'Transformers' is Dumb Fun
Transformers is so jokey that it's practically a goof on the crummy TV cartoon it is based on. Blowing through the entire Dreamworks-Paramount explosives budget for the year and joked up and acted (by
Then the stupid robots start talking and the whole enterprise crumples like a Cobalt in a compactor.
In the best Independence Day tradition, we're introduced to the characters -- soldiers, computer geeks -- and the peril facing the planet. There's a sandy assault on a U.S. base in the Middle East in which a helicopter transforms into a monster that plows through tanks, planes and Army Rangers like a bush hog in deep grass.
Pentagon security networks are compromised. And everything from police cars to CD player boom boxes morph into something menacing.
"This is as bad as it's ever goin' to get," drawls the Secretary of Defense (
Which puts a serious crimp in the hopes of Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf), who only wants to buy his first car and get the attention of his school's
But that magic first automobile is an aged Camaro that Sam doesn't choose. It chooses him. The rusted yellow muscle car has a need to protect Sam and help its fellow
All of this is zipped through in a giggling hour-plus of rapid-fire LaBeouf banter, sight gags (the alien cop car has "To Punish and Enslave" painted in place of "To Protect and Serve") and chihuahua-in-a-cast jokes. The Camaro's AM radio helps Sam to court the lovely Mikaela with tunes ranging from "Drive" (by The Cars) to "Sexual Healing," "I Feel Good" and "Baby Come Back."
And then the showdown begins.
Transformers hails from the Fecal Age of TV cartoons -- dim-witted '80s junk solely aimed at selling the toys that were "the stars." Appropriately, the movie is basically a two-hour-and-twenty-minute ad for GM -- Chevys, Pontiacs, Caddy Escalades.
Robots will throw-down. Robots will die. Then Optimus goes all metal-messianic on us, marveling at the human race's bravery, and a lot of that fun is undone.
It's a summer popcorn movie, so you take the good with the ready-for-recall. It doesn't have Die Hard's body-count,
But if you grew up with the 'toon, it'll be a fun ride down memory lane -- in a Chevrolet.
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