“Transformers” was directed by Michael Bay, is the first film in the film series & based on the “Hasbro” toy line. The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, John Turturro, Rachel Taylor, Anthony Anderson, Julie White and Kevin Dunn. Hugo Weaving, Darius McCary, Charles Adler, Robert Foxworth and Jess Harnell make up the voice cast. Rounding out the voices is Peter Cullen, returning to the role of “Optimus Prime”, the same character he voiced in the 1980s animated series and film based on the original “Transformers”.
When a mysterious robot entity attacks a US military base in Qatar, the surviving soldiers, Captain William Lennox (Duhamel), Sargent Robert Epps (Gibson) and their team must inform the government of an impending attack. Meanwhile in California, a teenage boy, Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) buys a used ‘76 Chevy Camero in order to impress his high school crush, Mikala (Fox). However, things take an unexpected turn when Sam’s car transforms into a robot similar to the one in Qatar. But unlike that robot, this one, code named Bumblebee, has a mission to protect Sam from the Decepticons and their leader, Megatron (Weaving). Sam and Mikala meet the rest of the Autobots, Optimus Prime (Cullen), Jazz (McCary), Ironhide and Ratchet. With lots going on at once, a government analysis, Maggie (Taylor) and her hacker friend, Glen (Anderson) uncover more about the Decepticons and their origin on Earth, dating back to Sam’s great great grandfather, Archibald Witwicky and his voyage across the Arctic Circle and discovering Megatron buried in the ice in search of a mysterious relic. The Secretary of Defense, John Keller (Voight) is investigating both the Qatar attack and sightings of other robots heading towards the Hoover Dam. Sam and the Autobots must recover the “AllSpark”, the mysterious relic from the transformers homeland, Cybertron, before Megatron and Decepticons get it and use it to turn Earth’s technology against it and destroy the world.
The first film was actually really good from the opening scene of the attack on Qatar to the final act was an amazing ride of a great cinematic adventure. This film was supposed to be the launching pad for a great film series and it was. Shia LaBeouf shines as the main character and give that great awkward teenager performance that he was known for at the time. The action sequences were great, the supporting cast was solid. It does have the typical cliches of action and science fiction films but are easily ignored for some popcorn movie fun. Overall, this was a great all around entertaining film.
After the huge success of this film, Paramount and Michael Bay went on to make 4 more sequels, 2009’s “Revenge of the Fallen”, 2011’s “Dark of the Moon”, 2014’s “Age of Extinction” and 2017’s “The Last Knight”. Michael Bay would direct all 5 films with the cast changing throughout, some leaving, some returning and some joining. In 2018, a spin-off was released, “Bumblebee” with Michael Bay serving as a producer and not directing.