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Transformers: Trilogy of the Potential
on 4 January 2012
The Transformers Trilogy, "Transformers" (2007), "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009) and "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (2011) have been three of some of the highest grossing films of the decade, and at the same time three debateably overrated sci-fi films although many have given the films extreme amounts of criticism, particularly the worst installment out of the three - Revenge of the Fallen. Whilst not familiar with the original series, but knowing that this was just three movies about giant robots I approached the trilogy and have the following reviews on each film.
Transformers: 3 stars
The trilogy begins with a race against time with two races of mechanical beings from Cybertron, Autobots and Decepticons searching for a cube which can rejuvinate their planet, but the humans are caught in the middle and one of them, Sam Witwicky holds the key to the end of a civil war that could destory the human race. Whilst out of the three this is the one many fans support the most, I seriously didn't like it on initial release and with the two sequels now released that opinion has little changed, although the comparison to its immediate sequel puts this one in a better light. Transformers has got excellent CGI, an excellent opening sequence with plenty of intrigue and explosions required. The film as a whole moves at a quicker pace than Revenge of the Fallen and introduces us to the characters in an effective, if extremely tiresome on the part of the humans, manner. But the main problem of the film is recurrent throughout the entire trilogy - and that's that the Transformers, Autobots and Decepticons alike play second fiddle to humans like Sam Witwicky and Lennox. The movie moves at quite a slow pace, although not nearly as slow as its sequels do and the Transformers basically have very little to show, if this is a movie about giant robots, then it fails because they are always shoved aside by the humans who are either unlikeable, vaguely comedic, plain distracting or plot devices. Despite it's many flaws, the dialogue is terrible here for humans and transformers, it makes an OK flick.
Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen: 2 stars
And then this came up, the worst of the Transformers movies and for a great many viewers of this piece of meandering incoherence, the worst flick of 2009, and for some even further, of all time. The plot is complicated, Sam Witwicky goes to college but the Government want the Transformers off their planet becuase they believe (somehow) that the Decepticons are hunting the autobots and that if they leave, then peace on Earth will occur. But an ancient Decepticon has a plan to rebuild an army through destroying the Sun and therefore Earth's life. It's another race against time to find Sam, protect him, climaxing with a battle in Egypt. Stupid, ludicrous, racist, plain silly, sexist and with a terrible shaky camera which means we can't see who's fighting who or what. The reasons for hating this film are reasonable, whereas the defence is always the same and that's that there's some excellent CGI, yes there is but there's too little of it, every good fight scene has a huge amount of time with bad acting and terrible plot development around it, and when the CGI does come along it's done with a visual effect which presents us from getting barely any good shots. It does get above one star though becuase the CGi is the only thing saving it, but it's not the reason for supporting the movie and giving it four or five out of five, popcorn entertainment yes, but it's still a terrible incoherent, time-wasting film with so many pointless human characters and plot developments, and the fact the Transformers have very few lines.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 3 1/2 stars
A political thriller, american comedy and sci-fi thriller, Part 3 of this trilogy reveals that a Transformers ship crashed on the moon and onboard is the Einstein of the Transformdrs, Sentinel Prime, but when he's not all he seems and the at-first welcoming return of their former leader turns into a far more sinister nature then it turns into an all out battle for the future of Earth - and Cybertron. Out of the three this is the one I like the most although it's still incredibly flawed, Michael Bay not only doesn't learn his lesson after the feedback of Revenge of the Fallen, but goes even further by defying both the laws of physics and once again giving us the same badly acted human distractions for at least half the film. Megan Fox having been fired by Michael Bay is replaced by Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely and actually I prefer her, mainly because she does what she;'s meant to do, play hostage and scream - which in the context of the film is less annoying than the works of Fox. Wilst acitng is no better and similar to its predecessor another pointless Government character to slow things down and make things awkward is introduced, Dark of the Moon offers some improvement. he Transformers get much more screentime and develop more, Optimus Prime develops out of a Superman defender into an anti-hero and the Transformers get a little more dignity in battle and out, with the Racist Twins of ROTF gone. The battles are far better staged then in the past with some exceptional shots and a steadier camera.
Coming to the point, one thing that all three films had was potential but it was never utilised effectively, Micahel Bay spent too much time on the humans and their subplots, and not enough on the autobots, but the films had some epic CGI and the best part of all three which adds a star (Revenge of the Fallen gets as high a rating from me probably for this reason more than the CGI) and that's that all three films have beautiful scoring, thanks to Stephen Jablonsky who creates a unique, breathtaking collection of musical themes for all the films and provides some excellent battle music whilst at it. So whilst flawed films, they're worth seeing just to understand how even those with huge budgets can completely ruin a flick, and if you want to go brain dead and enjoy just some terrible scripted CGI, not a bad place to look - in some ways, it stands as an example of one of the greatest cinematic anomalies - that bad films often make loads of money.