Monday, July 9th, 2007

Transformers..dumb! (but fun)


Against my better judgement, I bought into the Hollywood hype machine and saw Transformers tonight. I was never a fan of the cartoon, so I wasn’t walking into the film with a bunch of nerdy demands and false hopes for a second childhood. I have, however, experienced the filmic canon of Michael Bay, which consists of a) explosions, b) boobs, c) more explosions, and d) mindless patriotism.

To my surprise, Bay mostly left his flag-waving at the door, and even took a few shots at George W. Bush. But the boob/explosion quotient was, as always, in place.

Not that I can complain overmuch. When the film doesn’t involve impossibly big robots smashing each other to bits, it grinds to a halt and it’s really, really stupid. But the actual robot fights are spectacular, with effects work by Industrial Light and Magic that easily surpasses anything else they’ve done.

And Bay, despite his failings in the story, depth and character department, has always been a great visual stylist. His films are gorgeous to look at, but it’s like watching Pamela Anderson develop Downs Syndrome. And it’s contagious, because soon you can feel yourself seeping down to Bay’s level of base rock ’em-sock ’em stupidity. Or you can do like I did and laugh at all the silliness, which I’m sure endeared me to the hardcore Transformers fans in the audience.

So I can’t say I liked the film, but I definitely enjoyed it. Once. Worth a download.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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