As a kid, I was never into the Transformers.  Maybe that means I have no business commenting on Michael Bay’s super-hyped mega-
budgeted adaptation.  As a self-appointed film critic, however, I can tell you that “Transformers” is a train wreck of a film.

The entirety of the movie is so frantically directed, edited and written that it lacks any hint of coherence or sense.  Characters and locations
jump and crosscut without any direction or purpose.  It is a complete jumble of nonsense.

I honestly don’t think Michael Bay and company had any idea of how to adapt this series and just decided to load up on cheese ball humor
and mind-numbing action sequences.

In fact the action sequences, while technically amazing from the sense of visual effects and animation, are incomprehensible.  There is no
spatial consistency from shot to shot.  What we end up with, as I noted in my review of Bay’s previous disaster “The Island,” is an exciting
shot here or there book ended by loud noises and a lot of explosions.

I like loud noises and explosions as much as the next guy, but I prefer when they are in some sort of context.  The rest of the film isn’t any

The human characters are completely dispensable and the Transformers completely indistinguishable.  Maybe I’m asking for a beating, but
the Transformers are really shitty characters.  The script makes no attempt whatsoever to give them personalities and most of them look so
similar that they can’t be differentiated amid the chaos of the action.

Shia LaBeouf does an admirable job as the bumbling teen and Megan Fox is as visually spectacular as ILM’s effects.  Neither of them is
really developed, but compared to the other characters (which range from over-the-top comic devices to dull exposition spewing idiots)
they are golden.

Bay struggles with the tone of the film overall.  At times it wants to be a serious action movie, other times it wants to be a cheesy comedy,
and in a few shots it wants to be a love story.

As if the movie wasn’t a clichéd action flick enough, Steve Jablonsky lends a by-the-numbers score which sounds suspiciously similar to
“Batman Begins.”

“Transformers” is the equivalent of filmmaking masturbation.  The film is all about Michael Bay throwing as much crap at the audience as
possible without any regard for quality storytelling.  Bay even shamelessly references himself when a character describes the action as
“ten times better than ‘Armageddon.’”

It may be visually impressive, but “Transformers” is much, much less than meets the eye.

(out of four)
Directed by: Michael Bay

Written by: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel,
Tyrese Gibson, Rachael Taylor, Anthony Anderson

Cinematography by: Mitchell Amundsen

Music by: Steve Jablonsky

Released: July 3, 2007; 144 Minutes