Film, Action and adventure
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

The cars – are they here to help us or destroy us? Not an idle question in these carbon-conscious times, and Michael Bay’s ’splosiongasmic ’botfest could, at a stretch, be parsed as a grand-scale id-fantasy of America’s doomed infatuation with the internal combustion engine: both goodies and baddies look sexy as hell, and both leave destruction in their wake. You could even tease an oil-anxiety subtext out of the film’s overseas settings: a spot of blowback in the Middle East and a salutary warning against exploratory polar digging.

As in the ’80s cartoon series/corporate promotional tool on which the movie is based, Earth is the battlefield for two tribes of ancient alien robots who can shape-shift into items of our technology. (They also seem to have developed a kind of robo-parkour.) The evil, spiky Decepticons and the friendly but, in this version, equally spiky Autobots are slugging it out for control of a magic Rubik’s Cube; caught in the middle is high-school kid Sam (Shia LaBeouf), who inadvertently picks up a battered Autobot at a secondhand car lot and develops an even bigger crush on it than he has on the girl from history class (Megan Fox).

Sprawling, hardware-heavy, gung-ho with a streak of cruel humour, ‘Transformers’ is a Michael Bay movie, all right. It’s also about as nimble as a 30-foot behemoth with fried navigation circuits, lunging and lumbering from misfiring comic set-piece to messy pitched battle, landing the occasional bullseye along the way. John Turturro is good value as a sleazy spook but you’ll search in vain for anything like characterisation elsewhere, especially among the robots themselves. Less than meets… you know.

By: Ben Walters



Release details

Release date:
Friday July 27 2007
144 mins

Cast and crew

Michael Bay
Roberto Orci, John Rogers
Shia LaBoeuf
Megan Fox
Josh Duhamel
Tyrese Gibson
Jon Voight
Anthony Anderson
Rachael Taylor
John Turturro
You may also like