Transformers was a lot of fun. It was pretty much exactly what I was hoping for: lots of explosions and robots kicking the shit out of each other. The plot was sub-par, the acting non-existent, the pacing poor, and it was overlong.
But, you know. Robots. Kicking the shit out of each other.
What’s great: Bumblebee as a Camaro. Optimus Prime with a flaming paint job. Bumblebee in a car chase with an evil cop car as heavy metal sailed over the speakers. Bumblebee’s use of the radio to get the kid and the chick together. The entire Keystone Kops bit with them fucking up the lawn and hiding from the parents. The soundtrack overall. The “Bee-otch” tag hanging from the rearview. Really, just Bumblebee.
What’s not so great: The actual design of the robots. They looked sinister and all, but they were also too complicated of a visual design. This made them really difficult to tell apart – especially at the speeds they moved on the screen at. Megatron – he only showed up 3/4s of the way through the film, and then was really just “more of the same” gimmick we’d already seen.
What sucked: What was the entire point of the glasses? Just give the kid the fucking cube from the start; don’t do this entire McGuffin with the glasses. Seriously: granddad finds Megatron *and* the cube, takes the cube, puts in in a chest. BAM. The kid has the cube and we save some incredulity and a need to explain why granddad’s eyeglasses are important. Starscream – why even give him dialog at all?
What’s pointless: The *entire* subplot with the hackers. That served only to lengthen the film and have another hot chick. Her entire plot could have been handled by a guy in a uniform saying the following line, said from offscreen: “It’s downloaded a virus, sir!” BAM. Done. We’ve just saved a half an hour, easy.
But wait! There’s more! We’ll extend her pointless plot by introducing yet ANOTHER pointless hacker character (this one played by Anthony Anderson, who I *always* find irritating). Again, his entire purpose could be handled by a line said from off screen.
I did a bunch of wiki-research on the robots. Wikipedia is awesome for stuff like this because some nerd somewhere has cataloged everything about every transformer, ever. What I learned is this: complaints about the movie not being “true” to the source are bullshit, because the *source* isn’t true to the source. Every single one of the robots in the film has had at least 4 or 5 incarnations, and half of them had nothing to do with anything that came before. Just look up “Scorponok” and you’ll see what I mean.
I had a lot of Transformers toys growing up – they came out when I was like, 10 or 11 I think. I collected the comic for a while, and watched the cartoon religiously (which came on at five a.m. and I’d actually get up for it). I don’t know why, but this doesn’t key my “raped my childhood” button (like, say, Attack of the Clones did).
Anyways. Go in with low expectations and you’ll be happily surprised.