We went to see Transformers at the weekend - I wasn’t particularly hopeful that it was going to be that good, despite the trailer doing quite a good job of selling it, but I went along anyway just to see. The first half was actually pleasantly surprising - some good, well proportioned action scenes and some semi-Ferris Beuller styled comedy. Cheesy, but it knew it and went with it, and it worked as a fun film.
For me where it all fell apart was when all the major big robot action kicked in. Sure, the robots looked great, but there were several things that spoiled it for me. Mostly it was action fatigue and lack of imagination - the film was way too long to justify itself and after the twentieth time you see giant robot A take chunks out of giant robot B in generic action film situation C it all gets a bit samey. The director seemed to be trying to keep it interesting by using the most exaggerated MTV cuts, excessive camera-shake and motion blur, but really it just got to the stage where that was pissing me off. Yeah, I get that it’s fast-paced action already, thanks - I don’t need yet another headache-inducing sequence where I can hardly see what’s going on, really. Maybe you can keep the camera pointed at one place for more than half a second for once, huh? What it really needed was some imagination, not just bigger explosions and faster cuts. When it came to the action, that’s what this film lacked the most - I think any 8 year old could have thought up the set pieces they came up with, and they certainly made as much sense as that. With dull, predictable and repetetive ‘boss fights’ and woeful attempts at giving the robots themselves characters, the last 45 minutes were a major letdown.
Yeah, big dumb fun films can be enjoyable, but they have to know how far they can go. Chop this film down in length and actually come up with some interesting climax set pieces instead of an incredibly lazy ‘robot city fight’ and it might have been good, as it is it’s very forgettable.