If you're a product of the 80s, or even of the early 90s, there's little doubt that you're familiar with that logo. That's right, if you hadn't guessed from my blatantly obvious title, it's from our favorite franchise about robots in disguise. So how does it measure up?
I saw it last night, fairly interested in it after good early buzz from early screenings, and it totally lived up to my expectations. Some of the guys I went with were reluctant and presumed it would suck, and they were vastly impressed by how fun it was. This is probably Michael Bay's second best film (sorry, it was lacking Sean Connery). That's not saying much, I guess, and it's not going to get any Academy Awards obviously, but it's still a great summer blockbuster.
The premise is that on the planet Cyberton there was a war between the good Autobots and the evil Decepticons that ravaged the planet over the unlimited power granted by the Allspark, a magical cube that the Decepticons wanted to use to enslave the humans, but Optimus Prime saw good in humans and brought his Autobots to Earth, where the cube ended up, to stop Megatron and the Decepticons. It actually ends up being not quite so hokey on the big screen, and it's forgivable because it's a plot based on a show that's based on a line of toys; I'd say they did pretty good given the material they had to work with. You have to suspend disbelief and understand that it's not going to make sense, and I saw things wrong left and right with it technologically (the six of us, all being computer scientists, took turns scoffing) but let it slide for the sake of the rest of the movie.
Why? Because the special effects were predictably phenomenal. I was very pleased by the CG style, and I thought it was a nice mix between crazy alien stuff in a present-day society. It sometimes didn't work quite that well, but it worked a lot of the time and the payoff was great. Not to mention that every fight scene was carefully detailed, though sometimes a bit fast, and not in short supply. Plus, I was actually surprised that Shia LaBeouf (who needs to change his hard-to-spell last name) really pulled off his starring role. He was much better than his annoying character on Even Stevens, and I believed that he was Sam Witwicky. Not sure if I bought Megan Fox being into him, but she played her role as eye candy for the teenage boys out there, so that worked out also. I did like her character, but she definitely could've been fleshed out a little more.
Anyway, my only other issue was that it was too long. It's 144 minutes long! That's not a big deal though, because it's worth sitting through for the jaw-dropping effects, well-executed action, and subtly funny jokes. I thought the jokes would all be lame since it was PG-13, but I liked more than I didn't. The dialogue obviously suffered at times, which was to be expected though less than I would've thought.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, go see this movie. I doubt that you'll regret it if you understand that you're going to go see a movie that knows how to show an advanced alien race of robots fighting. If you're looking for romance or comedy, then you're out of your mind, but the action is well worth it. I give it a B+ simply because I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt like it was good use of $8.75.