It’s taken me a few days to really nail down just what I didn’t like (as a Transformers fanboy) so much about this movie. Fandom aside, it was a decent action flick, full of some spectacular effects. However, it really missed the mark as a movie about the Transformers.
Why? Because it wasn’t a movie about Transformers. It was a movie about some gung-ho army special-ops dudes, and a couple of teenagers. The TV show, the comic, the movie – all of them had the Transformers as not just walking Japanese plot devices, but they were actually characters who occupied the bulk of the dialog. Yes, I know, the TV show was pretty mundane, but what Saturday morning cartoon wasn’t? The point remains, though; the Transformers were the stars of the show. However, with Hollywood in charge, Optimus Prime had a handful of lines and camera time, but every other Transformer in the film was blessed with but a few throwaway lines to establish some kind of ‘personality’ to them (or to blatantly try and appeal to the fans who bought the toys when they were 10 – ooh, look, Jazz used the word ‘cool’ in one of his two lines. HOW AWESOME!).
Don’t even get me started on what a waste Hugo Weaving was on the limp lines poor old Megatron was dealt.
Okay, okay. Yes, we need human faces to sell the movie, especially if it’s taking place on Earth. But when I sit through two hours of movie, waiting to see Optimus Prime and Megatron finally go toe-to-toe, what I DO NOT WANT is for the camera to pan away from the most awesomely epic piece of giant robot cage fighting ever so we can see special-ops dude steal a motorcycle. Wow. Good call, Michael Bay.
I don’t consider the following to be a spoiler, because you had to expect some casualties… What’s the bloody point of having one of the Autobots capped by Megs (after an invigorating 2 seconds of camera time), only to then script Op making a ‘farewell, brother’ speech? We barely knew the character, so how the hell am I, the viewer, encouraged to give a damn? If this had been a flesh and blood character, you can guarandamntee a different sequence of events.
Feh. In summary – the Transformers movie was NOT ABOUT THE TRANSFORMERS. It was a decent action film, but its central characters were far from central to the plot.
Cranky old toy fan,
(No music today. The skies are far too dark.)