BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Less than meets the eye?

O.K., let me say up front that I was never really exposed to the Transformers beyond being generally aware of the toys via TV ads and occasionally stumbling past the animated show when flipping channels. The were "after my time", so I have no connection with the "characters" except generally recognizing the names "Optimus Prime" and "Megatron".

I ended up sitting in a movie theater watching Transformers largely due to the (apparent) fact that Underdog sucked so much that it was already gone from all the downtown theaters, and I had agreed to take Daughter #2 "out" so that Daughter #1 could have a chaos-minimized play date with one of her friends. However, #2 was happy to go see this because her (teenage) camp counselors had said it was very cool, so seeing it was no doubt going to rub off some of that coolness on her.

If I had to pick one word to describe Transformers, it would be "incoherent", followed by (given it's 2:35 run time) "long". This is not a good combination, as, on one hand, I was really wishing they would do something with any one of the plot lines, but for them to satisfactorily tie up the multitudinous loose ends would have made this a five-hour epic ... and it wasn't good enough for that sort of time. Now, this is not to say it wasn't visually interesting, and, frankly, its (fairly implausible) teen love story was well done, and some of the "backstory" bits were truly fascinating. It's just that nothing was done enough (OK, the love story part probably was the one successful arc in this) to leave one in a non-"WTF?" state by the end. Even Daughter #2 was asking "is it going to be over soon?" by a couple of hours in.

To their credit, with the sole exception of John Voight (and an early cameo by Bernie Mac), the cast was put together with reasonably unknown talent who fit their roles very well. Unfortunately, the "tone" of the movie swung back and forth from typical sci-fi to teen romance to outright farce (especially when the robots were around), with the writing dragging along behind.

Of course, being that I didn't expect to actually see this movie, my expectations were pretty low going in, so it was (as the late Richard Jeni intoned in his tongue-in-cheek A&E promos) "time, well ... spent". At least Daughter #2 seemed to enjoy having Daddy to herself all afternoon!

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Tags: movie review
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