Canister X Movie Review #116: Transformers (2007)
Written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman
Directed by Michael Bay
Runtime 144 min.
4 out of 5
It is called the All Spark. Powerful. Incredible. Able to create robotic life and destroy it just as quickly.
On Cybertron, a planet far, far away, a war arose when a robot named Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, wanted the power of the All Spark for himself. Optimus Prime and his band of Autobots rose up against him and their battle destroyed their homeworld, sending the cube-shaped All Spark into space.
The Autobots and Decepticons scoured the galaxy looking for it, knowing that whoever found it first would be the victor and would decide the fate of not just one world, but the universe.
The All Spark found its way to Earth, but not before Megatron tracked it there. It landed in the Arctic, and Megatron was frozen there until found later on by Captain Witwicky, explorer.
Decades later, his grandson, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), needs a car and after visiting a used-car dealer ends up coming home with an old Chevy Camaro. Little does he know the car is more than meets the eye and lurking beneath its yellow shell is an Autobot named Bumblebee. It’s not long ’til Sam finds out and is thrust into a robotic world where two teams of giant robots compete to find the All Spark.
Joining Sam is his high school crush, Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), whom reluctantly is dragged on this journey with him but soon finds herself getting interested in this guy who she barely knew existed.
It’s robot vs robot in this giant epic of good vs evil, with fireballs, bullets and vehicles that are more than meets the eye.
What can I say? When I heard they were taking the Transformers from my childhood and lifting them from the cartoon to “real life,” I was ecstatic. I was also concerned because I knew it’d take a crazy amount of CGI to make it happen, and not just any CGI either—good CGI. The last thing I wanted was for a bunch of cartoony robots with rubbery parts dominating the screen.
Boy, was I shocked when I saw Bumblebee transform and tower over all, shining his spotlight into the sky, or when Optimus Prime showed up and that glorious digital transformation sound roared and he stood proud, huge and detailed.
This stuff was real, and it looked like the makers of this movie actually made real Autobots and Decepticons to make it happen.
Storywise, yeah, I liked it. The alien invasion thing worked. Very well done. Same with the notion that, unlike the cartoons (from what I recall), the Autobots had a vow of secrecy to keep themselves hidden from the humans while they searched for the All Spark.
Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky was funny, same with Kevin Dunn as his father.
The story also bodes well for a sequel, which has now come and gone, with more stories in the works. If you’re going to go epic, like Transformers did, you’re going to need more than one. Last I heard, they’re doing 5 or 6 of these things. Me? I’m all for it. I go into these things expecting a good time and not some life-altering film where, years later, I look back and see it as a turning point for me. Transformers is just that: a good time, and one that tickled my inner fanboy.
More than meets the eye? You betchya!