What is the epitome of American summer film

Transformers

Film plot and background

First real film version of the franchise, which has been successful since the mid-1980s, about extraterrestrial robot races fighting one last big duel on earth.

In order to end the war between two intelligent robot groups, the good Autobots and the devious Decepticons on the planet Cybertron, the energy source Allspark is shot into space. She lands on earth and freezes with the dark Megatron in the ice of the Arctic until she discovers Prof. Witwicky. His great-grandson Sam (Shia LaBeouf) falls into conflict when he buys a car that turns out to be the Autobot Bumblebee. He wants to prevent the megatrons around Starscream from finding the Allspark.

The Transformer saga, which has grown into widespread childhood acquaintance since 1984, is awakening to oversized Cinemaxx cinema life thanks to the latest technology. Steven Spielberg produced the mammoth project of the action giant Michael Bay ("Armageddon").

Enemy robot races have been fighting each other in space for ages. Now they land on earth, where the source of energy is that has divided them for so long. There they are preparing for a last desperate battle that could also mean the end of humanity.

Sam Witwicky would give anything if only the beautiful Mikaela would keep an eye on him. With his new car, which his father gave him for his birthday, the chances are not bad. Little does Sam suspect that the said car is an Autobot that takes care of Sam on behalf of its leader Optimus Prime: It is the ignorant Sam who holds the key to the future of the universe. Evil Transformers also target the teenager who is supposed to lead them to their frozen leader Megatron.

Cast and crew

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Reviews and ratings

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Critic reviews

  • Cinefacts.de

    After the first trailer for Transformers flickered across the screens in December last year, even the die-hard fan base of the alien robots was satisfied for a while. Director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg presented the adaptation of the Hasbro toys convincingly. The effects looked massive, the explosions were breathtaking, and the sound design seemed Oscar-worthy. Accordingly, expectations of the film were relatively high.

    After this introduction, it stands to reason that the film only nearly lives up to expectations. Because there is the expected material battle that one could expect under the direction of action specialist Bay, but it is the plot that does not really support the film. Old problem, new film. It is not the first time that a film budget devours millions, but everything is only invested in implementation and not in time for script development.

    Granted, the humor is hilarious in places and the script never really takes itself seriously. Sometimes, however, this comedy slips into banal kindergarten jokes that, as an adult, cannot even be found to smile about. Fortunately, this is rather the exception, nonetheless, all scenes are constructed around a juicy oneliner in order to really keep the audience in a good mood.

    That wouldn't have been necessary, but a little more strength of character would have been. The story of Sam and Mikaela as a well-known teenage flick with little new charm is to be accepted, because after all, it's all about the well-known and loved Transformers. But even these could have used a little more inner workings. The big scenes obviously belong to Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, while Megatron and the Decepticons fall far short. Megatron establishes himself with a deep and radical "I am Megatron" and at the same moment begins to shoot wildly, which he does not stop until the end of the film. This is in the spirit of the character, but as a Transformers layman you don't understand his motivation.

    Which brings us to further questions. The Allspark, of which nobody really knows what it's actually good for, is obviously intended as McGuffin, who is the trigger for the whole carnage, but is not interested in the details.

    Enough criticism, because Transformers is not a bad movie all in all. The robots, created by the American company Industrial Light and Magic, look fantastic. On closer inspection, you can even recognize the car's windshield wipers in the transformed robots. The movements are terrific, and many of the action scenes are just breathtaking.

    Above all, the interaction between the humans and the Autobots has been captured with great attention to detail and humor - once you have seen the scene in which the robots hide from Sam's angry parents, the comedy of the situation becomes clear again guided.

    The American people are also portrayed in an interesting way, obviously in this film the secretary of defense runs the business of the country and the president, who is not even mentioned in the credits, disqualifies himself as a banause who only demands his ding-dongs.

    The filmmaker is advised to focus a little more on interpersonal - or robot-like - for the second part, which will certainly follow, and not to let the film degenerate into a CGI battle like the end of this film. Because the 144 minutes of the film are too long, a lot could have been cut out here and less would actually have been more. If the second part is able to keep this, it could turn out to be a real blast, because this film has already met the necessary requirements, but has not yet been implemented in the final analysis.

    Conclusion: Elaborate action spectacle, which in the end overdoes it a little, but is still able to convince with its humor.
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  • Transformers review

    Transformers: First real film version of the franchise, which has been successful since the mid-1980s, about alien robot races fighting one last great duel on earth.

    Michael Bay, the well-known and infamous Master of Disaster, is putting his talent for bombastic action into the service of family entertainment for the first time.

