04 July 2007

My Selfish Review of "Transformers: The Movie"

Watching “Transformers” last Friday reminded me of the time I watched “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” during my movie marathon earlier this year. Both were movies based on children’s cartoons, but both cinema halls I was in were filled with ONLY adults, from the front row right to the back.

I’m not surprised though. Both cartoons were top-rated when “those” adults were still children. Hmm, I just loved the audience in last week’s show. They laughed spontaneously at the funny parts, they clapped at the cool parts. They even clapped after the corny speech by Optimus Prime at the end of the movie.. Such a sporting audience..

But let’s write more about the MOVIE..

OK, I appreciate Steven Spielberg's collaboration with Michael Bay in this one.. but many reviews are being too nice about the movie, and because I believe in check-and-balance, I’ll touch on what I think did NOT please me.

I wuz a bit frustrated that the Autobots & Decepticons did not transform into the original vehicles of the 80s. I mean, why make Optimus and the gang fly all the way from Mars to Earth when they should have been on Earth all this while DISGUISING AS VEHICLES?
That's the whole point of being “transformers”, right? And that's why we have those "robots in disguise" and "more than meets the eye" tag-lines in the first place, right?

[This comment also applies to the newer versions of the Transformers cartoon series. I only liked the original version of Transformers, where the robots can merely transform into vehicles, machines, weapons or devices.
I started losing interest in Transformers when they had the newer cartoon versions where the robots could transform into animals, dinosaurs and whole planets. I mean, does a “metal dinosaur” look like a disguise to you? Geesh…]

Talking about the original vehicles of the 80s, Optimus is NOT supposed to be “Rhino” (the awesome truck in “Mask”, another cartoon I loved watching). Optimus, to ME, is still that old, cheaper, red cube-shaped truck.. and this DOES make sense. If you were a robot in disguise, would you become an old-but-common truck (where people won’t give you a second glance) or a hot brand new truck (that everyone would be watching)?
Don’t they teach robots how to become undercover agents these days?

EVEN IF the producers were “FORCED” to advertise new vehicle models in the movie (I do understand how important product placement is for Hollywood), why not have the robots in their old-model vehicle disguises FIRST and then LATER ON change their disguises into the new-model vehicle disguises? GMC (General Motors) would be happy, and
more importantly, even I would be happy. After all, it’s evident that the robots can change their disguises (refer to the Bumblebee scene).

I was also wondering.. the robots took pains to hide from Sam’s parents but a battle in the CITY in front of thousands of people was ok?
And why did the parents have to lie to the reporters (during the ending credits) when a whole city already witnessed the robots? Err, what was the reason for bringing the All-Spark to the city anyway? I missed that point bcoz my mind was wandering off at some point during the movie.

Too much fire-power is not necessarily good either. It creates inconsistencies throughout the movie.
One moment, a tiny Nokia phone turning into a freak (worse than Rambo) could unleash hell. Another moment, a giant Megatron can’t even shoot a single bullet through Sam and instead gets defeated so easily. In my opinion, they should stick to the original version of the cartoon; limit the fire-power of all Autobots and Decepticons but instead focus on battle strategies. In other words, both sides don’t need to be firing so much ammunition, but have more battle tricks or something.. More brains, less bullets.

Anyway, overall, I was entertained and it made me feel like a child again, but I definitely don’t agree with the decision to bring in General Motors and spoil the disguises that were loyal to my mind.
As for the inconsistencies, oh well, it’s not supposed to be a logical story anyway, right? Hehehe…