Continuing my summer blockbuster binge, I dropped in to Transformers two nights ago.  In sum, I got about what I expected:  teenagers who are little more than eye-candy falling in love without any clear reason, large explosions and face chase scenes, and sweet scenes of cars, planes and trucks becoming robots.  In other words, all sweetness, no substance.
In other words, it was the sort of movie that is perfectly designed for most teenage guys.
The acting was at best wooden.  At worst, I found myself wondering which acting performances were the least robotic:  the Transformers or the humans.

Which to me is a little bit sad.

Transformers had a great opportunity to fit the niche of summer blockbusters that were mostly fun, but still thoughtful and well made.  The first Pirates fit that niche, as did (I think) Oceans 11.  But beyond the flash and shimmer of pyrotechnics, CGI, and youthful romance, there’s little to commend Transformers.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. makelovehappen August 6, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    I enjoyed Shia LeBeouf’s acting (he was also good in Holes). The action and effects were some of the most entertaining I have seen in a long while.

    The film even makes an attempt at insight when the lead female turns out to be an accomplished mechanic (and another turns out to be a math genius) as if to say, ‘Women can have meaning as well, because they can be mechanics and geniuses’. But honestly, how do these roles give anyone meaning in life?

    What is worse is the way Hollywood continually preaches against these piddly social injustices like discrimination and prejudice while, on the other hand, they hire actresses only because of the way they look!

    Do you think Megan Fox is going to be acting in twenty years? Don’t you find that a bit discriminatory?

    In the end it was one of the most entertaining movies of the summer (though not as good as Ratatouille), but five years from now when they have better FX and actresses written into more desperate roles it will not be remembered.

    Although I largely agreed with your review, Matthew -as I often do- I was saddened to read your criticism that the characters fall in love for no reason. Everyone seemed to have reasons, the main guy had a fast, robot car, the women had looks and rare intelligence, but did anyone love another because, ‘they just wanted to’ or for ‘who the person was’?


  2. I thought there were supposed to have fallen in love because they experienced a stressful, highly emotional situation together, which inevitably makes otherwise incompatible pairs either fall in love for the first time (Speed et al) or reunite after a separation (from Die Hard to Vacancy).

    Only problem is not knowing afterwards whether you really fell in love or whether it was just adrenaline.


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