Many of us, especially those with good imaginations, can recall playing with toys and giving them personalities.
Executive Producers Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner (Hasbro COO) and Mark Vahradian along with Director-Producer Michael Bay and Lorenzo di Bonadventure (Shooter), Producers Tom DeSanto (X- Men series), Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers), Ian Bryce (Saving Private Ryan),, and screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have brought the Hasbro toys Transformers to life. It was hard to get this movie made, says DeSanto, so you'd better love what you do because you're in for several years of struggle.
The idea had come to DeSanto while strolling through the San Diego Comic-Con.
Oddly enough, Spielberg had the same passion. He would join his kids playing with them and became enthralled.
It didn't hurt that they also had a top director of photography Mitchell Amundsen, production designer, Jeff Mann, and great editors Paul Rubell and Glen Scantlebury or stirring background music from Steve Jablonsky and Dave Jordan.
Jon Voight (Defense Secretary) has worked with Bay before on Pearl Harbor and knows what a great director he is.
In case you don't recall them these were cars that became humanoid robots had human emotions and feelings even though they still had the physical resemblance to car. A much beloved franchise, it had been popular in comic books as well as toys. The work at hand was to develop a human story that would connect with the robots.
Knowing the brand and believing in the product, Brian Goldner of Hasbro brought a lot of ideas to the project.
The original script was done by John Rogers, a comic book enthusiast and he shares credit for such a great story with the other two writers. Rogers found that there were many blogs and web sites devoted to the toys and he learned an enormous about the individual Transformers.
Spielberg, et al, gave Michael Bay the freedom to breathe life into the creations and he along with the three writers had to attend 'Transformers School' to learn about the toy and be true to the fans who care about the franchise. The human story they came up with is a great one.
The troops in Iraq, lead by Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and USAF Tech Sgt. Epps (Tyrese Gibson) witness a disturbing site as their unit is destroyed. Only they have the knowledge of this fearsome fighting machine.
Meanwhile Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) an average teenager geek is trying to win the attention of a beautiful girl, Mikaela (Megan Fox.) Buying his first car with the help of an overindulgent Dad (Kevin Dunn) he is upset to receive an old Chevy Camero.
Somewhat like Herbie, this car has chosen him and Bernie Mac is eager to sell it off his lot. It does take Sam long to realize that the car has a mind of its own, playing songs and stalling at romantic spots when he gives Mikaela a ride home. Thinking his car is being stolen, Sam takes off after it on his bike only to be chased by a police car which turns into a 20 foot Decepticon that interrogates him. As he and Mikaela run from the robot, the Camero comes to the rescue and also becomes a giant robot.
With the help of a truck, a Porsche, and several other cars, which turn into Autobots from the planet Cybertron, they explain that each seek a mysterious cube, the Allspark. Sam, from his great grandfather, is the link that finds the kids in a tug of war between the Autobots (good guys) and Decepticons (evil robots) who are set to destroy the human race. The robot, named Buttercup, can only speak through the songs on the radio and has been sent to be Sam's guardian because the Decepticon's want glasses that belonged to Sam's great grandfather, explorer Archibald Witwicky.
The FBI and Sector 7 becomes involved when the Decepticons download information on Project Iceman and their code is intercepted by analyst Maggie Madsen (Rachel Taylor )who brings the chip to her hacker friend Glen Whitmann (Anthony Anderson.)
The two are arrested by officious Agent Simmons (John Turturro) and Sam as the link is brought to the attention of Security. Together with Sam and Mikaela as the key players backed up by Captain Lennox they must help the Autobots defeat the Decepticons.
The film is action packed and enjoyable for older kids and adults. Especially young kids might be upset at the violence.