Friday, July 06, 2007

More than meets the eye

I hadn't planned on watching the Transformers movie because the previews failed to capture even an iota of my interest. I couldn't detect a trace of the 80s cartoon I loved in the dark, menacing trailer, and it also misled me into thinking the Transformers couldn't/didn't talk in Michael Bay's film adaptation. However, a week after it started showing here in Manila, everyone who saw it was raving about it-- from my brother with the high aesthetic standards to my friend Fara who's not into cars and robots at all, to my student Dotz who's probably too young to even remember the cartoon. And when I found out the Transformers can talk after all, I was suddenly determined to go see it.

And it was a good thing I did, because like everyone else, I thought it was terrific. One can't expect much in the way of dialogue and plot from an action flick (especially one that involves alien robots blasting each other to smithereens), but Transformers more than made up for cliched one-liners and predictable storylines with amazing special effects and surprisingly earnest and effective acting from both the human and robot members of the cast. And for a child of the 80s such as myself, I think the nostalgia factor contributed to my liking the movie so much. The first time Optimus Prime rolled onto the scene and transformed into the imposing, gravelly-voiced Autobot leader, I got chills, and I didn't know whether to cheer or cry. As lame as this may sound, it was like seeing something from my childhood come to life before my very eyes.

I only have 3 minor complaints about the movie: I wish they had made the robots look more like they did in the cartoons (more colors, less chrome); I wish they hadn't changed Bumblebee from a VW beetle to a Chevrolet Camaro (sure, he's still yellow, but being a cute little harmless-looking beetle was all part of Bumblebee's charm); and I wish they had included my favorite Decepticon, Soundwave, the really cool, bad-ass Transformer who ejects cassette tapes that transform into different robots (although one of those robots, Frenzy, did appear in the movie to hack into Air Force One's mainframe).

That said, I really, really enjoyed the movie (I laughed at and agreed with the swipe Michael Bay took at himself by having an extra exclaim, "This is 100 times better than Armageddon!"). It's no wonder Transformers is raking in big box office returns worldwide-- not only is it introducing a younger generation of viewers to an 80s pop culture phenomenon, it's providing an
opportunity for 80s babies to relive their childhood, in an awesome, awesome way.

Soundwave better be in the sequel.


Post a Comment

<< Home