More Than Meets the Eye Indeed

by July 09, 2007

Low expectations be damned, Transformers actually turned out to be a good movie. I’m gonna give away about a hundred spoilers here so anyone who hasn’t seen it yet and wants to can opt out of reading this blog.

For me growing up Transformers was pretty much a line of demarcation. There are respectable exceptions of course but pretty much if you didn’t like Transformers and/or G.I Joe then you were probably into My Little Pony or something.
Which is to say you didn’t take a wiz standing up. Which is to say you were a girl. The combination of storytelling and fighting proved irresistable to my young mind. I’ve been conditioned for two decades for this movie. I had to see it.

The movie starts with Autobots leader Optimus Prime (uh, do I need to explain that there are two types of Transformers-Autobots are good and Decepticons are bad. Cool?) boomin ass baritone narrating on why the events that are about to happen are important. Something about a war on their home planet and how they are coming to Earth to search for a energy cube that contains some sort of life-giving energy source that makes all mechanical things move.

As any consistent readers of this site can tell you, I was type skeptical of the movie but had decided to risk it anyway. Michael Bay directed it and Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel were given starring roles which is pretty much the perfect storm of bad movie choices. Bay did Armaggeoden of all things and Tyrese starred in Baby Boy (the 2nd worst movie of all time, followed closely by last summers Crank. A movie so absurd and corny that immediately after watching I got into an argument with the girl I went to see it with and stopped dealing with her. True story) and this Duhamel guy has his nose open by Fergie. Seriously though, how can you trust this him?

The action sequences start about five minutes in when an unidentified helicoptor attacks a US Military base in the Middle East. There are no insurgents here, just a bad-ass robot that obliterates a multi-million dollar military compound. There is no explanation about why the attack is taking place but you don’t really care either because the coptor just starts raising hell and the whole sequence is damn near jaw –dropping. The thing that got me hooked was the trailer and the fact that the detail to greatness regarding effects seemed to be serious. I enjoyed the military aspect of the scene and throughout the movie that aspect led credibility to it and kept it from becoming a movie about toys. Basically it was an alien invasion flick, but instead of weird looking monsters it was big giant machines.

This was also my introduction to Shia Lebeauf (can someone phonetically sound out his name to me? Thanks and btw who is his agent? I never heard of him now he’s the star of the summer’s biggest movie? wow). I saw this morning that’s he’s on the cover of Vanity Fair and they are saying he’s the new Tom Hanks (to which I say relax. Tom Hanks is like the Magic Johnson of movies. Obviously great and versatile but somehow we still sorta sleep on him). His role starts when his dad takes him to buy his first car and it happens that the car is a transformer. Apparently the car was looking for him because his grandfather was an archeologist who mistakenly came across important coordinates while on a excavation in the Artic. Yeah i know but remember thats its a summer movie. Don’t think too hard just enjoy it and really, they explain it in a way to where the scenario is feasible

From here its more military stuff, more machines and more action but its done in a way that’s not insulting to those of us who like a bit of reality/intelligence with out summer popcorn blockbusters. There are a couple of corny moments and it was sorta weird when the autobot Jazz (who speaks in a random “black folks” vernacular) was the only autobot who died but all in all the joint was hot. The effects alone simply raised the bar on movie making and judging the numbers from last week it seems that a sequel will be made. And I’ll see that one too.