Like many people growing up during the 80s, watching the Transformers cartoon was a cherished memory. I couldn’t wait to get home from school to sit down and watch it along with GI Joe (the original series).
I didn’t see this movie in the theater, so I am just now getting around to watching the DVD.
Their war. Our world. (“More than meets the eye…”)
Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson, and Jon Voight
The movie starts out with the story of the “Allspark.” The Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, are in a war with the Decepticons, led by Megaton. This war ravages their planet and the cube is lost. Both sides took to the stars to find where the Allspark landed and after many centuries (or more), Megatron discovers that it landed on earth, but he is accidentally frozen in the Arctic before he can capture it.
Optimus Prime: Before time began, there was… the cube. We know not where it comes from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill them with life. That is how our race was born. For a time we lived in harmony, but like all great power, some wanted it for good. Others, for evil. And so, began the war. A war that ravaged our planet until it was consumed by death. And the cube was lost to the far reaches of space. We scattered across the galaxy, hoping to find it and rebuild our home. Searching every star. Every world. And just when all hope seemed lost, message of a new discovery drew us to an unknown planet called… Earth. But, we were already too late.
The frozen Megatron is found by a group of explorers and taken to a secret underground US military base for research. Eventually, the Autobots discover that the Allspark is on earth and send Bumblebee to protect the grandson of the discoverer (but for some reason they aren’t protecting his parents or his dad who is the son of the discoverer).
The location of the Allspark was imprinted on the discover’s glasses and so the search is on to find the grandson who is auctioning off the glasses on eBay. The movie doesn’t remind the users, but the Allspark was also moved along with Megatron to the underground compound. So the directions imprinted on the glasses (about 150 years prior to present) wouldn’t have helped much.
Frenzy: All Spark located.
Starscream: This is Starscream: All Decepticons, mobilize.
Barricade: Barricade en-route.
Devastator: Devastator reporting…
Bonecrusher: Bonecrusher rolling…
Blackout: Blackout incoming… All hail Megatron!
I’ll start out with the parts that I enjoyed the most. First, there was the casting of Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime. Cullen provided the original voice for Optimus Prime in the TV cartoon series.
As far as the special effects goes, I don’t think they could have been any better. But I think there’s only so much you can do with a live action movie like this. I’m not usually one to favor action over plot, but the action sequences work well here and there’s enough scenes between the action scenes so that you aren’t overwhelmed with explosions.
I didn’t understand why the Autobots kept spinning in circles and doing flips (they’re robots not ninjas)… Seems like too much on the special effects budget or someone in the SE crew had too much time to kill.
I also didn’t like the couple references to “lubricating” on others (either Autobot->person, or dog->Autobot). Did we really need those two scenes? Did they really add anything to the story?
Finally, the one thing that kept me feeling uneasy through the entire movie was complete and utter commercialization of the movie. I didn’t expect this, but within about the first fifteen minutes, I became annoyed and it only got worse throughout the movie. A Mountain Dew vending machine Transformer… constant reminders of the GM sponsorship by zooming in on each car’s brand logo. Burger King and HP spots also run throughout the movie.
I thought the ending wasn’t given enough time or emphasis. The realization that Optimus Prime would rather sacrifice himself over Megatron seemed like the right thing to do, but the more interesting part was when he said goodbye to his brother, Megatron.
Overall, it didn’t live up to my expectations, but it was okay. If it wasn’t for my childhood memories of the cartoon series, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it very much.