Saturday, 21 July 2007

Transformers The Movie

From the outset I want to make it clear I never grew up with Transformers so it has nil nostalgia points for me.

This overlong toy and car commercial (with self-indulgent nods to Short Circuit, E.T. and Gremlins with Spielberg as producer) was simultaneously stupid and fun, with a healthy injection of hilarious one-liners, questionable stereotyping and misogyny that works well with a kiddy-niave, adolescent-numbed and man-child nostalgic crowd. Yes, I found the film utterly juvenile – the simpleton asinine plot with Grand Canyon sized plot-holes; the gratuitous display of American military hardware as a substitute for machismo penis insecurity; ridiculously hot girls in tiny skirts who happen to have IQs and sass that exceeds any male yet miraculously submits or clings onto them slavishly like dumb blondes; the deliberate pandering to the lowest geek denominator of how one of them can “heroically save the whole world AND universe AND get the hot girl” BS simplicity which I detest. …and just the whole “concept” of transforming cybernetic organisms from outta space that happen to display human foibles YET it’s us humans (uhm naturally Americans) who teaches these advanced cyber-organisms virtue and nobility (the arrogance of it all). But that is PRECISELY what gets the punters into cinemas and it’s a no-brainer that this movie will be ka-chinging throughout the summer and beyond with all the tie-in products.

On the plus side, the CGI action sequences of the robots were simply top notch (the best of which was the slow-mo crashing through a cross-section of an office skyscraper by the feuding and tangled mass of Optimus Prime and Megatron) but even that was too fast for the eye to assimilate at times. John Turturro (one of my favourite actors) was hilarious as a super serious secret government agent and the other major pleasant surprise was Shia LaBoeuf, who displayed a rare combination of great comic talent, geekyness and leading man credentials all rolled into one and successfully carrying all of it with aplomb.

And of course the eye-scorching candy that is Megan Fox (I can’t help it – I have Y-chromosomes okay?) and the only reason I went to see the film. I really didn’t give a shit about the robots back then as well as now it would seem.

Other than that, that was it. Just another requisite-loud-super-sized-popcorn-Hollywood-by-numbers summer blockbuster that we are all entitled to. I am hoping the jaundiced inhabitants of Springfield will be an improvement. Doh!

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