Transformers is the first live action adaptation of the popular and iconic Transformer characters, centred on the struggle for dominance between the sentient, autonomous Autobots and Decepticons alien robots who arrive on Earth in search of a source of great power, the film stars Shia Labeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson.
Michael Bay is in his element in Transformers, the first of his Transformers films and it works as a fairly formulaic foundation for the films to come, as a Bay blockbuster, exposition comes fast and in condensed form, characters are set up quickly and there’s a fair share of juvenile humour to appeal to a broad audience. And despite these things that mostly make for annoyances, they work well with the film to create an entertaining and engaging thrill ride.
The film is cast well and Shia love him or hate him, is enthusiastic and fulfills the role he’s supposed to as Sam Witwicky, as does Megan Fox as Mikaela Banes, clearly used as eye candy by Bay, Fox also has her decent moments of her own but in the end the film doesn’t hinge on its human characters, though Sam is important for the story. The transformers themselves are the spice of the film and each have their own personalities from the rule abiding short tempered Ironhide to the fun loving Jazz to the stoic leader Optimus Prime.
While the Decepticons equally have their own personalities but are notably less distinct and sort of blend into the background aside from Star scream and Megatron. Optimus Prime and Megatrons relationship is an interesting one, vastly contrasting characters and leaders of their own factions, their fight scenes are also some of the better ones in the film, with two long time rivals going at it.
The effects in the film are great though and watching the Transformers battle each other and importantly – transform makes for some pretty great spectacle. And the action also reflects how good the visuals are (for the time at least), Autobots and Decepticons transforming mid fight and going through all sorts of variations made for some fun set pieces. Another good thing is the way the action is shot, we can actually see what’s going on for the most part as giant robots with dozens of moving parts duke it out, with Bays later Transformers film action getting a bit muddled, action is varied, frenetic and subject to change as the characters can transform mid fight and so on.
The plot is fun and engaging but ultimately a tad generic and predictable, you can see things coming a mile off and it’s far from a ground breaking action film but it’s still fun and has some good spectacle, this isn’t a film you watch for the human characters or stories but for the giant transforming robots and for what it’s worth, they make a decent outing.
. Has some great visuals
. Well done action scenes, set pieces
. Formulaic plot