Though it eventually degenerates into rather dull roboto-a-roboto action, the humor- and character-driven first half of this science fiction film is so blazingly fun that it is one of the most enjoyable movies ever made. Shia LeBeouf plays manic teenager Sam Witwicky who unwittingly holds the key to a war between robot-like alien beings, but would much rather unlock the mysteries of Megan Fox. Witty and exciting, with an unparalleled opening in the deserts of Qatar, the site of mankind's first battle with the evil Decepticons. Sam, meanwhile, meets one of the good guys -- in a used car lot. Based on the Transformers toy line and succeeded by several inferior sequels.
Turn That Frown Upside Down
Funny quotations from negative reviews.
"...most of the Autobots take the shape of GM vehicles, including Ratchet (a Hummer H2) and Ironhide (a TopKick pickup truck). The only Autobot that doesn’t wear that troubled automaker’s logo is the leader, Optimus Prime (a generic 18-wheeler tractor). Maybe that’s because the company didn’t want to be represented by a character that promises to blow itself up for the greater good, as Optimus does..." - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“'Transformers' knows its demographic. A computer hacker being sweated by the FBI protests, 'I'm a virgin!' The actor who says these words is 36. At another point, a guy shopping for a car with his dad protests that he doesn't want a beater because it says '40-year-old virgin' to him. That one over there? It says '50-year-old virgin.' Members of the audience will titter nervously, thinking about their large collections of factory-sealed action figures. But no matter. Perhaps their Jedi mastery of 'Grand Theft Auto' will make Natalie Portman show up at their door?" - Kyle Smith, New York Post
"(BTW, if you were known as a Decepticon, wouldn't it be kind of hard for you to...deceive anybody?)" - Richard Corliss, Time
"A filmmaker who has profitably plundered his own arrested adolescence in movies like 'Bad Boys,' 'The Rock' and 'Armageddon,' director Michael Bay got his fingers burned two years ago with the relatively sophisticated sci-fi flop 'The Island.' It's obvious he's not going to be caught overestimating his audience twice." - Tom Charity, CNN
"Now these delightful objets d’art have a movie to themselves. We should not be surprised. Long ago, when the impact of 'Star Wars' was beefed up by a line of merchandise, some of us noticed that the five-inch Lukes and Leias possessed a depth and mobility that was denied to their onscreen counterparts, and, decades later, we have reached the reductio ad absurdum of that rivalry: rather than spin the toys off from the movie, why not build the movie from the toys? 'Transformers' is not the first effort in this direction; I distinctly remember finding a couchful of children enraptured by a DVD of 'Barbie of Swan Lake' and realizing that Ingmar Bergman’s 'Persona' had not, after all, signalled the final disintegration of human personality." - Anthony Lane, The New Yorker