    Transformers is the name given to those robots because of their ability to take on new forms and functions at lightning speed, which since 1984 have become the epitome of a versatile marketable franchise in the form of animated series and films, toys, comics and games. Michael Bay, once the most docile student of Jerry Bruckheimer and now unmistakably under the wing of Steven Spielberg, enriches the war between two boxes of Autobots with the live-action version. The film itself is also a transformer, because in the course of the simple and yet not always retellable plot it has to succeed in moving from a sun-drenched teenage movie with unmistakable echoes of "Herbie" and "Knight Rider" to a martial-military one Transform the destruction spectacle of the very first cabin. This cannot be done without some creaking in the well-oiled structure and without some sacrifice. But in the end it should be noted that it doesn't really matter that the human hero of the story, the shy linnet Sam Witwicky, sometimes disappears completely from the film over long stretches: The sunny southern California moments of the exposure, in which Sam plays the exciting Mikaela (If ever an actress got her name right, it's Megan Fox) charmed with his new car, that's just it: exposure, appetizers, attuning to the action that is as sure to come as the amen in church. As usual, Bay goes right in the middle of the action and cuts in staccator rhythm, and yet these scenes with the undoubtedly best CGI recordings of all time have a delirious quality with an absolutely cathartic effect in their beauty that always turns around itself like a corkscrew. Compared to this ridiculous spectacle, Hollywood's other summer films look old. Of course Bay can't do without his grotesquely exaggerated hero shots, rather unnecessary patriotic perseverance slogans, but “Transformers” is one of those transcendent popcorn cinema pleasures that you don't experience every year: you let yourself be almost mindlessly by the battles on earth and roll over in the air when the cohorts of the good Optimus Prime leave debris fields on the bad guys around Megatron in the fight for the future of the universe. And even the emotion is not neglected - even if it is appropriately evoked without people: at Götterdämmerung, when the Transformers present themselves to the incredulous Sam (and the astonished audience with him) for the first time in all their glory. It is Michael Bay's greatest film moment so far, an ode to the state-of-the-art possibilities of modern effects technology. ts.
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  • "Precious"

    The German film and media rating

    It is globally successful toys that blockbuster director Michael Bay takes on the occasion of his new and fast-paced spectacle. Robots that can transform into cars, trucks, portable radios, and more, star alongside a teenage couple. In terms of content, this is quite meaningless, the computer tricks are sometimes breathtaking, the plot is sometimes overloaded like an opera, the undertone is often ironic. There is no blood flowing. And Michael Bay is raising the bar again for CGI films.

    Jury statement:

    “I bought a car, but it's an alien robot.” Michal Bay, one of Hollywood's most successful blockbuster directors, has set out to film the story of a globally successful toy. And so it is not surprising that in "Transformers" an arsenal of weapons that can hardly be described is used when it comes to using good, intelligent machines to protect the earth from destruction by malicious but equally intelligent machines.

    Even with the deliberately simple summary of the story about the Transformers, it becomes clear that the strengths of the film are not in the story, but in the staging. Here it morphs, cracks and explodes in a quality and quantity never seen before. Portable radios, cars and trucks are transformed into gun-staring robots and metallic beings - and back. Chrome and steel sparkle, all arms of the army are presented in a dramatic light with a great deal of ingenuity, for example in the final sinking of the fighting machines on the high seas at the end of the film.

    The transformations of the Transformers are far too complex and varied to always be perceived in detail in this special effects fireworks overloaded almost like an opera. And it is due to this speed that the FBW jury was ready to benevolently overlook dramaturgical inadequacies, because the focus is on a comic-like logic and narrative style.

    The film does not take itself - with all the gun spectacle - completely serious. There is no blood and there are many ironic elements. In the end credits, for example, the good parents of the main protagonist assert that the American government would undoubtedly have informed the public immediately and completely if there was any truth in such aliens as the Transformers. In between, a young scientist urgently wishes to speak to the defense minister “before we go to war against the wrong country”. And the extraterrestrial forms of intelligence locate the “cube” they are looking for via electronic traces at the eBay auction house. Despite all the critical objections, the film has all sorts of subversive potential below its action level and borrows tongue-in-cheek borrowings from films such as “Herbie”, “King Kong” or Spielberg's “Duel”.

    It is a shame that successful side gags like the desperate muscle game in the car did not occur more often, because the existing ones work and look pleasantly human in this over-engineered environment.

    In the long run, the fireworks in "Transformers" are also tiring, at some point the possibilities for improvement are almost exhausted, and since the optical quality of the computer-generated effects does not always remain at the highest level, the vote in the FBW jury was correspondingly tight. The fact that there was ultimately a rating of “valuable” is due to the fact that with this film Michael Bay raised the bar a good bit higher for other CGI blockbusters.

    Source: German Film and Media Rating (FBW)
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