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Transformers (12) (2007) (143 mins) Film / DVD Review

Forget The Toys, This Is A Seriously Good Action Movie!

Transformers DVD Cover

Two warring clans of hi-tec transforming robots fall to Earth in search of a mysterious power source that if found, can rebuild their home-world destroyed in their vicious struggle.

Forget about the toys or the animated series. Transformers (one of Michael Bay Movies) is an excellent sci-fi action adventure movie that astounds with it's visual effects, great pace and above average characterisation.

The Director / Executive Producer combination of Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg have astounded and exceeded the expectations of this viewer, it had myself (35 yrs old) and my son (9yrs old) transfixed for two and a half hours, we even delayed our Christmas lunch so we could see the end.

Let's have a look at the main characters, objects and locations.

 

Cybertron

Home Planet of the Transformers, advanced Robots, who split into two opposing groups; The Autobots (good-guys) and Decepticons (Bad Guys).

Cybertron is virtually destroyed in the civil war between the two opposing factions.

Allspark

The Allspark is the mysterious Power source that can return Cybertron to its former glory.

Energy from the Allspark can also be channeled to turn everyday electrical / mechanical objects into new Transformer Robots.

The Allspark is hidden somewhere on Earth, with the Autobots and Decepticons in a desperate race to find it first.

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime. Leader of the Heroic Autobots. His goal is to find the Allspark before Megatron, then use it to bring his home planet, Cybertron back to life.

The Autobots respect other species and will not use force against humans, a decision that can put them at a disadvantage.

There are 5 Autobots in the movie - Optimus (Peterbilt truck), Bumblebee (Chevrolet Camaro), Jazz (Pontiac Solstice), Ironhide (GMC Topkick pick-up truck) and Ratchet (Search and rescue Hummer H2).

Megatron

Megatron. Evil Leader of the Decepticons. Tried to take over Cybertron, which led to a horrendous civil war. Whereabouts currently unknown, but his Decepticon Allies are determined to find him, recover the Allspark, then use its powers to destroy the Human Race and turn Earth into the base for a new Evil Robot Empire.

Sworn enemy of Optimus Prime, Megatron (or any of the Decepticons) will not let anything, or anyone get in the way of achieving their goal.

There are 8 Decepticons in the movie - Megatron (alien jet), Frenzy (Boom box), Barricade (Saleen Mustang police car), Blackout (MH-53 Pave Low helicopter), Scorponok ((hides in Blackout), Starscream (F-22 Raptor), Bonecrusher (Buffalo H Mine-Protected vehicle) and Devastator (M1 Abrams tank).

Sam Witwicky

Sam Wikwicky (played by Shia LaBeouf) is the unknowing holder of the secret that will lead the Transformers to the "All Spark" the mysterious powers source that could regenerate their home planet. Luckily he has a Guardian to look after him - Bumblebee.

Because Sam holds the secret of the location of the Allspark, the Evil Decepticons come after him.

Bumblebee

Bumblebee. Smallish Autobot sent to protect Sam Wikwicky until the other Autobots arrive.

Only able to talk to humans with snippets from Earth Radio, Bumblebee transforms into a car to evade detection.

Frenzy

Frenzy. Evil small Decepticon, low on firepower, but excellent in infiltration and spy modes.

His job is to hack into US Military Databases and find the clues to the location of the Allspark. Unfortunately all the evidence points towards Sam Wikwicky, who becomes the Decepticons main target.

Trailer

Transformers has a great Action adventure Plot. Two gangs of advanced Robots, who can turn into Earth vehicles, are both after the same thing, the Allspark. One group, the Evil Decepticons, will use this Power to take over the Earth and then the Galaxy, while the Heroic Autobots will use the Allspark to revive their dead planet and return home. Chuck in some humans to get in the way, and we're off on a roller coaster of superb special effects and action.

Why is this film so good? Firstly, the way that the Transformers change from vehicle to Robot form and back again, is amazing. When you see evil Starscream change from a jet to Robot in the Hoover Dam scenes you will not believe your eyes. Rewind, stick the DVD on slow-mo and enjoy. Superb.

It's not just about the way they transform. The Autobots and Decepticons just, well, move right. They have weight and inertia on the screen, you're never in doubt that they're part of the action. There's a scene near the end when I think Ironhide is cartwheeling down a city street towards Devastator, avoiding his Shells, think the lobby scene from the Matrix, but with 30 foot high robots. And better.

It's not all death and destruction. There's some great funny moments, especially when all the Autobots are hiding in Sam's garden, trying to avoid being seen by his dad, and managing to crush the newly laid path and fountain, apologising as they do so.

The human actors put in great performances too. Shia LaBeouf makes a great Sam Wikwicky, turning from a Geek to a hero with the fate of the world on his shoulders. Jon Voight plays the Secretary of Defence, adding some welcome brevity to the proceedings, but he's more than ready to pick up a shotgun and start blasting away at Frenzy when needs be.

If you like films such as Independence Day, or Spielbergs remake of War of the Worlds, you'll love this movie. It's a roller coaster ride from beginning to end, and I can't wait to watch it again. Recommended.

Buy Transformers on DVD from Amazon.co.uk

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