By Nathan M Rose
Jul 04, 2007 11:28 AM EST

Transformers Theatrical Review

Transformers Theatrical Review
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Transformers, the highly anticipated movie that this reviewer has been waiting for many years was finally released this week. The questions are does it live up to all its hype? Does it live up to the 1980's cartoon? Does it bring back those childhood memories? The answer, for this reviewer, is well...not really. But let's start at the beginning of the story...

The movie is based on the 1980's Hasbro's Transformers™ Action Figures. The story follows a war between two races of robots the Autobots™ and the Decpticons™. Who wins the war decides the fate of not only earth but the universe. The Decpticons™ wants to destroy all human life and make the world/universe for themselves, while the other, The Autobots™, try to protect humanity. All that stands between Decpticons™ and winning the final battle is a clue held by Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf)

The Transformers™ screenplay was written by Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman. They choose to begin with the arrival of the Transformers™ on Earth and how they integrated into society. 

Along the way we are introduced to the main human characters of the story, Sam Witwicky, the holder of the clue to winning the final battle (Shia LaBeouf, and Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox).

As the story gets rolling (pun intended) we are first introduced to a few Decepticons™, Bumblebee, and finally the big cheese (no not the Mouse), Optimus Prime (Voiced by original television show actor Peter Cullen).

At this time the movie becomes a very loud, very slick, action film with no real further plot development besides the introduction of the villains. One of the biggest changes is in Megatron, who for reasons this reviewer still can't figure out no longer transforms into a gun, but a plane.

Being a child of the 80s and seeing my childhood toys come to the big screen again brought great pleasure to my mind (and Director Michael Bay does throw in some great references to the original show).   However, the film is exactly what many feared it would be, a shiny car with nothing underneath the hood.

The character development is typical of an action film where the action and effects take the place of character development. It seems Michael Bay and Executive Producer Steven Spielberg would just be happier to display the great special effects by Industrial Light and Magic than to developed a story based on the history of the Transformers™

There is a lot of great tongue in cheek jokes and references to the 1980's Transformers™.

Shia LaBeouf really helps keep the movie together, but in the end it just doesn't transform me back enough to my childhood. However it kept my interest enough for me to still hear Optimus Prime in my head a day later saying..."Autobots Transform"

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 140 minutes
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

For more information about Transformers visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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