Feigning normality since 1973
Filed in: Transformers.
Yesterday I went to see...
Unfortunately I ended up sitting next to the obligatory guy who shouted "WHOA!" and "OH MY GOD!" whenever anything vaguely impressive happened, so it mostly served to remind me why I don't go to the movies much. But I did enjoy it. Spoilers follow:
The amount of character development in the movie can be roughly split into Decepticons: 5%, Autobots: 35%, Squishies: 60%. Aside from Frenzy, the only Transformer smaller than a human, none of the Decepticons got more than a handful of lines, and Scorponok got none. The situation is a little better in the Autobot camp, though Jazz's small amount of lines meant that I didn't get a chance to get a handle on his character, and therefore didn't feel much when Megatron ripped him in half. In fact, the later scene where Optimus holds his dismembered body comes across as more comical than anything.
So the only Transformers who get much in the way of character development are Optimus (though I'm not sure how much of this is carried over from the original animated series courtesy Peter Cullen's vocal talents), Bumblebee (who seems to have borrowed his personality from Herbie), Ironhide, and Frenzy (who owes a lot to Sebulba from The Phantom Menace). Megatron gets about ten minutes of screen time and Hugo Weaving's voice is unrecognisable, but he does get a couple of good character moments. The rest of the characterisation is lavished on the Squishies (TF fan term for humans) including Sam Witwicky (like Spike but without his ubiquitous orange hardhat) and his girlfriend, the blonde Australian codecracker and her comedy sidekick, and a couple of soldiers, who were previously stationed in Iraq.
The plot initially reminded me of the movie Small Soldiers, only obviously with giant robots from outer space instead of wee military-enhanced toys. Especially the part where the Autobots are hiding out in the Witwicky's back yard while he searches for his great-grandfather's glasses.
According to Optimus, the Autobots learned English from the Internet. I have to wonder if (a) this would actually work and (b) how they managed to learn proper English and not ended up talking like lolcats macros or Strong Bad, or speaking in Russian, French or Korean (I strongly suspect that Ironhide learned English by playing Half Life or Counterstrike online).
Also, how did a huge cuboid object remain unnoticed until Hoover built a dam on top of it?
And why did they have to stick in an American Pie masturbation gag. What is it with Americans and masturbation? Sheesh!
Oh yeah, masturbation and pee jokes.
All that said, the best reason to go see this movie is to see giant robots blowing things up and beating the crap out of each other which is, when you get down to it, primarily what Transformers is all about. Micheal Bay has pulled this off admirably, of course, giving us some first-rate action sequences.
Hopefully for the sequel we can have more focus on the Transformers themselves, but this is a very promising start to a movie series.
And on a related note:
Posted July 2, 2007 10:14 PM
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