optimus. Prime is an iconic leader from the 80’s cartoons, he’s the hero/leader that never fails. When he died back in the 80’s kids were upset and one even locked himself in a room because of it. If this new “Optimus Prime” died, I don’t see anyone doing that. Let’s go back to the first teaser, where we see a Transformer. It’s at a military base where a Decepticon Helicopter lands on the base and attacks ala Independence Day, oh by the way; Michael Bay has the art of filming military aircraft silhouetted against a setting sun down packed. This Decepticon is essentially a sentient robotic life-form, but a robot nonetheless. Why should he, yes it is a he – and there are female Transformers by the way, be randomly firing his gun… well randomly. The computer generated images look very good, but again their quality is negated by… their quality. I know that’s confusing, but it’s as if a photo-realistic image is shown on screen and then is moves like a Southpark character.
After that, we have an excerpt from a Gremlins sequel that was left on the cutting room floor. Michael Bay, that Gremlins sequel was never made for a reason.
Now to the “heart” of the movie. Since Transformers began there has been a human character that the audience could relate to, and he was Spike Witwicky. Now adapted to Sam, which is totally fine, and Spike’s father? Sparkplug Witwicky is also in the movie, nicely casted as well. It’s the dad from Small Soldiers, put a construction hat on him and we’ve got Sparkplug from the tv series. Adapting Spike to today isn’t bad, it’s just the way they did it.
Now it’s about an hour in to the movie and we finally see Bumblebee and Barricade (Decepticon) go at it. And it looks great. But the action is confusing, too many close ups and there always seems to be something in the foreground of the shot. Bumblebee is the first autobot to “crash” on earth, and in the process his voice box is messed up, so he talks in sound bits, kinda like Flight of the Navigator, or Wreck-gar from the original movie. So now Sam and stupid Megan Fox meet all the Autobots; Prime, Ratchet, Ironhide, and Jazz. None of the characters mentioned so far are who they are, they might as well have been Autobot 1, 2 and 3. Or if this was Star Trek; give them all a red shirt. From here we go on in to an E.T. like hiding scene, where we hide the alien in plain sight. If Prime is this great leader, you’d think he’d learn some patience, or learn to follow orders, Sam tells him to just wait and he’ll be right back with the “glasses.” Just stupid humor with demeans the character of the Autobots and serves as what? To break the tension? What tension? The audience waiting to see another Transformer?
Now fast forward past some hacker chick who looks like a model and completely threw me out of the movie (this hacker’s too good looking, if she got some pictures together she could be a model and not have to work with computers all day), and John Tuturo who is a Man in Black, oh and some hundred year old arctic story.
And here we are at a dam where Megatron and Prime face off. Except it isn’t like the 3-part pilot of the tv series where it was cool with hands turning into energy melee weapons. Instead we are graciously rewarded with more intense action sequences that are confusing and polluted with items in the foreground. And then, when all seems lots and there’s no more hope left alive, Michael Bay pulls out his; ace in the hole, his trump card, his secret weapon – Shia Lebouf filmed in a panning sweeping camera move. So needless to say the movie is sugar coated garbage.
I won’t even go into detail on the following:
-Prime has lips and not a face shield
-Every human, Megan Fox included, is greasy and sweaty
-The focus was on the humans
-The war is over a cube out of Hellraiser
Shame on the writers, those 2 hacks. I almost interned for them. To sum it up, Transformers has a rich story line to pull from, and to say that they’re rebooting and introducing Transformers to a new audience is no excuse to make a bad movie by lifting from other movies. Good action does not a good movie make. With all the recycling of ideas now, take a lesson from those that worked; He-Man and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. A good movie is one that reaches its audience, in this case the audience for this movie is the ever dumbing American Public. At one point in the movie I left like calling it Go-Bots, completely interchangeable because the story is just not there.
On a good note, I did see The Namesake over the weekend. What a great movie. Just filled with what Transformers was sorely lacking; huge robots transforming. No – character and story.
And I also saw Sunshine,excellent as well. Danny Boyle reignited the zombie genre and with this he does the same for the sci-fi genre. I can see why people didn’t like 3rd act though. I’m still on the fence as to whether Sunshine falls in to the same tub as Mission to Mars and Stargate.
Today I watched Pushing Daisies, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. And I liked it a lot, but Sonnenfeld has not had a good record, then when the credits came up I saw that it was written by Bryan Fuller. So now I know where to give all the credit for such goodness. Fuller previously did Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, and more recently has written for Heroes. So when Pushing Daisies comes out over the airwaves check it out.