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REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS (2007)

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Film Review

By TransFormers PH member Ryder Aquino

I'm sorry, I don't have the power to make a spoiler-free review, so if you haven't seen the movie, TURN AWAY NOW!

Watched the movie 2 times in yesterday, so goes to show what a major geek I am for spending 500 bucks on one movie. But hey, the was TRANFORMERS. The ultimate childhood nostalgia movie for guys my age and above. It was worth it.

Funny thing happened during my first viewing, because before the movie started and while I was waiting at the lounge, a guy stormed out of the theater and proclaimed to everyone (in a most dorky fashion): "Transformers sucks! Megatron is killed by Sam Witwicky"... Bummer right? Anyway, that guy kinda summed up what I would experience at first viewing. Although I didn't think it sucked, I was slightly disappointed.

On first view, I felt the pace at the start was very slow. It was all about Decepticons being evil, and Sam and his world. The latter I didn't mind, cuz' Shia is a terrific actor, but damn, I was like... Where is Optimus?! It was only until the middle until the rest of the Autobots came, and the other Decepticons like Starscream and Megatron only for the final battle.

But later that night on 2nd viewing, I was surprised to actually stop nitpicking and just enjoy what's there. It was much more fun the 2nd time around for some reason... since I knew what was gunna happen, the pacing felt faster and enjoyed all the scenes even more as I looked for details I may have missed on 1st view.

So, without further adieu, here's review proper! (Sorry for the long intro!) I'll use a new format now, in bullets just to see if it looks more organized!

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The wRong:

* Optimus Prime is a wuss. Ok, ok, yeah it was cool he decapitated Bonecrusher... but against Megatron? He got his arse kicked to holy hell by Mega. He barely used his gun, and in the end, only tripped Mega and wanted to commit suicide. Good thing Sam was smarter and used the damn killer cube on you know, the enemy.

* Jazz dies in vain. So Megatron stomps on him and tears him in half. That's it? Couldn't he have died heroically saving Sam? I'm ok with having casualties because it makes Mega even more of a badass, but there was absolutely no dram to the death of this Autobots... and he was one of my favorites!

* Military guy directs battle to the city. So they're trying to hide the Allspark right? Why do it in the city where you know, thousands of people could die (and probably did)? They had the whole freaking desert to put up a last stand, but no, it was 'cooler' to fight in the city. Yeah I admit, seeing the bots in that environment was cool, but logically, it dumbfounded me.

* The Soundtrack. Where in the heck was the classic Transformers theme? Not even the new MuteMath version was there, and I watched the ENTIRE credits. Instead, they closed the movie out with Linkin Park. Geeze. Oh, and there was no orchestral score to speak of, as nearly all the key scenes were told in rock music. This is fine in the short term, but if I decide to watch this movie 5 years from now, those songs will feel so dated... as opposed to original score music ala 'Pirates'.

* Devastator. Were my eyes deceiving me? Was that tank named 'Devastator' or 'Destroyer' when Frenzy was summoning the Decepticons? Isn't he supposed named 'Brawl' like it is in the toyline? For goodness sakes, need I say what a travesty this is and ruins the Constructicons being introduced in succeeding films? *Sigh*

* Barricade. He was called in the end.... he obliged and was shown going to the city... then he never showed up. Why? Beats me. Probably pussied out cuz' Bee kicked his ass earlier.

* The Decepticons in general. Wow, they were so underdeveloped. They were like mindless tyrants. There was NEVER any character development scene with ANY of them. They also missed the boat on the Starscream vs. Megatron conflict that was very famous in the cartoons (Scream wanted to be the leader of the Cons). I think they had one scene, and 'Scream just got bitched at and took it like one. Frenzy (the little guy) seemed more 2nd in command than 'Scream.

The Right:

* The robots. They look AWESOME. Seamless CGI, I need not expound how cool they look and move. Before, I thought the designs were terrible... Prime having flames, Starscream and Mega looking funky... But watching it, it was breathtaking. They went with an alien-ish look for them, which suites their back-story, so it's all cool.

* Shia. This guy is the next Leo and Hollywood 'go to guy' if he already isn't. Look out for him in Indy 4 sometime in the future. If there was someone to replace Tobey as Spidey, this is the guy. He pulls of the 'everyman' role so well it's hard not to root for him.

* Peter Cullen. No one can ever play Optimus Prime other than this man. From the opening narrative, it was so welcoming to hear that classic voice just like the old cartoon. Now, is it just me or do all the 'holograms' they use as dummy drivers look like him (big moustache)?

