I actually have to admit I kind of enjoyed Transformers the first time around. It was partially because the summer of 2007 was such a massive dissapointment from the letdowns of Shrek 3 to Pirates 3 to lucklaster comedies like Lisence to Wed and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry to films that didn't excite me enough to watch in the first place like Simpsons Movie (the show has been going on too long and lost my interest 10 years ago), Rush Hour 3 (Rush Hour 2 was one of the worst experience I've ever had), Ratatouille (A Pixar film has never sounded that horrible).
Granted, Transformers sounded even dumber but somehow I made my way in the theater (I was working in a theater and it was all free) and the star charisma of Shia LeBouf and the Spielbergesque element of the lost son made me pleasantly surprised. Desperate to like something from that awful summer I proclaimed Transformers a decent surprise.
Looking back, Transformers represents so many bad things all at once, it should not be encouraged. It probably made everyone in the cinema a little dumber for having watched it:
The soundtrack was writen by someone with massive ADD, the action scenes were nonsensical (why would humans be needed in a fight between cars/robots?), and worst of all, you had the most stereotpu In the midst of the most stereotypical collection of characters I have ever seen together in one film:
1. The tough-guy marine with a soft spot for his daughter who solves problems by taking civillians like John Turturro and ramming them against a wall
2. The childish black guy who provides comic relief but within the plot actually does something well (knows computers or whatever)
3. The goofy government bureaucrat who is about as viable of a threat as Wile E Coyote is to the road runner
4. The hot girl next door
5. The hot girl's boyfriend who's sole purpose in life is to demonstrate his superiority over the nerds in school
I did really, really like the Australian defense analyst because she didn't fit into any box. She was attractive but because of Megan Fox's role in the movie, you didn't get the sense she was there just to provide eye candy. I also loved LeBouf.
But worst of all, inserting shiny cars into a movie is an overly commercial move designed to attract fan boys. It's practically screaming out at its audience that the film is nothing more than an attempt to round out a McDonald's Happy Meal with a toy.
So anyway, onto the news:
Megan Fox of Transformers fame, who's role is basically eye candy, protests that Transformers is a film that's basically about Special Effects and not about acting. She acknowledges the film made her career, but admits that it is crap. I'm not sure whether to applaud her or not, because if Fox had any integrity at all, she probably wouldn't sign up for the part of "teenage male fantasy," or maybe she'd try to do something with it.
Then again, maybe I should give Fox points for being self-conscious of the fact that I basically think nothing of her. I would never see a Megan Fox film on the basis that she has no acting value to me. Transformers doesn't cut it. Still, if Fox insists that she's not just eye candy but a good actress, the burden is on her to prove us otherwise.
Meanwhile, Bay points out that he launched the careers of Shia LeBouf, Nicholas Cage, and Ben Affleck. Shia LeBouf, Nicholas Cage and Ben Affleck had already showed their range and what they could do in films before they appeared in Bay's films. LeBouf was in "The Battle of Shaker Heights", "The Greatest Game Ever Played" and "Disturbia." Those films grossed a small amount of money and weren't seen by a lot of people. If Bay puts Shia LeBouf in a film that's seen by millions and millions of people, of course he'll turn into a star. Is that to Bay's credit? Did Bay discover him? Not really.
I wrote more about this here: