run time: 144 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
director: Michael Bay
starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Rachel Taylor, Anthony Anderson, Jon Voight, John Turturro, Michael O’Neill, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Amaury Nolasco, Zack Ward, Travis Van Winkle
movie summary: In a quiet suburban neighborhood lives Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), a clumsy guy who wants nothing more in life than to date the beautiful Mikaela Barnes (Megan Fox), even though he has no chance in the world to even talk to her. When his dad Ron (Kevin Dunn) agrees to buy him a car his life is about to get turned upside down. Sam’s new car, an old beat up Chevy Camaro, happens to transform into an alien robot. His name is Bubblebee and he’s part of the Autobots, a group of Transformers who are looking for something on earth to save it from getting destroyed.
Somewhere in the middle east an American military base is blown up by a Decepticon named Blackout. There are only a handful of survivors including Captain William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and USAF Tech Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson). Back in Washington, D.C. the Defense Secretary John Keller (Jon Voight) is busy trying to figure out what exactly attacked the base and if there are any survivors. His tech guys are busy trying to crack the sound the creature made while it was in engaged in combat. He employs a group of highly skilled computer wiz kids from high school, Maggie (Rachael Taylor) is by far one of the brightest kids working on the project and she’s able to crack the code just as Air Force is being hijacked in the skies. After a total defence system shut down Maggie and Secretary Keller realize the Decepticon was after some top-secret information regarding Sector 7 and a project called “Iceman” that involved Sam’s great-grandfather.
Sam’s Camaro steals itself one night to go and signal the rest of the Autobots to come to earth. Sam freaks out and reports his car stolen only to have Decepticon Barricade show up and try to extract information from him. Mikaela sees Sam acting all crazy and follows him on her scooter to make sure he’s ok. Bubblebee transforms into his gigantic robotic form and Barricade transforms and the two robots battle it in front of a shocked Sam and Mikaela. Barricade suffers a defeat before escaping when alien pods come crashing down onto planet earth. The aliens quickly blend in by transforming into various vehicles led by a blue and red mac truck called Optimus Prime. He is the leader of the Autobots who speaks to Sam and Mikaela about the dangers of the Decepticons and why they are here on earth. Optimus explains the Autobots need Sam’s grandfather’s glasses because they hold the key to earth’s survival, inside the lenses is a map of where the All Spark is. This magical cube controls the creation of planets and transformers, if it was to fall into the wrong hands it could spell disaster for humans and earth. They bring Sam back to his house to find the glasses but they are gone.
Police cars and armoured trucks roll to Sam’s house where the leader of Sector 7 Agent Simmons (John Turturro) arrests everyone for contacting aliens. En route to Sector 7 headquarters the Autobots destroy the police convey to break Sam and Mikaela out. Simmons calls in reinforcements who kidnap Bumblebee and begin to put him in a deep freeze. Sam fights until the bitter end to prevent his best friend from being put to sleep but is arrested and taken away. Optimus stands in shadows watching the events unfold to avoid capture himself, he rounds up the other Autobots Jazz, Ironhide, and Rachet and follow the Sector 7 agents to the Hoover Dam in Colorado. There Sam and Mikaela meet the head of Sector 7 Tom Banacheck (Michael O’Neill) who is about to show them one of the world’s largest kept secrets.
Inside the dam Sam and Mikaela meet Defense Secretary Keller, Maggie, her hacker friend Glen (Anthony Anderson), Lennox, and Epps. They are taken to a hangar with a completely frozen robotic alien hangs, Simmons begins to explain the details of the robot when Sam interrupts and explains that frozen alien is Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, and that he came to earth looking for the cube. Banacheck is shocked at Sam’s knowledge so they led him into another room where this gigantic cube jets out of the bedrock, it is glowing with electricity. Sam explains that they need to get the cube out of the dam before Megatron wakes up and the Decepticons find it. Sam is able to free Bumblebee who touches the cube and it transforms into a much smaller cube that fits in the palm of his hand. Lennox takes control of the situation to instruct Bumblebee and a group of his men led Sam out of the dam and into Mission City where they can hide the cube from Megatron until they come up with a better plan. On the way out of the dam, a Decepticon has hacked into the system to unfreeze Megatron and bring him back to life. The Autobots show up to lead the crusade to the city while the Decepticons begin to destroy the dam looking for the Cube.
Once Megatron realizes the cube is gone and the Autobots are protecting it, he instructs his army to attack the city, spare no life, and get control of the cube at all costs. Sam and Optimus must work together to do whatever they can to prevent the cube from falling into the wrong hands that could lead to earth getting completely destroyed.
my thoughts: In 2008 a friend of mine brought over Transformers and we sat down to watch it, I didn’t remember much of the movie and was like that was kinda stupid. Then in 2010 a different friend let me borrow both Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I sat down and watch them back to back and had a blast. From that moment I have been hooked on Transformers and these movies now rank in my top five favourite franchises of all time. Most of you know I went to see Age of Extinction last week but instead of watching all these movies before the new release, I waited until this past weekend to sit down and relive how the franchise roared to life.
One of my favourite parts of the movie and storylines is how the Transformers have been a part of our history without us really knowing it. I love how director Michael Bay managed to incorporate Megatron into the Arctic expeditions and the Hoover Dam while forcing the government to spend the majority of the century covering up all traces of alien existence.
Optimus Prime is one of my favourite heroes, he is the most courageous of the Autobots and is willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the battle. He is smart, wise, and built to kick ass, even though the majority of this story focuses on Bumblebee and Sam. Things happen for a reason in life and Sam Witwicky was meant to be a part of history when the Autobots come to rescue planet earth. Bumblebee knew beforehand that Sam had the characteristics they needed for a leader on earth, so he put himself in a position to be discovered. This car would lead Sam to Mikaela and the pair would become a couple that risk their own lives to help their new robotic friends save the world.
Megatron is a pretty evil guy who doesn’t care who he destroys or kills to get what he wants. He suffers major damage through the battles but like all super villains manages to keep coming back for more. He has the never say die mentally that will keep him the villain for many more movies to come.
The supporting cast for the film brings a lot of comedic relief to a story about giant robotic aliens. John Turturro is the laughable leader of Sector 7 which doesn’t really exist, kinda like Men in Black, while Tyrese Gibson can’t believe anything that is happening around him and isn’t afraid to speak his mind about this crazy stuff. Josh Duhamel is a great leader of the military operations side of the story while Jon Voight always excels in powerful position roles like the Defense Secretary. Rachel Taylor and Anthony Anderson round out the group with their amazing computer skills and abilities to understand the unexplainable. Sam’s parents Kevin Dunn and Julie White are all over the place with their personalities but they are the parents everyone would love to have because of how fun they are.
The stars of this movie are Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. Shia’s character is unique in the fact that he is crazy, doesn’t make much sense, and has many moments where he acts like a girl. How he got cast into the role I will never know but after watching Mark Wahlberg in T4, I really question Shia’s ability to be a leader. Megan Fox on the hand is only in this movie for sex appeal which I will admit I didn’t mind. She’s a beautiful somewhat talented actress whose character makes the choice of her life that will change her destiny forever.
my final thoughts: Transformers was an amazing introduction to the Autobots, Decepticons, and the war that continues to rage on. The movie is filled with jokes, shoot outs, explosions, product placements, and things transforming, all Michael Bay trademarks. Be prepared for shaky cams, slow motion sequences, and unexplained occurrences. Everything manages to flow smoothly together making Transformers a great action movie to sit down and be entertained with.
my star rating: 9 out 10
imdb.com: 7.2 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 57% out 100%
rogerebert.com: 3 out 4