How do you make a kid’s movie about talking and transforming robots into a live-action summer blockbuster? You get Steven Speilberg to produce and Michael Bay to direct the movie, that’s how you do it.

Transformers is the second movie we watch at the AMC Theaters in Cupertino Square. Does it succeed in starting a new franchise of movies about robots from the planet Cybertron? Or does it sink like a hunk of junk?

The Netfilx synopsis:

Based on the popular toys that transform from machines into giant robots, this live-action movie from Pearl Harbor director Michael Bay finds the planet Cybertron inhabitants engaging in a secret war for control of Earth's natural resources, which they desperately need for fuel. Able to disguise themselves as cars, airplanes, boats, and more, the transformers prove a tough enemy in this film starring Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, and Jon Voight.

What I Liked

The movie starts off well. The early action and battle scenes provide plenty of bang for your movie buck. The opening scenes in the desert with American troops fighting a lone Decepticon show just how tough these robots are. The movie moves at a nice pace through the first half of the film, providing a nice mix of action and information without getting too bogged down in either.

The introduction of our hero, the girl/woman he’s destined to be with, and other characters move along at a good clip. Shia LaBeouf isn’t your next action star, but you can see he has skills playing the reluctant hero. I’m sure we’ll see him in similar parts as his career grows. As the humans and the Autobots start interacting more on a personal level, the film starts to slow a bit. It almost comes to a complete halt when the Autobots go to Shia’s home to retrieve an artifact.

What I Didn’t Enjoy

The acting is passable, with the robot voices providing as much emotion as their human counterparts. I’m not a big Jon Voight fan, so his Donald Rumsfeld-type role could have been cut out as far as I’m concerned. Anthony Anderson’s computer geek character seems to be thrown into the mix out of left field. The relationship between Shai LaBeouf and Meagan Fox’s character wasn’t believable. Plus believing Megan Fox was a high school student is a big stretch.

There are almost one too many battles in this movie. When the Decepticon and Autobots finally clash, it is difficult to follow who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. And I still didn’t understand the deal with the Allspark, as explained in the film.

Final Thoughts

This loud live action-packed, CGI-filled, nonsensical plotted movie proved to be slightly successful as a new action film. I guess I could see it become a franchise, though I’m not sure where it can go from here. The crowd we saw it with seemed to love it. And it did succeed in recapturing the feeling of the afternoon cartoon I enjoyed in my youth.

Transformers: ** (out of 5)

AJ Giron @verbal