CGI-Driven Robot Adventure Arriving on DVD
First introduced by Hasbro in 1984, Transformers are robots disguised as everyday items, such as cars, planes and animals. The morphing action figures have proven to be so popular that the company has added to the product line every year since. Plus, the toys have been spun-off into a TV cartoon series and Marvel comic books.
Transformers were first brought to the big screen in 1986, but that animated version did little more than cash-in on the television show’s success. This 2007 edition, by contrast, is a live-action Michael Bay spectacular, and arrives considerably augmented by an array of rather impressive, computer-generated special effects.
The film is likely to be best appreciated by those who played with Transformers as kids who have remained fans familiar with the franchise, since the picture features far too many automatons for the uninitiated to bother to keep track of. In addition, the screen is cluttered with an abundance of human characters, too, each of whom the script, to its credit, takes the time to imbue with a little personality.
Fortunately, a simplistic, good-versus-evil plotline makes it easy to keep score. In 25 words or less, it reads like this: two competing races of robots, the virtuous Autobots and the evil Decepticons, have arrived on Earth from the planet Cybertron in search of the Allspark, a powerful cube which can unlock the secrets of the universe. One side is bent on world domination, the other on preserving the planet.
Unwittingly-enlisted to assist the latter in that endeavor is Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf), a geeky teen with a car and a cute girlfriend, Mikaela (Megan Fox). Overall, this flick gets this critic’s seal of approval for convincingly animating a cornucopia of robots in overblown epic battles worthy of a bombastic Michael Bay blockbuster.
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, brief sexual humor, and intense sci-fi violence.
Running time: 143 minutes
Studio: Dreamworks Home Entertainment
2-Disc DVD Extras: Commentary by director Michael Bay, cast and crew interviews, stunt training footage, exclusive access to on-set locations, production design, military advisors and digital special f/x, plus “The Making of” featurette, including concept boards.