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Transformers, or How I Learned to Forgive Michael Bay and love Summer Blockbusters

Posted 2007-07-06 Tags: None

I went to see Transformers on Wednesday night. Yes, that's right. Opening night. If there's one thing I hate about movies in the theatre, it's seeing them on opening night. You're right in there with the unwashed masses (read: teenagers) that don't seem to get movies at the same level that I do. You're right, I'm being pretentious. It's on purpose, and it's mildly sarcastic. Mildly, because it's mostly true. (kidding!)

Man, do I ever not regret going to see the movie.

I think part of why I loved this movie coming out was because of how absolutely low my expectations were going in. Michael Bay has, in the past, been a ridiculous train wreck of a director. He makes terrible Hollywood tripe of the worst order; take Pearl Harbor for instance. I think it may be the worst movie (yes, I'm including Battlefield Earth. No, I'm not sure if I can back that up). When I heard that Michael Bay was directing Transformers, I was hurt in a way that is difficult to describe. It was as if a good friend of my childhood, one that I loved and cherished, but hadn't seen in years, had come back into my life, but was now dating a bully that used to beat up on me at the same time. And that bully beat them. And had herpes.

I guess you can see how low my expectations were.

So, there I was on opening day. I didn't even know it was opening day - I told my brother and sister that I'd go see the movie with them, assuming it had been out for weeks. I shoed up, and we hit the theatre. I sat, knowing that I would hate that Bumblebee was a goddamn Camaro, that Starscream wasn't voiced by Cobra Commander (RIP, Chris Latta) that... that a thousand things that Michael Bay had taken away from the original.

The ads finished. The lights dimmed. The movie started.

I was 5 years old again, and it was a Saturday morning.

That would be enough of my review, right there, but there was more than that. In addition to being 5 years old again on a Saturday, I was 27 and it was late on a Wednesday night, and there were things in the movie made for that person, too. Michael Bay poking fun at his own pop-schlock crappy movies. Michael Bay taking little pot shots at the government of the United States. Throwbacks to the original series. Ridiculous, ludicrous stunts that only work because of my willing suspension of disbelief. This movie has it all.

My name is Andrew Phoenix. I'm 27, and I love robots that transform. Thanks for listening.