Movies / Movie Reviews

The Transformers Live Action Movie


By Hervé St-Louis
July 9, 2007 - 00:52

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A century ago, the ancestor of teenager Sam Witwicky made a discovery in the arctic circle. It was a giant robot called Megatron who inscribed something on Witwicky’s senior’s glasses. It was the map to the All-Spark, the giver of life to the Transformers. The Transformers is a race of transforming robots separated into two camps, the heroic Autobot and the evil Decepticons. Looking for the secret map to the All-Spark has brought these robots to Earth and Sam and all of the human race is caught in between.

I really expected to hate this movie with a passion until I read the previous two movies published at The Comic Book Bin. I didn’t dare read past the spoilers, and I’m glad I didn't. This review, however, will be spoiler-free. I’ve read in several places, and I cannot quote the source that director Michael Bay hates the Transformers. It’s an odd choice then to trust him with the franchise. I guess this is nothing more than some public relations’ spinning to get Transformers’ fans more riled up.

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The movie starts with Sam Witwicky.  I will call him Spike. He’s the teenage that hangs out around the Autobot like Snapper Carr did with the Justice League. In the old cartoon series, I have hoped in vain that Spike would get killed or stepped on by one of the Decepticons so many times, it’s incredible. Here, Spike - Sam - for the purists - doesn’t annoy. He’s just your typical teen trying to get the girl. The movie is almost about him. The Transformers are not very important it seems. Just looking at how they try to hide in Spike’s backyard made me laugh, but also realize that they were not essential. Spike’s fight with the government was.

On the Decepticons’ side, there were hints of prior antagonism with Starscream and Megatron, but unfortunately, there were no real interactions between the two. Frenzy was as annoying as he’s always been, if not more, and I hope he won’t reappear for a sequel. He’s the new Wheelie. The NSA analyst and the fat hacker were useless in this film and I’m hoping we won’t see them either. The whole part about needing to debrief half a dozen useless humans, made the movie feel like Independence Day and is not logical when it comes to such military secrets.

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I liked the Autobots, Jazz especially. It’s good that the Autobots were all old fan favourites. I like their new car modes and can already see myself hunting down the toy aisle for them. Megatron did not look as bad as his toy version. There were some expressions in his face. One thing I did miss was that none of the old music from the animated film or the television series was reused for the movie. it would have the film just better.

I like the transformations and all the fights, but hearing the Transformers speak was painful. First, the sounds that came out of their mouths were mostly incomprehensible. Second, when it did make sense phonetically, it just made them look as dumb as the old cartoons. Looking at dumb characters in cartoon form is one thing. Having your disbelief broken by bad dialogue in such a good-looking film is another thing. I just hope the sequels can be as good. Bay has raised the bar now.


Last Updated: March 10, 2022 - 22:00

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