Growing up in the 1980s was a very surreal time. Star Wars had finally ended, the Jeffersons were still moving on up, Gary Coleman was (and still is) wondering what Willis was talking about all those years, Batman went from utterly camp too utterly gothic and toy models of Optimus Prime were transforming in living rooms worldwide, as kids decided who would win the "Great War" between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
This critic was one of those kids: transformer bedcovers, wallpaper and all. I was hugely sceptical when I heard first heard about a live action movie adaptation of one of my most cherished childhood franchises. I thought, like most Hollywood adaptations, that this movie would not stay true to the original source material and would turn one of the most iconic cartoons into a badly put together, laughing stock with poor CGI.
How wrong I was.
The plot is basic at best, and is something that both fans and those not acquainted with Transformers will understand totally. The life-giving cube known as the ‘Allspark’ has landed on Earth and the evil Megatron wants it so he can take over the universe. High School student Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) has the key to the Allspark’s location and sets out on an adventure, with the Autobots, to destroy the Allspark before Megatron gets his hands on it.
The story itself is probably the weakest part of this movie. The human characters are two-dimensional and there’s no real character development throughout the movie. Sure there’s the clichéd high school love story, the political and military aspects of the plot, but they really just distract from the robot clunking madness that this movie really is.
The action sequences in this movie are totally unique and mind blowing. The mashing, bashing and clashing of giant robots is absolutely jaw dropping. The CGI blends seamlessly with the live-action sequences and the transformations will leave you in awe.
The voice acting of the Transformers is fantastic and one of the best parts of the movie. Most of the original cast from cartoon are back and in their original roles, with the ever-impressive Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime. Hugo Weaving gives a good turn as Megatron, proving that even in animated form he can still be a great villain.
Other members of the cast are rather unimpressive and underused. Megan Fox is no more than eye-candy as Witwicky’s love interest Mikaela Banes and Rachael Taylor seems out of place as defence analyst Maggie Madsen appears. However Jon Voight is put to good use as Defence Secretary John Keller and helps carry the movie through some of the slower scenes.
Clocking in at just under two and a half hours long Transformers is a lengthy movie, but it is a roller-coaster ride that you will love from start too finish. Transformers probably will be one of this year’s biggest blockbusters and deservedly so. Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg have took a franchise long lost to the confines of 80s nostalgia and have made it bigger, better and badder than it ever has been.
Transformers is out in cinemas nationwide on July 27th 2007.