Rating: 3 of 5
Transformers is so much fun! I love Michael Bay and everything he can do visually. Actually liked the story and really enjoyed the characters.
It’s no secret that I like Michael Bay so I’m glad this ended up being a lot better than The Island. I was watching it and kept thinking how much you can tell that Bay learned to make movies from Jerry Bruckheimer. Which is sort of obvious since they made 5 films together and Jerry kind of gave Michael his career. And it’s true that Bay has a very distinctive visual style that is all his own. But you didn’t really see Jerry’s influence in The Island (which is the only other non-Bruckheimer film Bay’s directed). You see it in this. It’s in the score and the moments that are sort of still, marveling at their own spectacular-ness, the grandiosity set against the normal everyday humanity. I think it’s very cool to see Bruckheimer’s influence in Bay films, and incredibly smart of him to utilize what he’s learned from working with Bruckheimer so much.
The actual Transformers were so cool and so slick. Yes, their dialog was a little stilted and cheesy, but that’s just the way Transformers talk. I liked that the plot had some depth and nice continuity. As outlandish as it was, they made it plausible which was good. And this is probably the best Michael Bay film as far as developing characters and getting good performances from the actors and drawing out emotional connections. Granted, one of the strongest emotional connections is a guy and his car, but it works.
I loved Shia LaBouf! Of course I generally do, so that’s not shocking. This was the sort of role he’s been practicing and building toward as the side kicks in Constantine and I, Robot. This time his ‘side kick guy who can’t quite get it together’ gets thrown into the midst of the action and gets a serious hero moment of his own. It’s an everyman hero like Jason Bourne. very cool. And Shia is fantastic at it. The thing that really makes it believable and inspiring is when he asks her if in 50 years she’s going to look back and wonder what would have happened if she’d gotten in the car.
Loved Josh Duhamel also. He really didn’t have too much to do, which is too bad. The things he did get to do, though, he was really good at. He plays the heroic military leader badass really well. And of course he also got his hero moment, and deservedly so.
I liked Megan Fox. She wasn’t an annoying little girl actress as they sometimes are. She was tough and cool and subtle.
Which reminds me, I think Michael Bay is more subtle in this film, if that’s a thing you can say about Michael Bay. Normally he uses his classic breathtaking shots, but this time there wasn’t really any of that. Visually he still had some really strong shots, but they sort of just folded into a visually strong movie. Which it totally was.
Oh, and love the Linkin Park song. I sort of want a yellow Camero now, that protects me and transforms into a giant robot. Because how cool is that?