Thursday, May 31, 2007

Transformers - Early Review

You can read the whole thing @ aintitcool

  • The thing that really had me awed though is the transformations. When one of the robots transforms mid movement is looks incredible. Barricade (a Decepticon police cruiser) is first to do it, chasing Bumblebee and Shia in robot form and transforming into his car form in mid-stride. There are more instances in the non-stop action finale - the best of them being Starscream mif-flight transformation to land in robot form and enter a fray. These are the moments that really took me, that transported me back into my 10-year-old self. I got so excited by it. As I say I probably haven't been genuinely excited by watching a blockbuster since The Matrix. It was a feeling I remember having for Jedi as a kid, Batman and T2 as a teenager.
  • I'm not saying Transformers is as good as T2 but it was a real surprise. It has plot weaknesses and some shakey performances but it is hugely entertaining both in the frequent battle set pieces, whether human vs robot or robot vs robot, and in the Shia LaBeouf moments. Even some of the comedy (Optimus trying to hide behind a house he's twice the size of) worked for me (although my friend this scene a little over the top). But that's just it, like the first Pirates movie it is the over-the-topness combined with great set pieces and superb special effects that make it so enjoyable and help you see past the flaws. I'm sure those more invested in the 80s show will have issues with things I either didn't notice or don't get (why is flames on Optimus a big deal? - though I get the Optimus mouth thing, that was weird) but then that's like comic-book movies to me, I never read them so I don't care if Venom's a great or sucky character in Spider-Man I just want to be entertained for a couple of hours.
  • Transformers did that for me. Best of this years crop so far (not that the disappointing Spider-Man 3, dull At World's End or abyssmal Shrek the Third set the bar high mind you!) by a long way.


Rico said...

I'm crossing my fingers. I hope to be 'transformed' to my childhood when I see this movie. (sorry, couldn't help it.) From the commercials and trailer I've seen, you guys did some excellent work to get me there.

Jean-Denis Haas said...

I'm crossing my fingers as well! Of course I'm biased, but the shots we did look really cool, the renders are crazy. Now it's up to the dialogue, editing, music, etc. to deliver something good. I don't know if good FX alone will save this movie, but from what I've been hearing in terms of pre-screenings the movie is actually good.