There is a scene in “Transformers” that made me want to burst into tears.
It was not the half decapitation of fan favorite Autobot, Bumblebee, or any other various parts of the movie that were made to cause some pang of sadness. It was this scene: The Autobots, who transform into, well, automobiles, are racing down rolling roads to protect the AllSpark (essentially the life giver of the Transformers) and humankind from the Decepticons. Their speed and power are highlighted, as well as their shiny car coats, which are gleaming in the sunshine. A close up on the grill reveals GMC and the Chevrolet Bowtie on several Autobots. It hits me that I am not only watching a film, but a commercial. A filmercial, if you will, and I have to bite my lips to keep from crying at the injustice to my childhood cartoon.
Now, I must admit to practically forgetting about the Transformers when I reached adolescence, but they entered my mind from time to time. Those times when I would look at the fireplace and think of all my action figures that were lost because I didn’t know placing them in there would be their demise. I still mourn for my lovely villainous Catra, a character from She-Ra. Placing her near the ledge where she met her doom was a complete accident.
To get back to the topic on hand, I didn’t hear anything about “Transformers” until that one national guardsman changed his name to Optimus Prime, who is the leader of the Autobots. Then I started seeing them on the bottom of the screen during football season. I then knew something was up. My research told me they were making a “Transformers” movie, and a sense of dread came over me. I pictured such an absolute disaster, I didn’t even want to see this film, but went anyway because my sister has a crush on Shia LaBeouf, who plays the main character (Sam Witwicky) in the flick.
I went into the theater with no expectations but to watch awesome computer graphics from ILM (Industrial Light and Magic), but came away wanting to grab a few Transformers action figures and wondering when it will come out on DVD just so I could watch those special effects again.
Despite the commercial advertising, which I will not overlook, “Transformers” is a decent movie. The script isn’t great, but the acting is, especially by LaBeouf who has a nerdy yet charming appeal in the movie.
The plot isn’t too terrible either. In a nutshell, or cube, to stick with a Transformers theme, the premise is the Transformers come down to Earth to seek the location of the AllSpark. The Autobots want to keep it from the Decepticons who want to have it for evil purposes. Sam Witwicky has the location of the AllSpark (but doesn’t know it) on his great great explorer grandfather’s glasses, which he wants to sell on eBay. Naturally, his first car is the Autobot Bumblebee, disguised as a 1974 Chevrolet Camaro (at least until they introduce the new 2008 concept Camaro). In the cartoon, he was a Volkswagen Bug, but I guess they didn’t want to pony up money for this movie, so that was quashed, or window smashed, as was in the movie.
I am thankful it didn’t have any of those mind-numbing scenes that can cause permanent damage in this Michael Bay directed movie. Remember the animal cracker scene in his movie “Armageddon” (1998)? None of that here.
While I did enjoy the movie, I couldn’t ignore the blatant….blatantness of the GMC advertising. In fact, I’m certain there were subliminal messages embedded in the extreme close-ups of the vehicle Autobots. I know GMC has been having financial difficulties as of late, but you (as in them and the movie studios) don’t have to be such shills and litter
“Transformers” with your product. You can get money after, not during.
By the way, this review is brought to you by an HP Pavilion.
I gave this film a C +
Dedra Cordle is a Messenger staff writer.