Transformers (2007) Review

You know, Transformers isn’t too bad. It’s entirely a Michael Bay film, perhaps a quintessentially Michael Bay film – there’s certainly no sign whatsoever, aside from maybe the casting of Shia Labeouf in the lead, of the influence of Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. Yes, it’s not too bad if, that is, you can get past the horrible, horrible design of the Autobots and Decepticons and Bay’s desperately creepy over-sexualisation of poor Megan Fox.

The plot for the first Transformers movie is pretty straightforward (something the franchise would not become known for). The Autobots have come to Earth to retrieve the AllSpark, a powerful artefact hidden on Earth that they intend to use to rebuild their home planet of Cybertron and end their war against the Decepticons. Meanwhile, the Decepticons are after the AllSpark too, to raise an army from the machines of Earth, and rescue their lost leader Megatron.

There are a few fun nods to history being influenced by giant robots wandering around the planet, something the series would lean into more and more as it went on. The cast is actually pretty decent this first time out, with none of the amped-up flailing around and cartoonish overacting that would blight the rest of the films and while the humour’s decidedly sophomoric, it’s not as overpoweringly crass as it would become. Even Shia Labeouf’s Sam Witwicky is okay in this, and John Voight pops in, pre-alt right shitshow days, to class up the joint a little while Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson handle the action quotient.

Sure, it’s loud, brash and dumb but at this point, it wasn’t drunk on its own success and it had the right intentions, even if the execution was a little trashy.

Score 4