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.