Thursday, July 05, 2007

Movie review: Transformers

There are a few things that are guaranteed to entertain me: monkeys, especially monkeys dressed in little pants; squirrels waterskiing, throwing nuts at people or reciting pi to seven digits; and finally, robots. So while in theory, I'm a prime audience for Transformers, I wasn't hugely excited about seeing it. For the love of Shia LaBeouf, though, I enjoyed the heck out of it, even if it was produced by Michael Bay who gave World War II a bad name in Pearl Harbor.

First of all, THERE WERE ROBOTS!!! Who knew? I never watched Transformers as a kid. I never had a Transformers toy. I really didn't know what the hell the movie was about. I didn't know if it had one robot or two robots. Imagine my glee when I realized there were oodles of robots!! And they talked and flew and cracked jokes. All movies should have that, including documentaries. The special effects are terrific in Transformers. All of the CGI action is seamless and slick. And the robots have more personality than Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett combined in Pearl Harbor. Although, to be fair, so does my pancreas.

Second of all, IT WAS FUNNY! Intentionally! Again, a huge step up from Pearl Harbor. Without sounding too much like a Mrs. Robinson, Shia LaBeouf is extraordinarily attractive and charming and can snap off a punchline like nobody's business. The scenes with LaBeouf's family including a cute little chihuahua are hilarious and warm.

The action doesn't really get rolling until the second half of the movie, when the good robots and the bad robots start fighting each other over the fate of the human race and some little cardboard box that holds energies or Yoda action figures or something. The important thing is that they're fighting, and it's pretty frickin' awesome.

The only negative aspect of Transformers is that it's too long, like every movie produced these days. Shave off about 30 minutes and it'd be beating Saving Private Ryan at the Oscars. The guys who made all the Pirates movies should be heeding that advice too. Brevity is the soul of wit and action movies, dude, just like Oscar Wilde said.

So, if you like robots or funniness or Shia, go see Transformers. If you like monkeys in little pants or squirrels reciting mathematical formulas, well, you and I have a bit more waiting to do.


Shan said...

Nice to hear that you liked it. Of all the things I was "worried" about with this -- it was the script, since the two writers for Transformers are the ones working on the Star Trek reboot for JJ Abrams.

Carl said...

Thank god, I was worried. Now I can go watch it with huge expectations and be dissapointed. Unlike you, I used to skip 8th period to sit around watching Transformers.

Liz said...

Skip 8th period? Who would do such a thing?! :-)

Liz said...

Hey Shan, I didn't realize they were the ones writing the new Star Trek movie. Knowing that, I actually feel more confident about the movie. I like Abrams and I liked the way these writers handled the dialogue and actual human interaction. It could be good!

Shan said...

Yes indeedy, they're the writers for Star Trek (they're fighting to have that be the title -- not XI or some type of other number). If you google them, you'll find some cryptic interviews, and it sounds like they're saying all the right things: accessible to non-trekkers, but deep and relevant to the geeks, respecting the source material and universe, etc. Despite the whole couch jumping, lunatic behavior from the star, I actually thought MI:3 was the best written and directed of the series, so that's promising. I had doubts about Bay and toys as protagonists, but I think I'll shell out for a matinee and bucket of popcorn.

Reel Fanatic said...

I would think you have to have serious problems to not enjoy a movie with giant robots cracking jokes as they do battle for the future of the Earth .. I'm going to see it later today and looking forward to tons of mindless fun