|Transformers Live Action Movie Script Review|
Reviewed on 05/24/2006 by Alex Weiner |
This is a script review of the Transformers Movie due out in July 2007 by Transformer World 2005 staff.
You can join the discussion about this review here.
This is the third review posted online regarding the Transformers script leaked/given to online resources. Everyting contained in what I read last night matches what was posted by Robert Sanchez over at IESB and El Mayimbe of Latino Review.
The script, if not real, is an intricately, professionally written, movie caliber level piece of literature. Based on what we have heard from Michael Bay, Don Murphy, early Steven Spielberg blurbs about the project, and offline rumblings I get here and there from various people that do have access to the movie, I'm voting this is the real deal. If it's not, you can call me a sucker later. Figure its worth posting up a review either way, we fans need something to talk about for the next year, right? :) So that being said, let's get to the goodies.
The script is 112 pages long. Movie scripts supposedly average a page a minute, so that puts this at a little under 2 hours, written. Editing and all that could push it longer or shorter. We've heard descriptions of the first act, and several key points by the above mentioned sites. Check those out for details. I'm going to cover Transformers fans key points of interest here.
I am going to do this as tactfully as possible. If this is real, the production team will surely not want every cool or special thing posted online a year before it's live. So when I am vauge, it's on purpose. Same goes for the ending. Not going there. Sorry.
I don't even know where to begin. I began typing and deleted entire paragraphs because I want to make sure what I felt is truely conveyed. I think the key thing here is, I still don't know how I feel about what I read. It is an awesome movie, as movies go. It tells a great story. It develops characters*. It's fun. Great battle scenes mapped out. But, I think I have to say when all is said and done, it's just not what I wanted from a Transformers movie.
I really had to think about whether or not to print that last statement and be branded the "Internet fanboy who just hates everything". I don't want to be. I can accept change. I don't expect Bumblebee to be a Bug. Licensing. I don't expect the cars to be from 1984. Things need to get updated, some things need to change completely. I get it. The key here is to convey the essence of the original, in a way the new generation can dig. I don't think this does it.
The Autobots were handled well. Prime in particular. When I read his lines, it was done right. I was able to visualize this yet unvieled 3-D Prime talking, in these situations. However with the rest of the Autobots, and all of the Decepticons, there just isn't enough dialogue to get to know them. Bumblebee gets a ton of screen time, and he can't even speak. War wound. Uses his radio to communicate with Humans. Very cheesy. Other than that, the "discovery" scenerio that leads him to reveal himself to Spike was handled great. It also took a third of the movie.
The Decepticons, I belive have a total of 5 speaking lines until the end of the movie, where Prime and Megatron go back and forth. Even then, we don't get much development from Megatron, he's just a kick ass crazy guy on a mission. Brawl interacts with Spike a bit, more of a "do this or you will die" type situation. Starscream has 2 lines. Soundwave, Bonecrusher, Devestator, no lines at all. Im sure some could get worked in, but they definately weren't focusing on them for speaking parts in this revision.
The story does focus around the "Energon Cube". It gets here, they chase it, it's a source of power. That's why they are here. It has a purpose to the Transformers more like Vector Sigma than the Matrix. The term Energon Cube has been stated as a place holder for the item in the script. So long as it's not called Energon Cube, or Energon, we are good. It's a good story element and the way they are after it is very Transformers feeling in nature.
Now, for the heated question: Human to Robot ratio. We all fear it, as various powers that be insist that the human element must be there for it to work as a live action movie. The humans are introduced from the get go, and developed, heavily. There are three camps. Military guys. They go at it with Vortex and Scorponok at first. Spike and Mikaela in small town USA, Spike buys Bumblebee, XYZ happens, finds out he's a Transformer, etc. Then, Maggie and Glen, they are brought in by the Government by the Secretary of Defense, code breakers. They all start out in seperate areas, all get affected by and interact with various groups of Transformers, and eventually all converge. When that happens, the final big battle happens, of course because all the key players are together for the first time on screen. This whole script is told through the eyes of these Human characters. They are never "not-there". Only at the end do we get a bit of one-on-one time with Prime and Megs, and even that is quick. Humans are in there too. So, I would have to say, there is a 70/30 split in screen time in favor of the humans. Alot of which is humans interacting with Transformers, the "discovery" type situations, but it's still there. Humans also play a big part in the ending as well. Too much.
There is a couple key things that are really throwing me off. Im stating these as a Transformers fan, not Joe Blo who won't remember or know the difference. They stuck out and were so damn distracting that it just made it feel weird.
Prime. Megatron. THEIR RELATIONSHIP. No.
Bumblebee. Can't speak. Uses car radio to communicate with humans. No.
Names of every Decepticon besides Megatron and Starscream. No.
Soundwave. Cool character in movie. Just can't be Soundwave. Please.
Too much human screen time.
Overall, this is a great movie. It's just not a great Transformers movie. Think "E.T. meets Independence Day meets 24 meets Men in Black meets - Transformers". Throw in 4 battle scenes and a whole bunch of "Holy crap their aliens" and "Holy crap they transformed" and you got it. Will it make it's money back, yes, and a crap load more. Will it sell toys, yep. Will it spawn a sequel. Probably. But I just don't think this script, or the way they are handling the characters, will produce an "epic" saga that people will come back to for years to come. It's not Star Wars level. It could be, the building blocks are there. Just didn't get there with this.
Alot of talk says the creative team is shooting for a new incarnation of Transfomrers, the way they handled Spider Man and X-Men. Well, when I watch Spider Man and X-Men I get the feeling that I'm watching something true to it's roots (more so with Spider Man). With this, I don't get that. It takes the very very bare bone original concept and just takes it in a way new direction, and really - really - focuses on the humans to get there.
To wrap things up, I'm sure everyone on the team knows this is how fans would react to it. They have their reasonings as to why they need to do certain things in here, why it makes it "better", more viable. I just don't get it. I described some of this before posting it online to a buddy and he just said one thing "Why?". I think that sums it up. Hopefully they can fix a couple things and get it a bit more "Transformers" feeling before it's live. Otherwise, be ready for a kick ass science fiction film that happens to be titled "Transformers" next year. The End. See you in July, uh, 2007!
18 Wheeler, Semi. No mention of flat cab or long nose here.
Pickup Truck. All characters seem to scan and mimic real things they see in the movie. The one he scans is mentioned as being black.
Ambulance. No mention of style.
Exotic Sportscar. No model mentioned. He scans one spinning in a showroom, so let's assume its fancy.
Chevy Camaro. Yellow, racing stripes. He changes form at least once to another car form later in the script. Can not talk. Never a bug or smaller styled car.
Black, jet. Cybertronian in form, not "in disguise" or based on human machinery.
F-22 Raptor Jet.
Metallic Scorpion. Seems to act as a drone.
Real life military helicoptor. Scorponok attaches to him.
Police Car. Soundwave works closely with him.
Portable Boombox styled radio. Max at 4.5 feet tall. Described as razor thin, and has a mouth.
Mine clearing vehicle.
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