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Transformers (AF)


Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Anthony Anderson, Glenn Morshower, Jon Voight, Rachael Taylor

Director: Michael Bay

When they announce the Oscar for Noisiest Film next year, producer-director Bay (a man whose idea of subtlety – on screen, at least – appears to be an explosion or two or more) and producer Steven Spielberg will be leaping out of their seat to accept. Mind you, the award will simply be the cherry on the cake of a movie – no, not really a feature, much more a lavish no-expense spared promotional film for Hasbro’s Transformer toys – designed to make a mint at the box-office. Which, of course, it has, proving Bay and Spielberg (leaving aside their unfortunate turkeys like Pearl Harbor and The Terminal) know just what’s needed to appeal to the multiplex millions.

Bay deploys state-of-the-art special effects and epileptic MTV-style editing to stage any number of raucous clashes between the evil morphing metal space aliens and the good Autobots who are fighting to save Mankind from the unspeakable extraterrestrials – The Decepticons. The action sequences, which are the movie’s marketing raison d’etre, are punctuated by some amiable comedy and drama sequences involving flavour-of-the-month LaBeouf and Megan Fox as teenagers who join forces with the Autobots to defeat the Decepticons while good actors like Jon Voight and John Turturro are happy to slum for the money.

Transformers certainly hits the spot on a visceral level but intellectually it makes Homer Simpson resemble Albert Einstein. And think of this - Transformers could play on commercial TV without the ad-breaks since it already features enough built-in product placement to satisfy the most greedy advertising executive.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount (DreamWorks). Colour.
143 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 10 Sep 2007