p.s. spoiler alert...i have no idea if i have revealed important parts of the "story". read at your own risk ..and this post is almost as long as the transformers movie
what if robots could do everything that humans could? think independently, feel emotions, act, ham? yes ham. when bots start hamming you know that you've wasted a hard earned $5.75 on matinee tickets to transformers. my childhood robotic hero was the one and only giant robot. transformers cartoons werent shown on DD and i didnt get caught up in the mecha revolution till i started watching anime. just want to make it clear that i am not a transformers fanboy. go on.
what could one do wrong when you are given robots to play with? what if they were awesome bots that can go from mundane vehicle to mechanized warriors in a blink? well you get involved in them so much that you can forget to build a coherent plot. the first half of michael bay's toy story is a mishmash of scenes that cut from an attacked qatar US army base to the power corridors of DC to teenage suburbia really quickly. each scene barely lasts a few minutes. through these rapid cuts we come to know that
a. your car may be a bot. if its yellow and has racing stripes try talking to it
b. U.S. intelligence uses australian signal processing experts who know the top U.S hackers more than the U.S intelligence and together they all agree that something alien is attacking them
c. the U.S has secret agencies that the secretary of defense does not know about..really? No...are you serious?
the yellow car bot has some other vehicle buddies who all descend to earth in time to explain why a certain cube is so important that it has to be renamed and shrunk to a smaller size. their vehicular foes meanwhile are plotting to awaken their boss, get the cube and use its awesome power to make bots out of your toaster and microwave. Their goal - to conquer the universe. using your oven and fridge. hence proving that artificial intelligence has some ways to go.
despite my general griping, the transformation effects are awesome. i liked the mostly gray, black and silver decepticons (the bad robots) more than the autobots (the good ones) who looked like clowns stepping out of a carnival in their yellows, reds and blues. the action scenes between them are well choreographed. however perspective is something that the cgi people chose to ignore and in an effort to thrust the action on you, show two grappling hunks of machine parts so close up that you dont know whose exhaust pipe is on whose tire.
the finale takes you from hoover dam to the streets of LA where the bots pull out all the stops and transform, protect and destroy in a metal orgy (metallurgy. get it? :) ). shia labeouf runs around with the unwieldy cube which i thought could've been shrunken some more to fit in one of his pockets and megan fox who plays his girlfriend utters stellar lines like "i'll drive, you shoot". however the star of the show is a near-maudlin optimus prime ( one of the autobots) who instead of kicking the decepticons' ass offers to give his life for the human race. give him/her/it a lifetime achievement oscar and retire her/it/him. left to continue its act, its going to star in the sequel and i dont want to spend another $5.75 on a 2 hour commercial for toys and detroit cars.