Transformers: It is all that and forget the chips

I saw the Transformers with my son yesterday. It was all I'd hoped it would be and exactly what I wished it wouldn't be.

Get It Out of the Way

It is definitely PG-13. Like the original cartoon movie which "they" felt needed a PG rating, the movie was chocked full of expletives which were totally unnecessary. The rude humor was rude but nothing so much so that every elementary school kid couldn't figure it out. There is plenty of violence but you don't "see" any humans die and none in a bloody way.

The Good Stuff

Kudos for getting the voice of Optimus Prime! Having 5 of the classic Autobots back is great plus working in a true connection to Sam Witwicky was much better than the cartoon version. Unlike the cartoon version, all the Autobots bring their "A" game to the table, including Bumblebee who has much more firepower. Major kudos for the respect this movie gives the military. The key soldiers are intelligent, creative and innovative. (if you didn't know, the original plan was to make G.I. Joe rather than the Transformers. See Wikipedia but don't read too much if you want to avoid spoilers)

On the Decepticon side, there seems to be an assumption we already know well Megatron and Starscream, who we don't get to see in combat till late in the movie. The rest of the Decepticons are new to the scene but much more evil than their cartoon counterparts. All the better I say. We see Frenzy, the cd player-boombox spy, the most, which is fine. Those expecting to see Soundwave, forget it, you won't miss him with this evil little guy doing his part.

There is ample opportunities for the sequel and you can tell they've prepared for it. Be sure if you go, to stay through the first few minutes of credits.

Making Meaning

The underlying premise of the movie, I think, is one of hope in the midst of evil. True to the comics, Optimus states, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings." Appropriate words for an Independence Day movie. Without being political, the Autobots are isolationists who understand the need for a "Department of Defense." Their motto might be "To serve and protect" which interestingly, Decepticon Barricade parodies on the side of his patrol car: "To destroy and enslave."

Without giving away spoilers, the mission of both the Autobots and Decepticons is to locate "The Cube" which contains "the Allspark", the power which gave life to the Transformers and which can give life to all electronics. Optimus tells us that in the beginning, the Transformers were a peaceful race until Megatron's quest for power began. I noted in the movie, that every electronic device which was touched by the "Allspark" became aggressive and violent. Rather than having a "default" programming of good, as in the beginning, their default program was that of destruction and evil. Was that intentional? Not sure but it certainly echoes the chronicling of humanity as found in the Bible.

Transformers is definitely matinee price and I'd probably pay evening full price, though I wouldn't take a child under 7.

May I Ask: What was the last movie you saw that made meaning? How did it impact you?

May I Suggest: Read Genesis 1-3 and then turn to Paul's letter to the Romans. If you don't have a Bible, check it out at


the reverend mommy said...

Thanks -- the kids want to see this and I was less than thrilled. Maybe this one will be "Kid and Daddy bonding time while Mommy writes her sermon."

Ken L. Hagler said...

You're more than welcome! I'm happy to be of service.

John said...

Yesterday in CPE, we watched the movie Wit. It's about the experiences of an English professor stricken with cancer. She directly addresses the audience for most of the film, beautifully expressing her pain, guilt, confusion, and other emotions. It's a powerful movie.

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