Now, if I could just rally my senses, I might be able to fire off a quick opinion about Transformers. Mrs H and I are about to embark on a (possibly apocalyptic) visit to the Mamas and Papas shop in Craigleith, so time is of the essence.
It’s a bit weird going to the cinema in the middle of the night. For one thing, you tend to rub shoulders with those who look like they don’t usually see the light of day. And as would be expected for a movie such as the above, there was a delightful masculine skew in the audience demographic. There was, of course, the odd girlfriend / wife in evidence, but few looked as if they really wanted to be there. They were out of their depth, the poor things.
An amusing preface to the film, for me, was that my viewing companion was ejected at the very beginning. Apparently, when cinemas display posters of long-anticipated upcoming attractions, this is not to be interpreted as an invitation to help yourself to said posters. This my friend learned, to his cost. ‘Look but don’t touch’ would be my tip for any potentially light-fingered cinema-goers.
So. The film. Truth be told, it fell just ever-so-slightly shy of what I was expecting, which is to say I found it a little disappointing. Of course, there were plenty of visual treats, but a lot of them felt a little bit familiar. Maybe I’m getting too old, but I find myself quite unable to make sense of overblown, hyperkinetic action scenes. Picture the scenario: you’ve got a gaggle of robots, each very large, ripping chunks out of each other within a small urban space. It sounds good on paper. But filmakers have this habit of filming such sequences in such a way that they’ll zoom right into the thick of the action, so that you feel like you’re right there. This is all very well, but it becomes hard to appreciate what’s actually happening. All you have is a vague impression of lots of metal flying in all directions, making lots of noise. Have you ever had to watch a video of a relative’s holiday? You know the sort of thing: camera all over the place, zoomed in up to the hilt and flitting from person to person in a manner more likely to induce nausea than a sense of coherent narrative? Well, Transformers was a bit like that in parts, and sometimes about as much fun.
I won’t spoil the plot for you, mostly because I am slightly hazy about it myself. I might have slept through a little bit in the middle. For example, I’d be grateful to know what became of John Turturro’s character. Did he just disappear, or did he meet some variety of grisly end while I was getting some shut-eye? The perils of late-night cinema, people. Suffice it to say that it involved robots (some good, some bad), a handful of humans, um, a box that did something or other, a pair of glasses. I think eBay was involved somehow. Probably best you see it for yourself really.
For me, it was no more than a notch above average. But perhaps repeated viewing would reveal more than (initially) meets the eye.