Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why Transformers is a Terrible Movie

What's this? I'm actually doing a movie review? Like the original purpose of my blog was supposed to be? You better believe it! But before I get started, I'd like to apologize to my friend Kevin Rey who will undoubtedly take this post as a personal attack and subsequently be offended. I'd also like to apologize to Kevin for suggesting that he is too sensitive to criticism in the previous sentence, when in fact he just doesn't know how to take a joke. I'd like to once again apologize to Kevin for stating that he cannot take a joke. He can take a joke so long as you apologize to him for it beforehand. I'm sorry. With that out of the way, let's begin the review!

Let's begin with the most obvious fact about this movie. Transformers is a special effects extravaganza and that's it. It doesn't pretend or even try to be anything more than this. So if you like that sort of thing, then good for you. I like to think of movies more as art than a shallow form of entertainment, but that's just me. But even as entertainment I think it fails, but perhaps I am not being fair. When I see a movie that's all glitz with no substance, then I am predisposed to dislike it and quickly become bored. Which is what happened when I was dragged to see this. But let's pretend for a second that my brain was rendered numb by the visuals to the point where I couldn't see the film's glaring shortcomings. It's still not the kind of film that would stand the test of time, because it's not really entertainment, but novelty. And eventually the novelty wears off, revealing the lack of story, interesting characters, strong dialogue, and everything else you normally associate with good, entertaining movies. Speaking of which, let's get into how this movie has no story, interesting characters, or strong dialogue.

I guess I am being a little harsh. This movie does have a story, it's just an incredibly silly one that barely makes any sense. Here's my summary of the plot to Transformers: A boy with a tiny penis buys a nice looking car which actually turns out to be a giant robot. They become best friends. His robot friend shows the boy with the tiny penis some of his other robo buddies. They all become friends. Some evil robots come to Earth to find some cube that does some shit. The good robots confront the evil robots. EXPLOSIONS!!!! The story is as bland as it is predictable. It's impossible to get involved with or care about what's going on because its so ridiculous and uninteresting. I am pretty sure Michael Bay took most of his inspiration from a monster truck rally he saw when he was five. Actually, that would explain a lot.

This paragraph is going to be all about the characters, so its going to be short. The main character lacks any personality beyond the fact that he's generic. Just as Bella Swan is a blank slate upon which prepubescent girls can project themselves, the boy with the tiny penis is a blank slate upon which prepubescent boys can project themselves. You hear that? Transformers is Twilight for guys! Need more proof? Megan Fox is in this movie. Megan Fox is an actress in the same way that Glenn Beck is a stand-up comedian, so she's pretty much just there for eye candy. Which is completely redundant in a movie about giant killer robots. Speaking of which, the robots are either one of two personality types: lawful good or chaotic evil, which as you may notice aren't personalities, but alignments. This is so that way the audience doesn't have to think about motivation or context for the characters. This movie really doesn't want you to think. There's also some other minor characters who only show up when they need to advance the plot. And by advance the plot I mean, get from robots not fighting to robots fighting.

Rather than go on about how terrible the dialogue is, I am just going to link you to the quotes page for Transformers at imdb. It's a fairly complete list of grievances.

In conclusion, this movie is shallower than a birdbath. It's the cinematic equivalent of a shiny object that attracts crows. And once you get bored of how glittery it is, then there's nothing left to do but toss it aside and forget about it. These kind of novelty films have really become a trend recently especially with the advent of 3D. Avatar suffers from similar problems (as I discussed in a earlier review which I am too lazy to provide the link for). I'll even admit that Star Wars (the original), isn't as great as I once thought it was. There I said it. A piece of my childhood just died, but I said it. When you ignore the lasers and explosions, it becomes apparent that the acting isn't all that great, the story isn't all that original, and there are more than a few silly bits. But even if you do strip away the special effects, at least the world is imaginative, the story is decent despite its lack of originality, and there's no shortage of memorable characters. An example of a movie that gets it right is Lord of the Rings. The special effects are impressive, but never to the point where characters or story take a back seat. Sure the Balrog looks great, but what I really take away from that scene is Gandalf's demise and how it affects the rest of the Fellowship. Gollum is amazing, but not because of how well they animated him, but of how engaging his character is. This conclusion is almost longer than the rest of the article, so I'll end it now the classiest way possible by saying that Transformers is a shit sandwich.

Bonus points to whoever can slander Michael Bay the best.


  1. Michael Bay makes Tommy Wiseau's skill almost measurable as more than 0 on a relative scale.