Got tired of the dysfunctional Flixter Facebook app. Grading movies A-F. Only movies that I find interesting, but not necessarily high quality. Some blockbusters, some interesting rarities and oddities, and occasionally some turkeys.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Transformers (2007): “I Bought A Car. It turned out to be an Alien Robot. Who Knew?”

Café’ kid (looking at a crushed store): “Wow! This is the coolest thing I've ever seen! Explosions everywhere! This is easily a hundred times cooler than Armageddon... I swear to God!”

Cool CGI, ridiculous dialogue, stupid plot. The film starts with relationship between the young hero and his newly bought car. (Yes, his car.) The car turns out to be an intergalactic robot, in war with other intergalactic robots. Somehow the young hero’s old grandfather made a discovery and somehow some sort of geotag got etched on his grandfather’s spectacles (!) that he’s trying to sell on Ebay (first product placement).

The good and the bad robots fight to get the spectacles. The Universe is at stake. Robots throwing tanks like snowballs, beating the crap out of each other can’t fail, can it?

Secretary of Defense: “We are dealing with a highly effective weapons system, one that we have not come across before.” The movie can’t fail, can it?

Optimus Prime: “And the human race will be extinguished.” The movie can’t fail, can it?

Three things actually make the movie work: It has a decently structured plot, even though it’s stupid, with a decent cast of characters. And the movie never takes itself too seriously. With at quite clever Nokia-before-smartphones product placement.

Transformers is remarkably stupid, but it knows it’s stupid and simply doesn’t care, which is why the film is so much fun. Director Michael Bay shows his robots in perfect hero poses with blinding sunlight streaming over their shoulders, and robot Optimus Prime talks about loyalty, duty, and freedom like he’s just stepped off a recruitment poster.

Transformers absolutely revels in how completely loony this premise is, and is all the better for it. The movie is a great, noisy and explosive six-pack and popcorn action film, if you are in CGI-action mode.

Grade: B+

Advisory: Lots of stuff blown up. Robots cause mayhem everywhere they go. Hugo Weaving was paid handsomely to voice the villain Megatron

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