By: Marlee Billiter
Following the iconic comics circulating the 80s and 90s, I believe Transformers to be one of the best action movies of the 2000s. Directed by Michael Bay, the movie brings the visiting alien-robots into an astonishingly realistic view, illustrating the events of what brought them to Earth. In chase of the Allspark, a vessel of power from their home planet ‘Cybertron’ that came into earth’s atmosphere during their civil war, the autobots–the good guys–go after it in order to keep the decepticons–the bad guys–from using its power to take over the universe. The starring actors include Shia Lebouf as the main character Sam Witwicky, Megan Fox as Mikaela, and Peter Cullen as the one and only Optimus Prime. The movie easily checks off the boxes of any child or adult’s ideal action-packed movie, covering the genres of comedy, romance, science-fiction, and action all in one. This really only emphasizes the first movie. The second and third I can get behind, but all the rest deserve any and all criticism.
Many people complain about the film’s poor acting and it’s failure to flesh out Megan Fox’s character, leaving her as a two-dimensional hottie who likes cars. These are very valid points. The actors do the best they can with the material given to them. It’s the writing that’s pretty cringe worthy. Many lines are said where the audience is just like, “Why’d they say that?” I get that way too, but the actors can’t control the writing. They follow through with what’s given, leaving the writers to blame–cough cough Michael Bay. He seems to have a distinctly male-centered idea of women in his movies. Many of their backstories aren’t described whatsoever, and there’s not much of an interior layer either. Sam Witwicky literally only liked Mikaela because she was so attractive. This is messed up in a feminist way, but I have to vouch that Mikaela’s not that important to the overall storyline. It’s meant to be about robotic aliens, not a love story. That was a bonus, like most other love stories in action movies. To be fair, Bay’s not known for his fantastic writing. It’s more how sick his movies look, and I’ll give him that. Transformers looked beyond realistic, like other films of his such as Armageddon.
I first saw this movie when I was incredibly young and the animation was so insane to me. I had never seen something that looked so real, yet wasn’t. The movie struck me differently than any other action movie I had seen; nevertheless, I was amazed and it only fueled my childhood imagination. I created this off-the-wall story that Optimus Prime was my boyfriend and Bumblebee was our funny sidekick. I won’t say I’m extremely proud of the fiction I created, especially with my change in opinions over my favorite Transformer, but it kept my love for Transformers at a probably concerningly high level. And due to intense nostalgia, Transformers has been my comfort movie.