- Michael Bay
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Monday, July 30, 2007
An evil robotic clan, the Decepticons, come to Earth in search of a lost source of power that their leader Megatron (voice of Hugo Weaving) failed to secure, leaving mayhem wherever they appear and turning the Pentagon, led by Defense Secretary John Keller (Jon Voight) into a frenzy. Meanwhile a young lad, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), gets a new car courtesy of his father Ron (Kevin Dunn) and ends up realizing itís alive, going by the name of Bumblebee (voice of Mark Ryan) and part of the Autobots who are here to protect the human race, eventually joined by their leader Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen).
Michael Bay directed from a script by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, based on a story by themselves and John Rogers. The movie has Steven Spielberg as an executive producer, something that was predominately, and understandably, present in the effective marketing push that it was given. Bay is not a surprising choice for the material, he is used to blow things up and go over-the-top when it comes to action and special effects. The blend of material and director seemed inspired, and Iíve got to admit that he almost made a great summer movie.
When I use the word almost I am referring to some of the stuff that didnít come off as good as it could. We knew right away that Bay was going to make a splashy movie, but Iíve never felt so numb after watching a movie before; this is arguably one the noisiest movies ever made. This becomes pretty clear during the long climax fight which is a bit too much for its own good. It couldíve been shorter and more effective, but spectacle got in the way. And yes, the way the movieís structured is a mess and some plot points are idiotic, but I didnít care at all about that; I was constantly entertained and happy to be going around the world to see what was happening with each main character.
The most effective storyline, by far, is that of Sam. How he gets the car, how he tries to impress a girl, Mikaela (Megan Fox), with it, how he discovers the truth, the way he handles his parents, and his eventual role as a hero of sorts. Every other storyline involves people preoccupied about whatís going on and trying to find a solution, but still, Bay knows how to bring excitement to every scene, whether by employing dramatic camera movements or by making the most out of a pounding soundtrack.
One thing I never expected the movie to be is funny. And it is. Very. There are continuous gags and humorous moments throughout the entire thing, something that mixes quite well with all the over-the-top action going on. It keeps the experience pleasant.
When it comes to special effects the work is simply jaw-dropping. Lots of work must have gone in bringing these creatures to life and it is an amazing sight from start to finish. On the other hand, I hated Mitchell Amundsenís photography; not as much the camera movements as the lightning and color palette. It looks cheap. The editing, especially at the end, doesnít help; way too frantic. Steve Jablonskyís score certainly does as is required.
Acting-wise the only two characters with prominent screen time are Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. They are both perfectly cast; he a dorky yet accessible kind of guy, she an unbelievably sexy popular girl. Their scenes are amongst the best the movie has to offer. Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson also appear to much hoopla, but they leave no mark. Anthony Anderson, John Turturro, Bernie Mac, Kevin Dunn and especially Julie White (as Samís mother) are all a hoot. Jon Voight fills his role as necessary. And the voice work is quite good, with Peter Cullen reprising the work he did in the TV series.
ďWe are here. We are waiting.Ē
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