The first live-action film based on the enduringly popular
"robots in disguise", Transformers features
the ultimate battle between good and evil, as the peace-loving
Autobots seek to protect humanity from the evil forces of
was a little too old to be playing with Transformers
toys when they were originally released, I'd just started
to get interested in girls, but I do remember being fairly
impressed at what a novel concept it was having a robot and
a vehicle in one toy. So,
I pretty much came at this movie knowing very little about
the Transformers mythology. Sure I've read a few comic
books and seen some of the Transformers animated episodes
and movies, but I'm no expert on the universe in the same
way as those who grew up on the toys.
is the first time that Hasbro's toy range has been transformed
into a live action movie and this film
has got something for everyone. There's cool CGI robot
battles, loads of comedy and a good solid plot.
movie starts on present day Earth. A group of evil Decepticons
(Barricade, Blackout, Bonecrusher, Devastator, Frenzy, Scorponok,
Starscream and Scorponok have landed on Earth in a bid to
track down their leader, Megatron, who went missing on Earth
after searching for the All Spark. They infiltrate the US
military base in Qatar in a bid to find out where Megatron
is. After Blackout and Scorponok fail to find the information
they need, Frenzy hacks into the server on Air Force One
to access the military database. Before his connection is
terminated, Frenzy discovers that a map to Megatron's location
is imprinted on a now dead explorer's glasses. This man's
grandson, Sam Witwicky, is currently auctioning off these
glasses on eBay. Meanwhile Autobot Bumblebee is also on Earth.
And fate intervenes when Sam goes looking to buy his first
car. Bumblebee is disguised as a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro, and
makes sure that Sam buys him. Soon other Autobots Optimus
Prime, Ironhide, Jazz and Ratchet arrive on Earth in order
to stop the All Spark falling into the hands of the Decepticons.
thought, after Jurassic Park, my days of being impressed
by CGI was over - I mean, how can you top Jurassic Park?
But, I was so wrong. I haven't sat and watched a movie, with
my finger hovering over the rewind button in ages, but here
I was constantly rewatching scenes just trying to get my head
around how on earth the effects were accomplished and making
sure I soaked up every single detail.
this DVD release is available as a single or double disc package,
we only received the single disc for review, so we can't comment
on the content of the second disc. The single disc includes
an interesting audio commentary with director Michael
Bay as well as the original teaser trailer and
a trailer for Iron Man. I don't know how I found the
two trailers though. They are not listed on the menus and
I only found them by accidentally hitting the next chapter
button on my DVD remote control at the end of the movie.
commentary reveals many insights into the making of the movie.
He admits to not really knowing much about Transformers before
being asked to make the movie - and even went to Hasbro's
"Transformers School" in order to get up
to speed on the franchise. He also reveals that the art server
had 39,000 attempted hacks in January 2006 - such was the
interested in getting a first look at the production designs.
He admits that his laptop, with an early copy of the script,
did get hacked and leaked onto the Internet. And he reveals
that he appears on screen briefly as the guy that Megatron
flicks out of the way.
on the whole, this movie is pretty enjoyable, I did have a
few issues. Firstly it's one big ad for Hasbro (they even
get a Furby truck into one scene) and eBay, and secondly it's
perhaps a little too long for the younger audience. In the
end the last third probably has a few too many robot battle
scenes (I can't believe I'm saying that - you can never have
too many cool CGI fight sequences).
also thought that Bumblebee's transformation, from the beaten
up car to a more modern concept car, was badly handled. Bumblebee
is in a tunnel and drives away from our heroes. He passes
the car he turns into, and then rolls up in front of the heroes
- where he left them. However, the scene as edited makes it
look as though Bumblebee has transferred his robotic self
into the car he is copying erasing the driver from existence
in the process. There's an all important shot missing where
we should see Bumblebee turn around and head back the way
states in his commentary that he wanted to make a movie that
would be remembered by children in much the same way as he,
and my generation, remember Raiders of the Lost Ark
and E.T. On that score alone he has probably succeeded.
I'm sure that a generation of young kids will grow up fondly
remembering Transformers as one of the coolest movies
of their childhood.