Film Complaint: Transformers

— by Caroline on Crack

I had to see Transformers. I owed it to my inner child, the one who is still and will always be fascinated with bright, shiny transforming aliens. And I knew that if I really wanted to see the Autobots and Decepticons slugfest I had to endure Michael Bay’s inane directing as well as the masses of opening day chair-kicking, whooping-in-the-aisles, yelling-at-the-screen movie-goers.

But damn, I hate Michael Bay. He is everything that is wrong with modern filmmaking. Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island were all his and those are just the ones he directed. Forget about the trash he produced. Is he getting worse or is it just me?

OK, so his usual over-top-explosions were surprisingly reined in here but one-dimensional characters, thin story lines and jumpcuts galore made for a hollow movie-going experience. Yes, it’s a summer blockbuster so all that is to be expected and since I knew what I was getting into I was able to (sorta) put down my mantle of good taste and my hatred for Bay and just focus on the task at hand: enjoying a

Transformers movie.

Those robots are neato and oh-so shiny. And I love that they were able to get the original guy, Peter Cullen, to do the voice of Optimus Prime again. It really helps to complete the whole childhood-revisited stuff.

Of course some things still bugged me and couldn’t be shook. I hated the fact that every single good guy car, with the exception of the semi of course, had to be a GM product. OK, Bumblebee is now a Camaro instead of a VW Bug, but Jazz as a Pontiac Solstice instead of a Porsche 935 Turbo? What kind of sacrilege is that? I know, not everyone will notice those kinds of things but as a semi car geek it bugged me.

The Autobots were colorful and familiar because of this and the Decepticons were gray and alien so I guess it serves that purpose.

Along the same lines, I know about suspension of disbelief especially when talking about this type of movie, but I just couldn’t get past the point that the two hot girls in the film were supposed to be super geniuses. One was a computer hacker working with the Secretary of Defense and the other, a too-hot-for-high-school super hottie, knew her way around an engine, claiming to be able to fix cars. H’yeah right. If you’re that smart, you wouldn’t care about wearing just the right eye makeup or short-short skirt. Believe me, I know. Heh.

But nitpicking aside, I laughed, rooted for the good guys, and ooh and aahed at the pretty pictures. I want my own Bumblebee! (That cute Bee-otch air freshener can be found here.) And how cool is that to have the Autobots as your friends and backup?

So, yeah, I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it if you can allow yourself to park your Merchant Ivory inclinations at the door and just enjoy an all-American over-the-top blockbuster. You shouldn’t feel too dirty after you leave the theater but you might find yourself possessed with an inexplicable desire to own a Transformers toy.