After quite a bit of anticipation I finally saw the new Transformers flick over the weekend….
My thoughts on it? Well…….
WHAT PLEASED ME:
– I must admit that the new mecha-chara designs grew on me quite a lot over the months after an initial hatred of most of them. They do look impressive in motion, especially when transforming. Some of the robot modes I ain’t too sure about, but I don’t hate them the way I did when they first got unveiled. Bumblebee, Megatron and of course ol’ Optimus impressed me the most in terms of aesthetic. I do have to ask though – why does Frenzy look like Johnny 5?
– I appreciated the little nods to the G1 continuity, like the whole scene with Bumblebee parked right next to his 80s vehicle mode (a yellow VW Beetle). And of course PETER CULLEN RETURNS TO VOICE OPTIMUS PRIME complete with classic lines from the 1986 movie!!!
-The human characters proved to be quite likeable and, in relation to my initial fears, non-annoying (although certain charas could’ve been lost, but more on that in a bit). Shia LaBeouf makes a rather amusing and engaging Spike (or Sam in script-speak); Megan Fox fills her role of eye-candy and love interest pretty well, incorporating aspects of a stand-alone chara into the mix;John Turturro’s Section 7 Agent actually does the comic-relief thing pretty well; and I love Julie White’s manic, kooky turn as Spike’s mum.
– The character relationships from G1 get a basic replication, what with Megatron berating Starscream and Spike buddying up with Bumblebee. I must say Optimus comes off being considerably gruffer than his G1 incarnation and even somewhat sinister at certain points (“Taking the children was a baaad idea” delivered in a amusingly foreboding movie trailer tone – heheh!)
– Leaking lubricant! Who knew that the script for a movie based on an 80s kid’s toy franchise could be laced with moments of pure filth and innuendo? Sexual references revolving around automobile components! Blatant references to masturbation! And the money shot? Spike’s mum letting forth the words “DON’T TOUCH MY BUSH!!” line! I mean, I mean…. THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!
– Prime vs Bonecrusher – vicious!
WHAT DISPLEASED ME:
– Anthony Anderson. Eating his way through doughnuts and screen time Next time, guys try blending your “celebrity name” into the narrative with more than a footnote, k thanks!
– Transformers having their screen time eaten away by an over-saturation of human antics. The Deceps – with the exception of the skitteringly endearing Frenzy – hardly get any real characterisation; the Autobots just about manage to emerge as personalities; just think, excision of a few fleshings from the running could have paid dividends in this regard!
-Hugo Weaving should have given Megatron a Smith-like vocal tinge; that or voiced him in the style of the character Beast War’s namesake – yeeessssssssssss!
– The most irritating of faults? The affliction which I term “The Bourne Identity Crisis”! Overly fast shaking, shuddering and swishing of the camera during crucial fight scenes to create an effect of “realism” – *le groan*! It annoyed me in the Bourne movies, pissed me off in Outlaw and rates as far from fucking appreciated in this of all films! No, no, NO! If you’re gonna film mecha battles, let the audience see fucking mecha battles!
– Three words for Jazz – underused and abused and no-one seemed to give much of a shit. Ironic too, seeing as he was one of the survivors of the original movie’ cull of old charas. *sniff*
– The conclusion to that final battle proved very clever yet very disappointing. I guess it makes sense in a purely calculated, Shockwave-logical way for Spike to save the day, but I wanted a proper-punch up between Prime and Megs, goddammit – with PRIME dealing the final blow!! Androcentricity wins again, peeps!
I hope the crew and scriptwriters wise up and iron the considerable creasage out of the fabric of the inevitable follow-up…….
As it stands, even with the considerable flaws, I enjoyed this and hope it does well when it goes on general release. It deserves seeing whether or not youparticularly favour the franchise. A solid 7/10, methinks!
I thought it was “not bad”, and I think that if it succeeds in any way, it’s for the good because we’ll see giant robots catch on in American film.
The only thing that really insulted me was the clean cut girl claiming to be “from the streets” and started hotwiring cars, I’m not dumb enough to fall for that. Hollywood movies always wanna give us some bland blonde chick and be like “Oh but look at this! She can fix motorcycles/shoot pool/tell dirty jokes! Isn’t she a dream?!” It’s not so much that I can’t suspend disbelief, I just think that a girl who can hotwire and LOOKS like she can hotwire is more fascinating and sexy, but I dunno, maybe they’re catering to the Virgin/Whore complex.
It was a good touch however, as it made her more than a bog-standard “love” interest and actually contributed something to the main plot (unlike some of the other humans!) Also she looked kinda exotic for a clean-cut all-American dream – not a bad thing at all, but at the same time a stark contrast to the surrounding cast.
Who would you have cast for the role?
You’re right that it was at least an attempt to make the boring love interest an actual character rather than a marketing ploy (Bring in the date money!). It didn’t work for me because the girl was too clean and pretty, but it was less boring than your standard issue blank-stare beauty queen.
I can’t name a single actress of the correct age who could convince me that she’s “from the streets”, but maybe I would’ve believed it if the costume department at least went for a street aesthetic in her wardrobe. All it takes is a T-Shirt with Aaliyah on it.