In the mid-1980s, young children and teenagers were captivated by the adventures of the “Transformers.” These inter-galactic robots from that transform into various modes of transportation and weapons were led by the noble Optimus Prime and his heroic Autobots. They are opposed by the evil Decepticons, which are led by Megatron. After two decades, the film roars onto the big screen as the one summer blockbuster that truly delivers.
Michael Bay – who has gained quite a reputation as an action-adventure director with films such as “Bad Boys,” “Armageddon,” “The Rock” and “Pearl Harbor” – is the perfect choice for this story. Composed of three stories, the primary one consists of a teenage boy, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), who discovers something very peculiar about his first car. Along for the ride is a young rebellious cutie, Mikaela (Megan Fox), who teams with Sam to avert the annihilation of the human race.
Meanwhile in some unnamed Middle East post, a mysterious helicopter transforms and begins to destroy U.S. troops. A small group of survivors, led by Sergeant Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and USAF Tech Sergeant Epps (Tyrese Gibson), fight off the pesky Decepticon. Back in Washington, Secretary of Defense John Keller (Jon Voight) assembles a team to find out the identity of these “strange” beings.
Both the Autobots and Decepticons are displaced beings looking for a common object, an Energy Cube. While the Autobots seek the object to re-ignite their dead planet, the Decepticons want to use the device to become all powerful and take over the universe. Once the cube has been discovered, all-out war takes place on Earth – and there is nothing humans can do to stop it.
After a slow start to set up the story, Bay does what he does best, infusing the film with brilliant state-of-the-arts special effects and non-stop action. The transformations are visually stunning and create the first jaw-dropping moment in any film this year. It is clear that although there was a desire to make this live action story earlier, the technology simply didn’t exist to authentically create the effects.
Featuring the voice of the original Optimus Prime, John Cullen returns to give his hero an almost Shakespearean presence. While the story has enough holes to drive a small car through, this film isn’t about the actors, it about those awesome robots and their special effects. Whether transforming in mid-air, in slow-motion or simply standing still, they provide the year’s most unique effects. Not since the Wachowski Brother created “Bullet Time” in The Matrix has an on-screen effect been as dramatic. For fans of the series, this story will thrill and delight. But for many, such as myself, who were unfamiliar with this story, the “Transformers” proves to be more than meets the eye.