Transformers is a 2007 American science fiction action film based on the Transformers toy line. The film, which combines computer animation with live-action, is directed by Michael Bay, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer. It is the first installment of the live-action Transformers film series. It stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager who gets caught up in a war between the heroic Autobots and the villainous Decepticons, two factions of alien robots who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery, primarily vehicles. The Autobots intend to use the AllSpark, the object that created their robotic race, in an attempt to rebuild Cybertron and end the war while the Decepticons desire control of the AllSpark with the intention of using it to build an army by giving life to the machines of Earth. Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Megan Fox, Rachael Taylor, John Turturro, and Jon Voight also star while voice actors Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving voice Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively.
The film was produced by Don Murphy and Tom DeSanto. They developed the project in 2003, and DeSanto wrote a treatment. Steven Spielberg came on board the following year, hiring Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman to write the screenplay. The U.S. Armed Forces and General Motors (GM) loaned vehicles and aircraft during filming, which saved money for the production and added realism to the battle scenes.
Hasbro's promotional campaign for the film included deals with hundreds of companies. Advertising included a viral marketing campaign, coordinated releases of prequel comic books, toys, and books, as well as product placement deals with GM, Burger King, and eBay.
Transformers received mixed to positive reviews from critics and fans, and is the forty-fifth highest-grossing film and the fifth highest-grossing film of 2007, grossing approximately $709 million worldwide, with an estimated 46 million tickets sold in the US. The film won four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. LaBeouf's performance was praised by Empire, and Cullen's reprisal of Optimus Prime from the 1980s television series was well received by fans. A sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, was released on June 24, 2009. A third film, Dark of the Moon, was released on June 29, 2011, in 3-D and went on to gross over $1 billion. A fourth entry, Age of Extinction, was released on June 27, 2014, which also grossed over $1 billion. A fifth installment, titled Transformers: The Last Knight, is scheduled for a June 23, 2017 release.
Several thousand years ago, the planet Cybertron was consumed by a civil war by the two Transformer factions, the Autobots led by Optimus Prime and the Decepticons led by Megatron. Optimus jettisoned the AllSpark, a mystical artifact that brings life to the planet, into space, but Megatron pursued it. Megatron crashed in the Arctic Circle and froze, and was discovered in 1895 by explorer Archibald Witwicky. Witwicky activated Megatron’s navigational system, which scanned the AllSpark’s coordinates into his glasses. The glasses end up in the possession of his great-great-grandson Sam Witwicky. In the present, Sam buys his first car, a rusting Chevrolet Camaro, but discovers it has a life of its own.
In modern Qatar, Blackout attacks and destroys a United States military base in a failed attempt to hack the military network to find information on Megatron and the AllSpark. A team of soldiers led by Captain William Lennox escape across the desert, pursued by Blackout’s drone Scorponok. They fight Scorponok off, aided by aerial reinforcements, and travel home with Scorponok’s stinger, discovering sabot rounds damaged the armor. At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense John Keller leads the investigation into the attack. Sound analyst Maggie Madsen catches another Decepticon, Frenzy, hacking into the network while onboard Air Force One. While the hack is thwarted, Frenzy downloads files on Archibald’s glasses, tracking down Sam with Barricade, disguised as a police car.
Sam and his high school crush Mikaela Banes are rescued by the Camaro who turns out to be Autobot scout Bumblebee, but he is mute and has to communicate through his car radio. Previously sending a beacon to his fellow Autobots, Bumblebee takes Sam and Mikaela to meet the new arrivals – Optimus, Jazz, Ironhide, and Ratchet. Optimus explains the details of their situation, revealing if Megatron gained the AllSpark he would transform Earth’s machinery into a new army and exterminate mankind. Sam, Mikaela, and the Autobots travel to Sam’s house to retrieve the glasses, but the teenagers are captured by agents of Sector Seven, a top secret government branch led by Seymour Simmons. The Autobots stop the agents, but Simmons calls for backup, who take Sam, Mikaela, and Bumblebee into custody, while Optimus obtains the glasses.
The respective groups connected to the Transformers are gathered together at Hoover Dam by Sector Seven’s director Tom Banachek. Inside, the group discover the frozen Megatron and the AllSpark, but Frenzy, who smuggled away in Mikaela’s bag, summons the other Decepticons to attack. Bumblebee is released to protect the AllSpark, shrinking it down to a handheld size so it can be transported to safety. Megatron escapes the dam after thawing out. A lengthy battle occurs in Mission City (but was clearly filmed in Los Angeles), with most of the Decepticons being killed, but Megatron murders Jazz. He prevents Sam’s attempted escape with the AllSpark, and begins to fight Optimus. After a long brawl Megatron seems to get the upper hand. Optimus then tells Sam to push the cube into his chest in order to ensure their mutual destruction, but Sam rams it into Megatron's chest instead, extinguishing his spark. Starscream is the only Decepticon to escape, but Barricade remains on Earth.
Optimus salvages a shard of the AllSpark from Megatron’s body. The United States government shuts down Sector Seven, disposing of the dead Decepticons in the Laurentian Abyss. Sam and Mikaela then start a relationship while the Autobots secretly hide out on Earth, Optimus sends a transmission into space inviting any surviving Autobots to join them.
Why It's Better than Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- Cool acting.
- Great special effects.
- It did better at the box office.