Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Transformers" has to be THE summer blockbuster to watch this year. The scale of adventure and excitement goes over the top in comparison with everything else I've watched so far. For the portrayal of sheer destructive power and the readiness to use it; for the variety of ordnance and fighting styles in combat sequences; for the disproportion of the odds stacked against us pathetic humans in the face of an interstellar invasion and our willingness to fight on anyway, this movie simply took my breath away.

The plot is surprisingly tight, considering the number of threads holding the story together. There's ancient history, recent history, government conspiracy, different levels of warfare, and the human element all interwoven at a pace that just doesn't let up. What helps the story move is the clarity everyone has in their own purpose. Good is good, evil is evil, and the conflict boils down to survive or die. No further complications. You want anything more complicated, go read a book.

Left to our own devices, our terrestrial human weapons are already devastating. The sequence depicting an air-to-ground assault by US combined forces shows off the might of an A-10/AC-130 gunship strike. Our current conventional weapons can level a village in seconds, but that's what it takes to neutralize a single Decepticon invader which still can make a getaway sans a number of body parts.

As with Bay's "Armageddon", our species deserves to continue surviving because we will fight tooth and nail for the right to. While the Autobots arrive to protect our species from the Decepticon threat, we aren't simply cowering behind our defenders, but we're fighting there alongside with everything we've got. Many times I could almost hear Churchill's inspirational "We shall fight..." speech while the battle raged onscreen. And I could just sit in my seat awestruck.

For me, of all the movies of this year, only "Transformers" has so far provided the biggest emotional rush I expect from a truly memorable movie. From the crazy but entirely-human human characters to the awkwardness of the Autobots attempting to blend in with their surroundings upon their first arrival -- you'll believe a machine can have feelings -- to the technophobia-inducing Decepticons who represent all those times when our machines have turned bad on us, the conflict pitting defenders and protectors against the invaders is so epic in scale, some scenes I was laughing out loud, others I was going, "oh no, oh no...", and in yet others I had tears in my eyes was weeping openly.

To sum up, I'll just quote Mel, my seatmate: "Whoa. Yeah! Cooool!" And to think I was never a fan of the animated TV series. Thank you, Michael Bay, for preventing this year's summer releases from being a total waste!

Hmm... for some strange reason, I wanna buy me a Chevy now...

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