Transformers is a 2007 sci-fi action film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy amd Ian Bryce. The screenplay was written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman based on a story by John Rogers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman with the Transformers characters by Hasbro. Transformers is the first installment in the live-action Transformers film series and stars Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Megan Fox, Rachael Taylor, John Turturro and Jon Voight.
The storyline follows 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 retrieve and use the AllSpark, the object that created their robotic race that is on Earth, to rebuild their home planet Cybertron and end the war, while the Decepticons have the intention of using it to build an army by giving life to the machines of Earth.
In order to save on production costs Michael Bay took a reduced salary and chose to shoot the film in the United States instead of Australia or Canada, which allowed him to work with a familiar production crew and who understood his work ethic. Filming also took place at Hoover Dam and at the Pentagon, the first time since the 11th September attacks film crews had been allowed at either of these locations. Transformers was also found to have re-used footage from Michael Bay’s previous film Pearl Harbor.
The U.S. Armed Forces and General Motors (GM) loaned vehicles and aircraft for filming, which saved on the production costs but added realism to the battle scenes. General Motors (GM) provided nearly two hundred cars, destined for destruction in the climactic battle scene. The U.S. Armed Forces provided significant support, enhancing the film’s realism: the film features F-22s, F-117s, and V-22 Ospreys, the first time these aircraft were used for a film; soldiers served as extras, and authentic uniforms were provided for the actors. A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and Lockheed AC-130s also appear in the film.
When Transformers was released it received mixed reviews from the critics with Transformers fans divided over the film due to the radical redesigns of many characters, although the casting of Peter Cullen was warmly received. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a rating of 58% with the general consensus being, “While believable characters are hard to come by in Transformers, the effects are staggering and the action is exhilarating”. Roger Ebert gave the film a positive review and awarded three stars out of a possible four, saying: “It’s goofy fun with a lot of stuff that blows up real good, and it has the grace not only to realize how preposterous it is, but to make that into an asset”.
Commerically, Transformers was a hugely successful film and had the highest gross US box office receipts in 2007. In its first days of release it grossed $27.8 million in box office receipts, a record it held until the release The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. In its opening weekend it grossed $70.5 million and went on to take $155.4 million in its opening week, the record for the biggest opening week for a non-sequel. The opening box office figures surprised Paramount Pictures who said that it acheive 50% more than what they had expected. It went on to gross $319,246,193 at the US box office and took $390,463,587 internationally. This made Transformers the highest-grossing non-sequel film in 2007 with over $709.7 million in worldwide box office receipts and made it Michael Bay’s fourth highest-grossing film to date.
The live-action Transformers film series has received mixed reviews from the critics. They have expressed criticism towards the plots, crude humour, overuse of product placements, and the lengths of the films but many praised the visual effects, action sequences and music. Despite this the Transformers film series remains the 4th highest-grossing film series, behind the The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Transformers was followed by another three films directed by Michael Bay, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in June 2009, Transformers: Dark of the Moon in June 2011, Transformers: Age of Extinction in June 2014. The fifth film in the series Transformers: The Last Knight released in June 2017 failed at the box office. Following the poor performance of The Last Knight, a spin-off reboot was released in Decmeber 2018 called Bumblebee to positive reviews and is the highest-rated film in the Transformers series.
Year of Film
Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Peter Cullen, Mark Ryan, Reno Wilson, Robert Foxworth, Hugo Weaving, Jess Harnell, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Glenn Morshower
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
Budget: $150,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $70,502,384 (USA)
Gross: $709,709,780 (Worldwide)
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