Saturday, 21 July 2007

Transformers - Dir. Michael Bay (2007)

While the acting is lifeless and the script is stale, the real gem in this movie is in Michael Bay's way in which he can magically orchestrate the use of CGI into a visually stunning and mesmerizing spectacle bringing out the small child wriggling inside every adult that goes to see Bay's overblown, massive and hugely lucrative blockbuster 'Transformers'.

'Transformers' is every young boy and young man's dream (or wet dream in some cases) as the film focuses on the generic line of aliens crash landing on Earth and doing battle in the heart of America with the obligatory interference from the US Military and all their gadgets at there disposal. Based on the television series and the popular Hasbro line of toys, 'Transformers' see's the good 'Autobots' and evil 'Decepticons' face off against each other, while Shia LeBeouf (Sam Witwicky), one of the most sought after actors on the Hollywood circuit at the moment, try's to impress local bad-girl Mikaela (Megan Fox) with his beaten-down '76 Chevy Camero which mysteriously changes into a robot during the night to make contact with other UFO's via laser beam.

While Sam stumbles around trying to impress Mikaela, with his Camero not helping playing the right song at the right time with "Baby Come Back by Player" being played as Mikaela leaves the car after it stalls, he is also caught in the middle of the largest robotic battle on Earth, with all the planet's hopes being placed in his small nerdy hands. However the relationship falters, as there is little passion or connection in the relationship between the two seemingly distant characters who seem to have the emotional connection of a recently divorced couple until the final scene, where a minimal connection can be seen and believed between the character's, a good two hours too late.

Meanwhile, in the Middle Eastern country Qatar, American soldiers (Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson) come under attack by an robot which transforms from a Military helicopter into one mean and vicious piece of steel, that destroys anything in it's path while trying to steal 'classified' files from the computers of the United States Department of Defence, leading to the Secretary of Defence John Keller (Jon Voight) calling a press conference and all the available technology and analysts at his fingertips. Like Josh Duhamel (Captain Lennox), Bay fails to bring Voight to life at all, however some may see this as making an even more believable politician in the age of deceit and deception. However the script also leaves little lee-way for the actors themselves, as it's as simple and streamlined as possible, showing that the action takes centre stage over everybody else.

Sam's connection to the robots, is due to discovery one of his ancestors made and piece of his memorabilia he has in his care, which the 'Decepticons' (or evil robots) will need to find the 'All Spark' or the big-energy-cube that would the universe go, with quite a loud bang, kaboom! Sam's '76 Camero is one of the good guys, an 'Autobot' known as Bumblebee who along with the 'Autobot' leader Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) have taken base on Earth to stop Megatron leader of the 'Decepticons' and his cronies from destroying Earth with a fair bit of opposition in the way.

Unlike Michael Bay's earlier films ('Armageddon'), there's a subtle political undertone running through out this film sometimes making it feel like a George Bush speech circa 2001, with both Russia and China originally being blamed for the attack on the US, providing speculation the Cold War is still alive and the heroic portrayal of the United States Air Force, and their help and patriotic nature in the fight, making it look more like a video for 'Uncle Sam And Iraq 2007' rather than a fight between alien forces and man, something which Bay touches upon in the majority of his films, something tells me he's quite proud to be an America.

Everybody viewing the film knows the actors are just 'extras' in a hugely spectacular and stunning CGI-mad mega-fight between large, intimidating robots in a live-or-die affair to save the fate of the universe and while the acting and script, which were never Michael Bay's strong points detracted from the film, nothing could stop me from grinning from ear to ear like a little boy who got caught with his hand in the cookie-jar as the stunning final fight sequence took place and my enjoy-o-meter exploded.

By Jordan