“Transformers” - A great big, live action cartoon

Fri, 07/13/2007 - 10:13am
By: Michael Boylan

Michael Bay movies are known for being long and overblown, filled with too many characters with not enough substance and too many chases and explosions. That formula made films like “The Island” and “Bad Boys II” sink, despite featuring a number of good things that worked. Bay’s new film, “Transformers,” soars, despite featuring tons of CGI metal and hundreds of explosions. It is almost like Bay was made to make this movie, his first truly great summer movie.

“Transformers” is based on the cartoon series from the 1980s. The planet Cybertron features Autobots (the good guys) and Decepticons (the bad guys) battling for supremacy. They come to Earth looking for a cube called the AllSpark. The bad guys want it to change all the machines on Earth and destroy humanity and the good guys want it to prevent the bad guys from committing this dastardly act. They will get help from Sam (Shia LaBeouf) who has a pair of glasses that can help locate the AllSpark.

If I say any more about the plot, it will just sound too silly. Let’s just say Sam is on the run, the Autobots will try to help him and the military is trying to figure out a way to stop the Decepticons, who have been trying to hack into military computer systems to locate the AllSpark and their fallen leader, Megatron.

LaBeouf is terrific as the male lead. He is funny, charming and just fun to watch in the enormous action sequences. Other solid performances come from Jon Voight as the defense secretary and John Turturro as a secret agent. The military plot line has some great scenes but it doesn’t really stand out as a great part of the film. Those scenes feature Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson, but really it could have been anybody and it would have been the same thing.

“Transformers” isn’t perfect, but it is good. The filmmakers did a great job at maintaining a fun tone, keeping it like a big cartoon. It has a lot of humor and a lot of great action.


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