Transformers is a fast, frantic, and fun live action adaption of the beloved Transformers franchise that finally makes its way to Blu-ray in a two-disc collectors edition. Is it worth buying if you have other versions? Was Michael Bay right about Blu-ray being superior? Read on to find out.
For those living under a rock, Michael Bay, acclaimed (and sometimes derided) director of box office smashes The Rock, Armageddon, and Bad Boys was tagged to direct the live action version of Transformers. Fan outcry on the Internet was instantly and hysterically negative; everyone had an opinion and everyone generally thought Bay would destroy their beloved franchise. As news started to leak and the movie was revealed people realized that Bay was as passionate as they were and took great care to bring the Transformers to life in a way that had never been seen before.
The movie opens incredibly strong with a look at one faction of our human heroes, the US special ops force headed up by Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Tech Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson). As they are returning to base from their last mission (of course) the base is attacked by a helicopter that transforms into a giant robot — the Decepticon Blackout. Blackout is on a mission to steal data looking at a group called Sector 7 and the location of their leader, Megaton.
The movie then switches focus to our unlikely hero, a young man named Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who is desperately trying to buy a car in the misguided notion that it will lead to girls. In order to build a car fund he puts a number of items on eBay belonging to his great-great-grandfather who was an Antarctic explorer. Having succeeded at his father's challenge, they head to a used car dealership to buy his first car. The dealership is run by the late, great Bernie Mac who, in a brief appearance, steals the scene. The Autobot Bumblebee, disguised as a beat-up classic Camaro, manages to get purchased by Sam and his father (Kevin Dunn).
This is the start of a huge adventure for Sam. First Bumblebee helps him give his love interest Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) a ride home and then Bumblebee ends up fighting off the Decepticon Barricade. Barricade, along with the other Decepticons and the Autobots, wants to recover the glasses Sam is trying to sell on eBay that belonged to his great-great-grandfather. The glasses have etched into them the location of the Allspark and Megatron's resting place. The Allspark is a source of great power for the Transformers and could be used for great evil if the Decepticons were to find it.
Over the course of the film the Autobots must battle against superior forces with the help of their human allies including Sam, Mikaela, Cpt. Lennox, Sgt Epps and some armed forces personnel. The Autobots are willing to sacrifice themselves in order to keep the Allspark away from the Decepticons. It is a fun, action-filled adventure that kept me entertained from start to finish with its great sense of humor, amazing effects, and obvious fan service paid out to all the viewers.
It's not to say that the movie is perfect, not by a long shot, but Michael Bay isn't an Academy Award winning director, he is an action movie director and he delivers the goods. There are some issues with the film that hold it back from true greatness. First is the huge cast of unnecessary human characters. The head of the analysts, the amazingly attractive Maggie Madsen (Rachel Taylor), seems to be in the movie simply to add another pretty face. Sector 7 honcho Agent Simmons (John Turturro) does add some definite charm to the movie, but ultimately seems added in for no reason. Michael Bay over-complicates the cast and it adds some confusion to the happenings, and detracts from the actual Transformers.