Autobots, roll out!

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 If you’ve read any negative or neutral reviews on Transformers the movie, just put them out of your mind okay? They’re probably written by weirdoes who can’t recognise a good movie when it’s staring smack in their face. Or arthouse snobs who demand some intellectual stimulation when nobody else cares for it.

Transformers is the best live-action movie in years, hands down. Not only because it remains faithful to the spirit of the original series that millions of children worshipped, it takes the best of all of Michael Bay’s action movies and uses the most eye-popping CGI visuals ever made.

In fact, it sets a new benchmark for comic/cartoon to movie translations. Spider-Man 3 had begun to lose steam, FF4 I didn’t even bother to watch, and this is just going to unleash the likes of GI Joe, Ring Raiders and all the other ’80s cartoons on the screen.

The only thing missing from the movie? The original voice of Starscream – Chris Latta. In fact, Starscream has been relegated to a rather minor role in this movie…no space for his usual treachery, the movie runs 143 min long and is already bursting with too many details. I didn’t really miss Frank Welker who voiced Megatron, since Hugo Weaving’s voice does just fine in the newer, fiercer incarnation of Megatron.

So why should you watch Transformers?

1. Optimus Prime (aka Peter Cullen)

Little hearts broke everywhere when Prime died in the 1986 movie (no thanks to the idiot Hot Rod, who never impressed as Rodimus Prime). That really ended the entire series as we knew it, and Transformers started to falter after Prime’s death. Seeing Prime revived (for the umpteenth time actually), but on the big screen, brings back a big grin because he just so damned straightlaced. This is the guy you can always depend on to make the right decision even when all the Autobots are falling apart from rust.

2. Lots of explosions

Some reviewers complain that there are too many explosions. My dear reviewers – you can NEVER have too many explosions. This is a show about robots blowing everything else up, you think things should just go up in a pink puff of smoke?  

3. Excellent pacing

Nobody does the “four major subplots are going on at one go before the whole world explodes” better than Michael Bay. The show often skips between scenes with Bumblebee/Sam (shouldn’t it be Spike?), the US Marines special forces, Jon Voight as the DefSec, and the Decepticon hijinks with absolute ease. At no point do you feel that a scene shouldn’t have been edited or has disrupted the flow of the film. That, my friends, is great film-making, because the 143 min doesn’t seem half as long.

4. The peak of CGI work

When I saw Silver Surfer in the FF4 posters, I thought: “Hey, looks like T2′ from 1992”. Yes, it’s been that long. But Transformers achieves a staggering new high in computer imagery. Yes, I agree the characters are overly organic and there are too many transformation steps. But heck, it looks great and I’d bet it’s Steven Spielberg who’s responsible for making sure the ILM folks pushed the envelope over the edge. I just wish they had done Jazz better though….

5. The hope of a new movie franchise

As Starscream flies off into space during the end credits, you just know there’s gonna be Galvatron, Rodimus, Cyclonus and perhaps Unicron (yay! the REAL PLANET EATER) getting prepped for the next movie. We’ve waited 21 years for this movie, and we can wait a bit longer for Transformers II. Just no Beast Wars please.

4 Replies to “Autobots, roll out!”

  1. Good movies, yes. But of course, true American imperialism and commercialism rules the roost. The show MUST conveniently be sponsored by Chrysler. What’s wrong with the new VW Beetle? Wasn’t Bumblebee a Beetle?

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