As an insane war for oil rages in the Middle East and combustible fuels push Earth closer to a climate crisis, you don't have to suspend much disbelief to relate to the Transformers: a race of intelligent beings who unintentionally destroyed their home planet in the throes of a bitter war over the control of a volatile non-renewable energy source.
The Transformers is a cautionary tale about two camps of refugees from the planet Cybertron; the remorseful Autobots, who have come to seek human assistance in sustaining their race...and the self-righteous Decepticons, who have come to pillage.
It is against this heavy backdrop, laden with social commentary that the film "Transformers" unfolds.
Actually, the 2007 film, "Transformers" is just a 2-hour long GMC commercial masquerading as a trite coming-of-age tale of teenage male empowerment. Instead of treating their story as a metaphor for sentient beings driven to the brink of extinction by their dependence on oil, the film hocks the same gas-guzzling demons that will inevitably bring the same devastation down on our world as was visited on Cybertron.
Even a few well-placed masturbation jokes and a cameo by Bernie Mack can't save this film from degenerating into a tragic defacement of these legendary robotic warriors, the greatest iconic heroes of my youth.
This isn't the first trip to the big screen for Bumblebee & Co. Critics of the 1986 film also based on the Transformers universe lambasted the film as a crass ploy to simply sell toys. But the rave reviews of this new film show with crushing irony that those same critics (literally the same people) 20 years later have failed to identify this film as no different-- the toys just got a lot bigger.
And I'd like to think the little plastic robots my folks shelled out $10 for in the 80s did a lot less harm to the planet than the 2007 H2 Hummer that Autobot "Ratchet" transforms into.
If the film "Transformers" is well-received, it will be yet another signal of my generation's complicity and denial in the destruction of our dying planet; a willingness to respond to disaster with glibness instead of sobriety and action.
Optimus Prime is spinning in his grave.
|Reviewer||Michael S. Young |
|Date||July 6th 2007 |
|Score|| (5 out of 10) |