Posted by: brian | July 7, 2007

Less than meets the eye

So, I was kind of interested in seeing Transformers: The Movie, and I thought Ben had expressed interest as well. Ben told me that he’d heard that it had little plot (no surprise there) but that it was fun to watch. It also received a relatively high rating from Rotten Tomatoes (57% among critics, and 84% among the rest of us).

(The following may contain spoilers. I mean, assuming a movie with so little plot can be spoiled.)
My expectations were suitably low. So low, that it ought to have been hard to not meet them. Somehow, this film failed to meet those low expectations. At about 2 and a quarter hours long, it was too long by an hour and a half. Portions of the film dragged by. When the kid and the girl go to his house to recover his great grandfather’s glasses, upon which is etched the secret location of some cube thing that the Decepticons are after (to destroy the human race, of course), was it really necessary for us to spend 25 minutes while he looks for the backpack in his room, and the Autobots destroy his parents’ yard? You know how most movies, when they are released on DVD, include deleted scenes? This one won’t, because I don’t think there were any. Every appallingly dull, sophomoric moment of cheese was crammed into this turd, and the action, while decent, didn’t keep me interested. As for the the high quality CGI, … seriously, who goes to see a movie based on how non-fake a robot-car looks when it pees on John Turturro?

[Interesting sidebar: I previously posted about the Transformers movie. That reference to the Ponies of the Apocalypse? Check this out, and try guessing who one of the producers is….]

I did learn a couple of things, though:
1. If you want a hot blonde to pass for smart, give her a foreign accent.
2. Every mechanical device on earth is just waiting to be turned into a Transformer so it can beat the crap out of humans.
3. Trite lines like, “Bumblebee is a brave soldier” don’t sound at all ridiculous when (a) delivered by a talking semi and (b) the character has a stupid-ass name like “Bumblebee.”
4. For maximum impact, a film ought to have a strong philosophical underpinning, and close with a voice-over monologue by Optimus Prime in which he states that “humans, like us, are more than meets the eye.”
5. Nobody found a way to fit the phrase “robots in disguise” into the script. Come on people. You’ve got over two hours of screen time, and nothing is happening. Try harder in the sequel. (And oh yes, there will be a sequel. One of the Decepticons escapes, and will no doubt return in the summer of 2009 with more evil robuts, and Optimus Prime has broadcast a message out into space, telling any remaining Autobots that they are welcome on Earth.)
[**Update: just looked at Michael Bay’s entry on IMDB, and Transformers 2 is slated for 2009. Interestingly, he is also directing a remake of The Birds. Yes, the Hitchcock film. If you want a bit of hilarity, check out this thread on the IMDB forums.]
6. A hot slutty chick with a criminal record will dump her jock boyfriend the instant he makes a denigrating comment.
7. How do you tell a good Transformer from a bad one? The good ones are American made vehicles, and the bad ones are military assault vehicles.
8. Comic relief will only get you so far.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: