I am not a child of the 80’s. Transformers was not on my list of Saturday morning cartoons. I still think the terms "AutoBot" and "Decepticon", as well as the names "Megatron" and "Optimus Prime" sound like something a seven year old would have devised. Despite that, and despite myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the new Transformers movie.
My nephew, Chip, is a child of the 80’s. He apparently has an impressive collection of Transformer toys on his desk at work, which helped him score some promotional tickets from his boss for an advanced preview of the show. Chip was kind enough to include me, so we set off last night to see it. While we both enjoyed it, Chip said he had an intense rush of geekery every time a car turned into a robot.
For me to enjoy the movie as much as I did took a mental adjustment. This is just a live-action cartoon, albeit a very long one at 144 minutes. The movie doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is, with goofy characters and even goofier robot dialog. It’s funny in a campy sort of way that’s oddly appealing. Of course, this being a Michael Bay film, there is enough destruction and mayhem to cover any deficiencies in dialog.
After the movie there was the usual post-film analysis, such as why in the world did these things take the shape of cars? (GM made out like a bandit on product placement.) Why did the robots have to talk to each other? Don’t they have radios or something? Why does this "allspark" thing only create bad robots (Decepticons)? Such deep, theological questions are not answered by a movie such as Transformers. It’s simply pure, silly entertainment.