I’ve not written a negative post in ages, and I’m kind of sad to be writing this one since I had high hopes for the film, but it just didn’t deliver.
When Transformers first came out in the cinema I wasn’t interested. None of the lead actors are particular favourites of mine, and while the special effects looked great I wasn’t moved to run to the nearest cinema. I kept hearing good things about it though, and started to change my mind. A trailer for the upcoming sequel before Star Trek pushed me over the edge and the DVD was purloined from a friend’s house for our weekly movie night. I was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately my orignial reservations turned out to be right.
I’ve never seen a film so tailor made for boys in my life. Normally this doesn’t bother me, as I’d choose action over chick flick most days, but Transformers seemed to be lacking in any kind of substance in order to get in enough shots of things blowing up/Megan Fox’s abs. Let’s face it, she’s not there for her acting ability.
There are some good points. The special effects are brilliant and each transformation is done flawlessly especially the high speed ones, but even the fight scenes seemed messy rather than well choreographed. Shia LeBeouf almost saves the dire script, but he can’t do it alone and acting opposite a wooden (or should that be silicon?) Fox and some laughable over acting from John Turturro is a difficult task that a rookie actor can’t overcome.
I guess the biggest problem I had with the film is I simply didn’t care about the robots (autobots, sorry). How ever much “cute” Bumblebee squeaked and whimpered (I think he has Wall-E’s voice box) I still wasn’t bothered by his missing legs. And when Megan Fox started crying about it I just gave up. As for the rest of our metal crew, the fact that they learned to speak from the internet gave them a weird turn of phrase in oddly posh accents. I get what they were going for, but it didn’t work for me.
The chemistry between Fox and LeBeouf is also noticeably absent. The supposed love story is atrociously underwritten; they barely speak to eachother and when they do its to spew something cheesy. They weren’t the only ones with rotten lines; “Listen to me, you’re a soldier now!” actually made my toes curl. The screenplay is at best cliché and at worst embarassing, which is a shame in a movie which has the potential to be good. The plot is thin (I don’t get why Optimus Prime cares so much about Earth) but I’d let that go if the writers had gone to the effort of writing something new rather than rehashing the favourite lines of every war and action movie of the 20th Century. In fairness, LeBeouf has some funny lines, but I think this is owed more to his delivery than the actual words.
Transformers is a triumph of special effects, and a great showcase for what can be achieved with CGI, but there’s litle more to it than that. It was a big disappointment. I think in future I’ll trust my insitincts, and I’ll be keeping away from the sequel.
*Note to my fellow Saturday night audience members. I truly wanted to like this film, but however much you love it, I can’t see past the bad bits. Sorry.