A story about a boy and his car....that happens to be alien robot!
As Michael Bay eloquently describes how this film got started, he says, "It's a simple story about a boy buying his car......that happens to be alien robot." Yeah...that's a very unique concept there. Based off the popular toy line, Hasbro's "Transformers" franchise has grown to be one of the largest in the world. Spawning various comic book issues, cartoon series and a animated film back in the late 80's. Now, Michael Bay and Dreamworks have teamed up to bring the franchise to life onto the big screen. Loosely based on the first generation of "Transformers", the story is focused on a young man, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), who is just another average teenager in high school. Of course, like all films of this ilk, Sam constantly struggles with universal concepts like bullies, school, over protective parents, and trying to impress the girl of his dreams, Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox).
You wouldn't figure someone like Sam is anything special, from looking at him. However, it seems the fate of both Cybertron and Earth's rests in his hands, as luck would have it. Unlike most typical teens, Sam buys his first car that turns out to be more than meets the eye. Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun. To make a long story short, he uses the car to try to impress Mikaela, but soon finds himself caught in the middle of a inner planetary war between the Decepticons and Autobots.
The special effects are very impressive, as one would expect. In fact, I doubt seriously Dreamworks could have done a better job making the Transformers as realistic as possible; although the fight sequences look a bit choppy and could have been animated better. Overall though, I was highly impressed with "Transformers" special effects. If there's one thing Michael Bay does well, it's his amazing use of visuals.
Even some of the humor in this film wasn't too bad; although it was border on the line of campy quite a bit. However, it was still funny nonetheless, at times. Like the one scene where Sam's mom asks him if he was masturbating or not. Or, how about the other scene with the little "Taco bell" dog barking while wearing a cast. How's that for comedy? Oh and my personal favorite, "Bumblebee, stop lubricating the man!" Yeah, I know I have a sick twisted sense of humor. What can I say? Plus, you got to love the shout out to the original voice actors of the cartoon series reprising their perspective roles for this film; while bringing in new comers like Hugo Weaving (Megatron).
Sadly, this is where all the positives end. As much as the comedy and special effects were great, it's fairly obvious it was used to hide a mediocre script with piss poor dialogue, at best. In every single scene, not only do the actors come off sounding like they're reciting lines off a freaking script, the dialogue conversing with the Transformers and the humans are often inconsistent, as you can tell the dubbing for the Transformers was done after the film was shot. A perfect example of this is when Autobot Weapons specialist, Iron Hide, warns to the military soldiers that one of the Decepticons, Starscream, is coming. However, Air Force Captain William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) says, immediately after Iron Hide's warning, that it was just a routine fighter jet to help them out in fighting the evil Decepticons. Yeah, I chalk that up to bad editing too if you ask me.
Sure, you can argue all you want on how it was originally planned that the Transformers weren't supposed to talk at all, in this movie, and the reason for the inconsistently bad dubbing for the robots was due to the last minute decision to make them talk after it was finished. However, why couldn't editing taken care of this better then? After all, they could have easily have edited the film to where Iron Hide's line came AFTER Josh Duhamel's line. Or, they could have done a better job with the dubbing for the Transformers. After all, "Men In Black" didn't have a problem re-dubbing their CGI characters' lines when they showed the original film in front a screen test audience before it's theatrical release, and you can hardly tell it was ever re-dubbed at all. Kind of sad that Michael Bay couldn't produce the same with a fairly larger budget than the "Men In Black" movies. However, I've given up trying to deduce his methods by now, as he's clearly a man that says one thing, but does the opposite.
In a nutshell, I think most fans will probably like this movie, as it has everything the typical average viewers seem to want these days. Hot girls, explosions and hardly any story at all to go with the comedy action crap. Isn't that the good old American way? By the way, I was being sarcastic saying that, as "Transformers" royally stinks. I'd give this film a one and a half out of four, and that's me being awfully generous too, as it probably deserves a lower rating than that.