To give you an idea about the movies I avoid – Fantastic Four, Alien Vs. Predator, Godzilla…get the picture? “Comicky” – mechanical creatures, cheap effects… It doesn’t really give me a feeling of reality. I know it is not real – but atleast I should feel a part of the set up. So when I saw the trailer of Transformers – I thought – “Ok here we go again.” I used to own a couple of “Transformer” toys…and I remember they weren’t really my favorite. The whole idea of vehicle turning into robots somehow struck as ridiculous to me. So I was pretty confident Rs.200 of multiplex-money would not be spent on this latest effects fest. Until I saw the director’s name. Michael Bay has managed to pull me into theaters to see movies I wouldn’t normally see – time and again – without failing. He has no pretensions…his movies are shamefully escapist (Armageddon! Bad Boys!) and the Special Effects are always years ahead of their time… Armageddon looks gimicky now…but back then it was pretty cool… Another fact that intrigued me was that Herr Spielberg himself had given his blessings to the project…which meant it was definitely gonna be deeper than Armageddon…

So I bit the bullet and decided to head out to the nearest multiplex in the pouring Mumbai rains. The movie begins with an Army base in Qatar being destroyed by a weird Cargo-Helicopter which transforms into a Robot…there are no known survivors…and it looks like the “thing” was after classified US data. Cut to normal teen Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia) negotiating which first car to buy – with his father. Of course he settles on a car that appears at Bernie Mac’s (Mr.3000) shady car dealership out of nowhere…a old rusty Chevy Camaro. Sure enough the car starts acting funny… and even helps him impress the hottest girl in college – the extremely good-looking Megan Fox. (She has to be the hottest newcomer in hollywood today…). The car is actually “Bumblebee” – one of an alien race of “Machine People” who have come to earth to find a potent cube – their source of deadly power, which was being sought by the bad guys lead by the evil Megatron. The “Recepticons” – or the good guys are lead by Optimus Prime. Now who are all these guys? They are robots who have a “vehicle” avatar. For example Megatron transforms into a supersonic jet and Optimus Prime’s avatar was a cool red and blue shiny truck. Hence the name Transformers.
Sounds silly so far?
I thought so too… until I saw them transforming. I haven’t seen special effects so cool since Jurassic Park. Michael Bay has directed a movie which doesn’t let up for a second. And best of all he manages to inflect enough emotion in what could have become a very “mechanical movie”. Shia Labeouf holds the key to the cube in an old artefact that was handed down to him by his explorer Great Grandfather…and soon becomes the Recepticons’ best friend and helps them overcome the bad guys…ably helped by Ms.Fox and an extremely nimble and resourceful secretary of defense (Jon Voight). The script is water-tight…not a frame or word is wasted… every moment is exhilarating and Shia’s parents are “laugh-out-loud” funny… But the honors go to the action sequences which are equisitely staged the special effects which make a seemingly ridiculous concept extremely believable. Sure enough teenagers will LOVE the movie…but Michael Bay has created a movie which transcends the age barrier…by creating a bunch of transforming robots into “real” lovable people.
Brilliant. I am gonna introduce a new concept here called the “Market Value” of the movie – which is basically how much would I be willing to pay for the movie. This one is a Rs.500.
Don’t miss this one.