From an action packed classic animated sci-fi epic that finally comes to life letting you experience their world “more than meets the eye”!
The Transformers was made originally by the Japanese (yes, you read it right, from Japan) toy company Takara Tomy with Hasbro in 1972 originated these robots with superior artificial intelligence that became a global phenomenon! Their concept was derived from the action figures of Microman and Diaclone which gave way to present designs of robots transforming into vehicles!
They were also serialized in the publications department through Marvel Comics in 1984 which coincided with the popular TV hit series with the same name, catapulting sales both in the printed media and in the merchandise category especially with the toys… and the rest was history!
Now, finally after more than three decades of waiting, the beloved 80’s robots will be seen on the big screen! Packed with non-stop fuel injected and slow motion captured stylized action courtesy of Director Michael Bay (Armageddon) with Producer Steven Spielberg (E.T.) as they collaborate for the first time to bring this sci-fi extravaganza into life! Steven gave suggestions being that he always applies sentimentalism and every day trials for the protagonists of his films and conveyed it to Michael which actually worked. Sam and Bumblebee became instant stars of the film (E.T anyone?) add in family “comedy” (right!) and of course a girl for the growing up teenager gives the foundation of the story stand on solid ground!
For Michael’s part, he has been always linked to block buster films which involves high octane chase scenes from cars who serves more than just an escape vehicle for the cops and felons, stylized camera shots and angles which nauseates audience to throw up and takes on big budget films like The Rock, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys, Armageddon you name it he “blows it all up”! Besides the criticisms not all things are condemning! For his gifted proclivities with cars, he knows how to make these vehicles really look good while adding form to the skeletal base of the robots, the automobile parts incorporated makes it look realistic and modern looking!
Academy Award Nominee Film Editor Paul Rubell (Collateral) takes on the intricate details that composes the whole cinematic experience with the help of Industrial Light & Magic who were given the heavy duty load for the SFX ranging from stunts after shot effects, backgrounds and separating the entirety of CGI composites from actual action sequences! To help with the responsibilities, Digital Domain took care of the Arctic scenes, the severed head of a Decepticon, a vending machine gone amok and all the “protoforms” of the Autobots!
The superstars (ehem), Shia LeBeouf (Eagle Eye) plays the direct descendant of explorer Capt. Archbold Witwicky who inadvertently discovered a “giant ice man”, he is Sam Witwicky a self-proclaimed “ladies man” who only needed good grades plus some cash to buy his rights to his own car and it was never been the same for that boy!
Megan Fox (Bad Boys II) in her debut starring film, she plays Mikaela Banes a clingy, high school student who doesn’t seem affected how she was treated that way in the film (we would not know would we?) she came to business with striking looks and that’s it! Their chemistry was alright just enough to survive the chaos and incoming debris also, let alone to the other males in the film trying to get a piece of her whenever available!
Rounding off the supporting cast, Josh Duhamel (Turistas) is Capt. William Lennox, who leads a group of survivors from an initial attack at one of their bases (English please!) and Tyrese Gibson (2 Fast 2 Furious)as USAF Tech Sgt. Robert Epps, are brothers -at-arms coming out from Qatar! Veteran actors Jon Voight (Enemy of the State) is Secretary of Defence John Keller and John Turturro (Men of Respect) portrays Agent Simmons who provides the additional energy (other than Shia) to bring the movie with a little contradiction on the human aspect! Finally, after a long list from the “organic” species we take a bow for bringing into the world its “would be saviour”, Kevin Dunn (Live Free or Die) and his better half Julie White (Slap Her, She’s French!) as Sam’s “compromising” parents Ron and Judy Witwicky (He was not given his mocker Sparkplug)! Wow, what a roster don’t you think? To think this is a film compromising of robots at war! (this is not even half of it)
Least we not forget the “actual” heroes and villains of the film starting with Peter Cullen (Robotix) who gives life to the altruistic Leader of the Autobots Optimus Prime, an outstanding talent since the G1 animated series, Peter has been Prime’s vocal chords since the 80’s and still revving up his engine like a well oiled machine, unbelievable! I still have goose bumps when he was coming out from the smoke into an alley to meet his new allies! His deputy Jazz was given to Darius McCrary’s (The Breaks) how unfortunate he was an immediate casualty! Bumblebee’s humming was from Mark Ryan (The Prestige) and lastly, Ratchet the medical officer is given life by Robert Foxworth (Six Feet Under)! On the other hand, his nemesis Megatron was resurrected by an amazing actor Hugo Weaving (V for Vendetta) his tone always adhered terror and uncontested obedience from his loyal warriors, Hail Megatron! Speaking of “loyalty” Starscream his second in command has other plans in mind, he is voiced by Charlie Adler who has given animation both from films and series his services. Reno Wilson (Crank) is Frenzy a cohort of Barricade which in turn was voiced by Jess Harnell who also showed allegiance with the Autobots as Ironhide!
Negative reviews were also an influx especially with the too much screen time of humans rather than focusing on the two clans back story. Another thing was, certain topics which were not appropriate were blatantly covered across the film and it was the awkward moments of sexually induced themes leading to the female main protagonist played by Megan who in so many times was treated as a sex object, also coming from the parents and even by the robots themselves!
Kudos goes to the designers and artists who gave their phenomenal work into place! Alex Jaeger heads the group for VFX, combining automotive design courses plus more than a decade experience with ILM gives the man the needed ingenuity to keep the “motors running”!
Working with Michael who is also a “gear head” was easier to partake the objectives while coordinating with LA Art Department to supervise and oversee their initial inputs as he guide them to compose better transformation effects for each robot!
Robert Orci and Alex Kutzman administered the writing assignments where Robert even gave meaningful injections to the robots “alien” look which gave the “protoform” effect look fantastic seeing it gives more reason for them to assimilate earth based vehicles and then incorporate them to their body structures and be literally invisible to the public be it day or night!
They also provided the film the needed energy integrating action, comedy, drama and morals (laughing out loud)! But seriously, it did not really sit well in terms of having the responsibilities of an adolescent getting mixed up with the military, although it would be boring just to let the relationship of Sam with his unorthodox and eccentric parents linger for the next 144 minutes while letting Mikaela just jump in whenever she wants! The Screenplay were also done by the Writers who explicitly made sure that the military aspect was not in relation to G.I. JOE but rather than use it as a backdrop to allow the concept of the Decepticons (bad robots) to make use of their ability to maximise their ways and means of destruction!
Garnering a worldwide box-office record of $709.7 million in ticket sales! The Transformers was a monumental achievement with a lot of potential in the franchise for the upcoming sequels! It was fun, entertaining, mind numbing and exhausting to watch! A sequel is in the horizon which sheds a better light in the history of these mechanical mammoths as we do “try to understand” what it’s like for a Prime to “Fall”!