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Transformers: Transforming Greatness into Guck

Movie title: Transformers (2007)
Grade: F (0 stars)
Rated: PG-13
Director: Michael Bay
Producers: Kenny Bates, (Exec.) Michael Bay, Ian Bryce, Allegra Clegg, Matthew Cohan, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Starring: Shia LaBeouf “Sam Witwicky,” Megan Fox “Mikaela Banes,” Josh Duhamel “Captain Lennox,” Tyrese Gibson “USAF Tech Sergeant Epps,” Rachael Taylor “Maggie Madsen,” Anthony Anderson “Glen Whitmann,” Jon Voight “Defense Secretary John Keller,” John Turturro “Agent Simmons”
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi
Summation: Robots battle it out on Earth.
Spoilers ahead: No

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I am aware that a lot of people are going to take issue with this review and with my tone, but I will remain unapologetic about that. The truth is, I don’t care if you agree with me or not. This was a bad, bad, bad, bad, baaaaaad movie, and it deserves criticism as such.

A cousin and I saw it in the theatre together. He went out of his way (as he always does) to ensure that I gave it the chance to prove itself to me. To me, it felt wrong from the beginning, but he was more patient than I. The long and the short of it is, we both gave it the chance to win us over, but win us over it did not! We left the theatre in complete agreement that what we had seen was a ballsy adulteration of the Transformers we knew and loved.

Let me be frank; this was an abominable, insulting, stupid, juvenile, and miserably modernistic take on the Transformers that so many of us grew up with and loved. Anyone who has any real respect for the old (the true) Transformers, including the 1986 Transformers The Movie will agree that the 2007 film stunk beyond comprehension. If you take issue with my saying that, just quit reading. It’s going to get a lot worse.

Lovers of this new ass crack pudding will generally be 2003-and-later high school graduates who know nothing of the honorable origins of Transformers. The same will likely be enthusiasts of Naruto, Yu-gi-oh, and teen vampire romance flicks that have (unfortunately) been capturing young minds as of late. These young minds will also likely have a fondness for brain-dead, pot-smoking, teen movies made for the dumbest of audiences.

To them I say that if we ever get the chance to meet in public and you know who I am, don’t shake my hand. Just walk away, and if I try to stop you, say: “We wouldn’t see eye-to-eye. I’m going to leave now.” I’ll understand what that means.

Only one thing about this movie was original and that was the voice of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen). But nothing else was original, not even the transformation sounds of the machines when they switched forms, which very easily could have been included as a powerfully nostalgic queue. But there was no nostalgia in this film, nothing but lame humor and stupid antics for a new generation of bubblehead bffs and text-speak junkies who should be watching Dude, Where’s My Car? as opposed to reading this review.

There was no realism to anything about this trash. It never explained why the Autobots help us humans in the first place or why Bumblebee chooses to stay with them. The movie ends with the Autobots stating their desire to serve humans and solve their problems.

Say what now? Why? How did that happen? Why do alien robots have a longing to dwell with humans and meet their needs? Humans don’t provide the Autobots with a sense of purpose. They already had that long before the place where the movie takes off, so why would they be interested in serving us? It makes no sense.

Michael Bay’s seizure-like combat scenes were all but unrecognizable. You can never follow the action, much less appreciate it. Everything is choppy and disorienting, no doubt like the twisted and warped mental pathways of Bay’s brain.

Don’t misunderstand me to be saying that this movie could not have been a success. I’m not saying that. It could have been a success even in its present perverted form had it been called Transformers: A Parody. It was goofy and silly enough to pass in that genre, with all the characteristics that an outrageous parody should have. It certainly wasn’t serious; there was way too much humor, and beyond that, it was just ridiculous.

Let me take a moment to address those of my own generation when I ask…

Did you ever think you’d live to see the day that a movie would be made where the great Optimus Prime would be found hiding, along with the other Autobots, behind plants outside of a kid’s two-story house? That’s what happens for nearly thirty minutes straight in this dastardly disgrace.

Did you ever think you’d wake up and get out of bed one morning only to see Bumblebee crying while being captured by the FBI? Or what about that goofy excuse for an FBI agent named Agent Simmons (John Turturro), who wears a yellow tie and chases the Transformers around, acting like an out-of-work B-movie actor? What about the bots “peeing” on humans? How about teenaged “hottie” computer experts? Where did all the dorky, realistic-looking ones go?

Wow-y special affects don’t make a movie, Michael Bay! You fraud, you! You chump, you! Didn’t that 1999 dud of a film The Haunting teach us that? I honestly tried to put aside the deep-seated dislike I have for this failure of a film and see the good in it, but I couldn’t find much at all.

The idea of a DNA machine/life-form was creative. I’ll give it that. A few of Starscream’s flight/fight moves were cool, namely his transforming in mid-air and slapping down airplanes (it was the only action maneuver in the movie I could make out.) Shia Labeouf as “Sam” had good screen charisma, as he always does. But that’s about it.

Everything else wreaked and was an insult to the intelligences of all 60s, 70s, and early 80s kids. It was a grievous disappointment to anyone who knows and loves the dignity that the name Transformers carries with it.

(JH)

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