Entertainment in Disguise
Popcorn fun. You know, that’s such an over-used term, but mainly because it is simply all too often applicable. Transformers is exactly that. Nothing more, nothing less. Though from the right generation, I was never much of a transformers fan, watching the cartoon casually from time to time when it was on. As such, I’m not viewing it from the perspective of a purist fan, but more as a fresh film.
The story? Such as it is, giant robots that have the ability to transform into everyday machines such as cars and helicopters, right down to CD players and mobile phones, have come to earth in search of a mysterious cube that will give otherwise inanimate metallic objects life in robotic form. There are two sides, obviously. The villains who want to destroy humans and create more evil robots, and the heroes, who want to stop the villains and save humans.
There’s enough plot going on to keep the viewer entertained on the whole, just don’t think about it too much. The pace never lets up, but neither is it so frenetic (at least to start with) as to become a mindless blur. The film takes enough time to give us a genuine character for the lead. There is a good dash of humour that is actually rather funny in places, without being too cringe worthy or stupid.
It really is a film to see at the cinema, or in high-def. It’s big, it’s engaging, and it’s fun. On the down side, that’s all it is, really. It has a few flaws. The transformations of the robots are so intricate, detailed, and over-the-top, that you never really feel that any robot is made up of the shapes that formed its disguise (for example, a car or lorry). The robots themselves are so detailed, made of so many intricate parts, that often they seem to lack specific form. As a result, when you see a blurry action scene, with a close up of two robots fighting, it really becomes just a meaningless splash of colour and texture.
Perhaps the biggest advantage Transformers has, is that while it will never win any awards for originality, plot, acting, you name it... Neither is there anything to actively dislike. It quite simply works as what it is. On the whole, it’s above average action and adventure fair, and for all its mindless fun, probably one of the better blockbusters this year. If you do see it, though, the big screen is the place for it.