|Directed by:||Michael Bay|
|Written by:||Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman|
|Cast:||Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Rachael Taylor, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Jon Voight|
Disappointing. I'm a big fan of Michael Bay's previous movies. The Rock, Armageddon, The Island, Bad Boys I & II are all a lot of fun. Heck, I even liked Pearl Harbor. And the idea of bringing the Transformers to the big screen was I thought initially, a kickass idea. So needless to say, I was pretty pumped for this movie. It was without a doubt one of the movies this summer I was looking forward to most. And of coarse the fact that it starred Shai Lebouf who has been on a role and was wonderful earlier this year in the terrific thriller Disturbia and a talented supporting cast, this all the markings of a really cool, satisfying summer bockbluster. Alas, that is not the case. As it turns out, Transformers is a choppily directed, poorly written and unevenly acted mess.
The big problem with Transformers is the screenplay by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman and Michael Bay's direction. First and foremost is Bay's direction. I'm at a loss for words. I would have thought that Bay would be perfectly suited to direct this since he's usually great at directing action sequences. However, the action sequences are the worst thing about the movie. If the movie had delivered in the actioin front then I could have forgiven the movie for the awful writing and atrocious dialogue. But unfortunately, the movie does not deliver on the action department. The action scenes are a mess. Bay directs them by having the camera up close and shake so much that it's impossible to follow the action. It completely drains any excitement and the movie can be a headache to sit through. I know Bay often likes his quickcuts and usually I don't mind them. However, there are too many of them here and the movie becomes a headache to watch at times.
It's hard to believe that this screenplay was written by Orci and Kurtzman, two very talented writers. The two of them have written for the tv series Alias, which was a fantastic show with great writing, directing and were all around great. But the writing in this movie is so unbelievably bad here. I was actually cringing a lot during the first half ot the movie. The movie is so unbelievably dopey. And the dialogue is truly atrocious. Who came up with this stuff? A lot of the movie is played for laughs but it comes across as lame, forced and completely unfunny.
The acting is rather uneven. Poor Shai Lebouf. He's a talented young actor and as I mentioned earlier, he was wonderful earlier this year in Disturbia. He's okay here but he's saddled with some of the worst dialogue in any big mainstream hollywood movie I have ever seen. Megan Fox has nothing to do except look hot. She obviously does that well. I suppose it's to her credit that she is able to make her character likeable though. And she shares fine chemistry with Lebouf. Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson are both solid as soldiers who first face off with a transformer in the middle east. They've both been better else where (Duhamel in both his tv show Las Vegas as well as the movie Win a Date With Tad Hamilton and Gibson in the underrated Flight of the Pheonix and 2 Fast 2 Furious) but they are perfectly fine here. Jon Voight is okay as the Secretary of Defense. He's not great, but not bad either. Kevin Dunn and Julie White are okay as Lebouf's parents. Glenn Morshower and Michael O'Neill are fine in small parts. However Anthony Anderson and John Turturro are irritating and not funny in roles that are suppose to be comic relief.
Not all of the movie is bad. While the action scenes do not deliver, the special effects most definitely do. The special effects are sensational. The transformations of a lot of the transformers are very cool.
The best thing about the movie are, without a doubt, the Autobots. They are very cool. When ever they are on screen in non action scenes the movie is quite enjoyable. I liked, for instance, when Lebouf's character first meets all of the Autobots. They are so cool that one wishes the movie focused a LOT more on them and their conflict with the Deceptacons instead of rather on the uninteresting and dull human characters. If the movie was truly about the conflict between the Autobots and the Deceptacons (and was better written, directed and edited) this could have had the potential to be one of the coolest blockbusters of all time.
While the Autobots are very cool, alas the same cannot be said about the Deceptacons. It's bad enough that the Autobots didn't have nearly enough screen time, but the Deceptacons had barely ANY screen time. They also don't have in the way of personalities. They are rather boring, except for perhaps Megatron although even Megatron remains unimpressive. To make matters worse, with the exception of Megatron, I couldn't even tell the Deceptacons a part from each other. Of coarse, the confusing action sequences didn't make that any easier either.
Watching Transformers, I just couldn't help but be letdown and even occasionally depressed. I couldn't help but think how much cooler this movie could have been. Steven Spielberg was an executive producer of this movie and I just couldn't help but think how much better and how much cooler this could have been if he had directed instead of Bay. As it stands, Transformers is certainly not the worst movie of the summer. But it most definitely is the most disappointing.