Saturday, August 18, 2007

Transform (and have a rolling good time).

I finally watched Transformer and if I have to describe it in a word, it will be satisfying. Not great, not even good, just satisfying.

In a nutshell, the Transformers, both good and evil are on earth, searching for the All-Spark, a mighty artifact of unknown origin from their planet Cybertron that crashed landed here on earth. Of course the origin is unknown. The filmmaker couldn't possibly find enough time to tell everything. Beside, it would means that they have to figure it out too. Back to the movie, the good Autobots, wanted it to rebuild their planet, which is ravaged by the long war between the two factions. The evil Decepticon, on the other hand, wished to use it to create an army to take over the world. The cube shaped thingy was featured in the animated series as well, although they are known as energon and are the source of energy for the Transformers. The Autobots don't seems to need them though as they never try to collect any.

Bumblebee, who was the heart of the team in the original Transformer animated series was chosen as the star Transformer in the film. Good choice here and though fans wondered about the change in Bumblebee (he was a VW Beetle originally and a sporty Camaro in the movie), it didn't take long before we love the new version. Beside, in one scene, he single-handedly took out the Decepticon's Barricade, something we will probably have a problem accepting if he was the kind-hearted mild mannered Beetle that he was. Easily the most likable robot in the whole of the movie (made us all want a Bumblebee), we were expected to feel really sad, maybe even shed a tears, when he was captured by the humans. We can see he is in pain but it was also obvious he is not really fighting back hard because he does not wants to hurt them. How touching but why is it I felt... nothing?

Seems as hard as he tried, Michael Bay is still not the heart type of director he aspired to be. But then again, I did not come to watch this movie to cry my heart out. I am in it for the action and the robot and the mayhem etc. On that matter at least , Bay delivered. From earlier on, Bay showed us how superior a Transformer is to even our most advanced technology when the Decepticon's Blackout, in guise of a combat helicopter effectively and easily wiped out an army base. The tricky part here is that we must remember that although each Transformer is able to take the form of an earthly automotive, they are not made out of the same material as the automotive itself but presumably of their own harder substance that cannot be found on earth. For instance, an Autobot who tranformed into a Proton Saga will still emerged unscathed in a collision with say, a Hummer. Therefore we may questioned on why the Autobots all chose to disguise as street vehicle when the Decepticon took the more combat ready form of war vehicles but in the end, it doesn't really matter because in their robots' form, it all boiled down to who is tougher and better skilled.

Having said that, I thought Starscream was the most combat-effective of all the Transformer featured in this film, rapidly changing his mode of attack as he switched from vehicle mode to robot mode and back. He also appeared to be the only one who can maintained his flight as a robot. Megatron who was a handgun in the original Transformer was given a major upgrade in the film. As an alien's fighter plane, he was the strongest of them all. I recalled in the the cartoon I watched as a kid that he was never stronger than Optimus Prime although he undeniably has greater firepower. Here, he totally overwhelmed Prime and at one time, transformed both his arm into a powerful cannon he used to blasted Prime. I thought that was a pretty clever referrence to the original Megatron. Prime too showed a darker side when he earlier transformed his arm into a blade he used to destroyed a Decepticon. It happened quite fast. I think he either decapitated his enemy of sliced his throat. That was the first mortality before we saw Megatron tore the Autobot's Jazz in two. Nobody ever get mortally wounded or fatally killed in the original cartoon series.

We however, have to accept a few suspension of the physics law if we were to enjoy the movie. In the scene where the Autobots are hiding from the humans, we saw them swinging and jumping around (like monkeys do) the support of a bridge without dealing any damage to it. And I lost count of how many times Sam fell but was caught by an Autobot without suffering any injury whatsoever. The Autobots know Tai Chi?

The robots, both the Autobots and Decepticons but especially the Decepticon was not given enough screen time that it was difficult to tell them apart sometimes, except for Prime and Bumblebee that truly stand out. Fans who want to know the robot better may be disappointed by this but it helps in the development of the story which I must say cleverly involved the human protagonist, Sam from the beginning to give both side of the Transformers reason to seek him out. It still, however, has more holes than any cheese you will find in Ratatouille. The ending was quite unexpected for me, though I was probably expecting Prime to die due to what happened in the animated movie.

All in all, we have a Transformer that is edgier than what we used to watched. The camera angle and special effect is engaging. The robots do not appeared geeky when they were transforming (and in fact they transformed a lot in the middle of an action). The babe in the movie is really hot. What is there not to like about the movie? Satisfying indeed.

Question:

Why don't all Transformer take the same form that Megatron took, seeing how strong and powerful that form is?
There is a giant robot scorpion. What on earth did that Decepticon scanned on exactly?
Why do all the new robots created from the energy of the All-Spark so hostile?
Bumblebee became Sam's new best friend. He make out with his new girlfriend on top of Bumblebee. Eeewwww.
Hey, Starscream is still alive and well at the end of the movie.
Many more stoopid questions I can't recall at the moment.

4 comments:

Life as I see it... said...

hhhmmm....

Such analytical mind u hv, my fien...

Never knew those were the thots going thru ur mind at the movie...

Or...

U went home...sleep on it...
think abt it thru & thru 4 a couple days...

then wrote this reveiw...

hehe..... ;p

Kee Lin said...

I didn't went home and sleep on it, just went home and sleep :-)

Nope, all those thought just came to me as one scene flashed past another.

Life as I see it... said...

ooohhh....scary....

scene after scene flashed past u, my fien?

anyway...no, u didnt went home & sleep...

u had 2 finish your report, remember?
hahahaha........

Kee Lin said...

you have the nerve to remind me. I slept at 2.30 am that day after the report.
but I guess I just couldn't miss watching that on the big silver screen.