Scott, Sheena, and I decided to see a movie today. I wanted to see Michael Moore's Sicko, but we were weary that it would be a downer. So we decided to see Michael Bay's Transformers (IMDB.com) instead.
Growing-up with the Hasbro toys and cartoon, Scott and I were familiar with Transformers. For some reason, I wasn't really into Transformers because it seemed too popular. I preferred Gobots based on the cheaper Tonka toys. I also preferred Voltron, which apparently has a movie in production for 2008 release. I believe I even promised my grandmother that I would do dishes for the rest of my life if she got me the whole five-piece toy. I'm sure that promise didn't lasted beyond that weekend.
The Transformers movie was certainly a signature Michael Bay movie with gratuitous action-adventure themes. Average teenager Sam (Shia LaBeouf) pursues the unbelieveably gorgeous teen girl (Megan Fox), befriends aliens, and saves the universe. Interestingly, Bay delicately set part of the movie in the Iraq war and confirms the US being led by an irreverent Texan president. However, the Iraq war and President Bush, Jr., were both neutrally portrayed. A US military unit is also heroically portrayed leading the climatic end fight and a Rumsfield-like Defense Secretary (Jon Voight) tries to keep up with the new threat the Transformers present.
The movie had several subplots that we're not really developed or followed. There was a subplot involving an attractive Australian woman and funny African-American man who attempt to counter the aliens network attack. John Turturro also pops-up playing an annoying protagonist character. These characters are abruptly forgotten before the climactic ending.
It was a predicable action movie. However, for a movie that was over two hours and twenty minutes, I never felt bored or strained. It was built for the short-attention span audience. It is also a violent movie, but not graphically gory and maintains the classic action movie rule that only the bad guys kill innocent bystanders.
It's a forgettable movie that will probably not withstand time well. Like the 1980s cartoon that marketed toys, the movie shamelessly marketed the GM line of cars. While the visual effects and CGI were very well done, special effects don't really mean much to me anymore since nearly anything can be created on the screen with the right time and money. Overall, I would give a grade "C" (nothing horrible, nothing special) -- maybe a grade "B" within its action-adventure genre.