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I never played with the toys, I recon I was about five years too old for them, which means that the whole folklore around the film, the truckload of geeky expectations, the debates about whether or not any robot should have lips, is very much very not interesting to me. It’s a film about a bunch of robots gotten off-track, crashed into Earth and unable to get away. As they are here anyway, they can just as well split up into good and bad and kick each other’s stainless steel butts.

Starting with the final assessment: the film is much better entertainment than any film costing more than 100 million Dollards that I’ve seen this year. It has a more original idea ("more" meaning: take out all the threequels, as they did not have any single original idea, and "300" was not very original, either) than the rest, it does its CGI much better most of the time (the robots look like robots, that’s for sure), and the lower part of the lead girl is rather attractive (which is not true for "Pirates3", "Shrek3", or "Spiderman3", all of which have green Ogres as lead females – of course, Ms. Fox’s face also is a bit misbegotten, but I only realised near the end of the film). Now this more original is not a lot, because having big robots that turn into cars on Earth wears off a short while after the opening sequence (which does not even feature a car, but a helicopter). The director realises this and accelerates the transformation bits quite a bit, which makes them shorter and hence less boring, but you don’t see anything anymore of the twenty million dollars they cost each. As for the cgi-robots themselves… Actually, the shame is that they are just robots that look like the toys that were on the shelves around 1980, meaning they don’t look really cool today, a bit old-fashioned, as if they were big brothers of Rubik’s cube, which they are, of course. Strange colours, and only Megatron has some mystique about him(it?)self.

I usually like the villains, and Megatron had the potential to be liked, but Mr Bay manages to neglect him. That was a bit disappointing, espacially as the saved screen time was used for this annoying little transistor radio pain-in-the-arse that keept doing snarling noises as if … as if there was any use in this.

I mentioned Mr Bay: he is and remains the worst of the bunch of big-scale blockbuster directors (ah well, let’s stay fair: the one I like least. Because he’s the worst). The whole story falls apart, the drama develops at random, and the fights are distrbuted arbitrarily aver the 140 plus minutes. And suddenly it’s over. Just like that, because the man does not know building up tension, climaxing it and allowing it relieve space for breathing. Which means the film is, at the end of the day, not much more than a succession of digital robot set pieces, and that is a shame, because with these characters and the technology, some nice comic feature could have been made. He would be better advised to be second-unit director for the action sequences, which he does rather well. As for the big picture, the characters, drama, tension and relief – he appears to be rather lost in the thicket of CGI things.

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