From the very first scene, where alien robots from a distant planet land on Earth and start killing humans in the middle of a desert in the year 17,000 BC, it’s evident that this installment of Transformers will be bigger and better in terms of action and SFX. Sadly, one can’t say the same about the storyline.
Its been two years since the Autobots – the “good” Transformers – led by Optimus Prime defeated the Decepticons – the “bad” guys – led by Megatron, who had come to Earth in search of the AllSpark, the source of life in the Universe and also the primary source of energy on the Transformers’ home planet Cybertron. The Decepticons have gone into hiding and the Autobots now work secretly with the US government to find and destroy them. Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) discovers another piece of AllSpark in his clothes which had escaped everyone’s attention. An accidental contact with the AllSpark transfers the secrets of the universe and alongwith it the location of the Energon into Sam’s mind who now starts seeing Cybertronian symbols randomly and puts the Decepticons on his trail.
In the second half, the action shifts to finding the “Matrix of Leadership”- the key that will unlock the machine that produces Energon which had been buried by the “Primes” – leaders of the first Transformers to come to Earth and also ancestors of Optimus. Sam & Co. try to thwart the Decepticons’ attempt to locate the Matix and retrieve it for themselves to revive Optimus Prime who has died valiantly to save Sam`s life.
Confused? You will be. Even multiple viewings of the first installment is not enough to make complete sense of this one. One does not except much logic in a movie about giant alien robots, but director Michael Bay seems to have sacrificed basic storytelling in favor of one SFX scene after another. Although not a great example of plot and character development, the first movie was a lot of fun. In this part, the first half drags and when the lights come on for the intermission, you’re surprised that the movie is not over. The second half is much better as everyone in the movie seems to know where they’re going and what they’re supposed to do. Agent Simmons (John Turturro) from the first movie and a pair of twin transformers provide some comic relief.
Not exactly a movie to show of one’s acting skills, special mention must be given to Peter Cullen who has been the voice of Optimus Prime ever since the first animated Transformers movie way back in 1986 and Hugo Weaving as the voice of Megatron better known to Indian audiences as Agent Smith from the Matrix. Both these actors infuse life into their characters and make the robots believable. On the down side, old favorites like Ironhide and even Bumblebee get limited screen time.
Although not a bad movie, the producers need to pull up their socks, if they plan on a successful franchise. Transformers has a lot of potential to become one. Maybe director Michael Bay needs to take some directing lessons from producer Steven Spielberg.