Opens on 4 July 2007 nationwide
After the parade of sequels that has rolled through the early days of summer, American audiences have little left to look forward to. As a big fan of the series during my Saturday morning cartoon years (which, have not necessarily ended), I was certainly…intrigued by the release of “Transformers.” The initial teaser trailers had a definite eh aftertaste, and the prospect of that much CGI makes you wonder if it’s really such a good idea, even in the age of Pixar and the like. But if anyone was to tackle such a grand piece of 80’s nostalgia, it was destined to be Michael Bay. With a penchant for fireworks on film, he has enjoyed more than one summer spectacular with movies (not necessarily films, mind you) like “Armageddon,” and “The Island.” Now he’s got the new Indiana Jones kid, Shia LaBeouf as the lead in his (reportedly) $150 million venture. The script has the dweeby boy next door getting his first used car from dad, which turns out to be an Autobot (the good guys, remember?). See, the Autobots® and the Decepticons® have descended upon Earth to look for this kid’s eyeglasses (a hand-me-down from Great Grandpa) that’s he’s trying to dump on eBay. Incidentally, the online posting is how all the Transformers track him down. Very dangerous, that internet… Or maybe it’s more complicated than that. From the opening Paramount logo when we hear that My First Sony-esque sound of a Transformer, we are hooked. And once we see the ginormous machines against live action backdrops, it’s just plain mesmerizing. They look very real and it’s not all that hard to suspend disbelief. The story sweeps all the way up to the President of the United States and Decepticon mischievousness in the Middle East. Throughout, we get the boy going for the girl, and managing to incorporate clever lines about how she’s “more than meets the eye.” HA! There are actually plenty of clever, funny and even dramatic moments in the script to savor. Perhaps too many with a running time of two and a half hours, but that’s the way it goes. As for me, I’m lovin’ it. I want more popcorn and another go for this one. It’s a brilliant summer ride and a perfect summer movie.