* The little guys. This movie is filled with small roles, which the actors who played them did a superb job. From the car salesman, Sam's parents, the military guys and the hackers, they all did a great job as supporting cast members.

* The 'Sound'. You all know it. And it was spread out throughout the movie, although not every time they transform. That sound is such a nostalgia trip, I'm glad they put in the movie.

* BumbleBee. Who didn't fall in love with the personality of this car? From playing the right station at the right times, taking a whiz on Sector 7's over-the-top general, and kicking ass on one leg, Bee is the reluctant hero everyone loves.

* The Allspark. If there was one change I liked from the cartoon it was this. Gone are the lame glowing pink blocks. Instead we get this uber powerful device that seems to be a fusion of the Autobots matrix and the energon cubes. Plus, it turned a Mountain Dew vendo evil. That alone makes this thing cool.

* Megan Fox. Sure her acting didn't blow me away (it was serviceable), but her killer abs and sexy body did. She's the non-CG-Eye candy in this flick, God bless her.

The veRdict:

It took me two viewings to like the movie. Maybe the first I was still a pricky fanboy seeing Michael Bay bastardize my childhood memories of my beloved robots with all this 'visual flare' stuff. But after the 2nd view, I just sat back, tried to put my brain in anti-nitpick mode, and just enjoy the human scenes and the glory of these metal titans. The story isn't the greatest or most epic, but it was a good starting point for a movie franchise and the way thing ended, it looks as if we're in store for sequels (yay)! Transformers makes a triumphant and visceral splash on celluloid, but it's flaws keep it from attaining 'classic' status reserved for greats such as the original Star Wars, LOTR, and the first Matrix. All right DreamWorks, ROLL OUT those sequels!

Film Rating: 4 1/2 Stars ****1/2

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Comments :

8 comments to “REVIEW: TRANSFORMERS (2007)”
Anonymous said...
on 

Seriously I disagree with your wrong section! Optimus Prime wussy? Why do you confuse heroic self-sacrifice as cowardly??? So Prime has to act all macho like, like... rape Megs before you consider him a hero, lol. And with that thinking, that make JESUS the greatest coward in history for his sacrifice. Did you know there are other qualities rather being macho that make a great hero? HAHA! LOL! you have a very shallow view of heroism. sigh...

jhack said...
on 

I was kinda disappointed that prime and megatron fight scene wasn't that great. And also about starscream.
I love bumblebee <3
oh so that skinny decepticon was Frenzy XD we we're thinking it was shockwave ahahaha!!

bumblebee said...
on 

the military people are not directing the battle in the city..that's the main reason why they wanted Sam to go up in the bldg,so he can give it to a military officer and bring it far from the city or else a lot of people will die...gosh!i think you have to see the move 4 times to understand it!hehehe

Anonymous said...
on 

hehe.. you should re-watch it again and listen to what the military guy said before leaving the dam

Anonymous said...
on 

maybe you are the one who should TURN AWAY NOW! regardless of the story the making of the movie is very appreciable. Only stupid person like you who sees only the dark side of the movie and didn't appreciate any improvements to satisfy the viewer. This is for your understanding, Optimus is not as bad as megatron that's why optimus barely uses his gun because even at first he suggested not to save bumblebee when he was captured without hurting the humans. If he uses it, do you think those building will be still there standing? you better really watch and understand clearly the movie before you post some critics, ok?

next is for Jazz, all of them was great. It just that megatron is strong enough for them to face. Jazz also tried to protect sam but unfortunately he is destroyed by mega, you really should watch the movie again, ok?

next is for the military guy, yes they tried to hide it away from mega and for me what he did is just necessary and right. you have suggested to make it in the desert for their last stand? are you really thinking? if they did it in desert, where in the hell would sam hide? ahhh! maybe you wanted him to dig under? for my opinion military guy directed it to the city so they could pass the cube, right? and to make megatron hardly get it from sam! thousands? maybe you should say millions will die if mega has it easily from desert? did you see when sam drops the cube? I hope so...this time i think you better just stop watching TRANSFORMERS, or maybe any MOVIES! why ? you know nothing but to criticize, no movie that is perfect and nothing is perfect, maybe you sees yourself you are!.... my advise is... maybe you just start appreciating what is around you, ok?

Anonymous said...
on 

The song you are playing...what is the name of it and who is it by?

azrael said...
on 

Thats from Linkin Park
but werent used in the movie and album

Anonymous said...
on 

No orchestral score to speak of???
are you deaf????
the score was everywhere, especially when the autobots landed. and when the decepticons attacked in qatar and at the dam

 

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