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(Review originally written at 23 December 2007)

This movie mostly disappointed because of its story. The movie is muddling on too much and for too long. The story would often simply feel as a lame excuse to let Autobots and Decepticons battle and make lots of stuff blow up and cause mayhem everywhere they go. Often events occur without an obvious connection to the other. It was like the story came secondary and the movie was all about it's images. In that regard this movie does not disappoint. I mean, the movie is technically well made and good looking.

Typically for a Bay movie, there are lots of characters put into the movie. Some characters really don't seem to serve a purpose at all in the long run, despite their heavy introduction and actors portraying them. I don't think I ever complained about this before in a Michael Bay movie but he now have seemed to have reached a point by me that it becomes annoying, mainly because it's so completely unnecessary and probably also one of the reason's why the movie is about 2 and a halve hour long, though it easily could had been simply a more bearable 2 hours.

I'm no Michael Bay hater. Quite on the contrary! But this just isn't his best movie. His most ambitious perhaps, yes. Which perhaps made the movie all the more disappointing to me.

Seemed to me they couldn't really made up their minds whether they wanted to make a serious straight-forward action flick, or a more fun and comical like one. The result is an unbalanced mix of these two opposite generic elements.

The action is also somewhat disappointing. Yeah sure, it's always cool to see lots of things blowing up in a Bay movie but as for the fights between the Autobots and Decepticons, which is what the movie in essence is all about often; Most of the time you can't really tell what's going on, also because it's going so fast and all you basically see are just 2 big pieces of metal running, flying, firing and jumping at each other. It's also confusing because you often really can't tell who is fighting who at the time.

They obviously tried to put in an emotional tie between the human main characters and the Autobots, who are basically being presented as the protectors of humanity. But the whole relationship between human's and droid's doesn't work out very convincingly and effective. The movie feels like there is an human part in the movie and a robotic part. It just never really feels as one whole, as if both were happening in a total different universe. Often the Transformers also weren't given enough room in the movie. Also Megatron (and a couple of the other Autobots and the evil Decepticons) makes his appearance way too late, which does not allow him any time to really shine and impress as the real big main villain of the movie.

Shia LaBeouf was perhaps the thing that surprised the most about this movie. I already expected and predicated great things from him after seeing him for the first time in the underrated movie "Constantine" but I didn't yet expected him to already completely carry an high budget summer-flick such as "Transformers" on his own.

Technically there is of course little wrong with the movie. Leave it up to Bay to blow up things in am impressive big, yet convincing way. The Transformers are also all greatly designed, though they perhaps a look a bit too much alike in their robotic forms, as I all previously had mentioned. No doubt the movie shall score a couple of technical Oscar nomination's.

I'll most likely watch "Transformers 2" but I hope they put some more effort in the story and the flow of it next time. That way it can be the perfect summer-blockbuster of 2009, if it's still being released by then that is.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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