Robot warriors come to life in ‘Transformers’ |

Robot warriors come to life in ‘Transformers’

Howie Nave
Optimus Prime (right) and Bonecrusher do battle in "Transformers." (DreamWorks)

Actor Shia LaBeouf is on top of the world – literally (in “Transformers” at least). He has been Hollywood’s go-to boy, and who even heard of this kid a year ago?

Oh, sure, he’s been in countless television series, and even a couple of bad movies (“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd,” both in 2003), but this year has been very good to the one whose name everyone mispronounces. So far he has been the voice of Cody Maverick in the animated flick “Surf’s Up,” the break-out character of Kale in “Disturbia,” and next year he’ll be starring along side Harrison Ford in the fourth installment of the popular Indiana Jones franchise. And now he’s in one of Spielberg’s latest: “Transformers.”

I was never really into the “Transformers” animated series on TV, but liked the 1986 big-screen adaptation. This one is by far the best of all, depicting two different alien races (the Autobots vs. the Decepticons) as they land on Earth, causing damage in their effort to secure the Allspark, a sacred cube that can transform everyday mechanical devices into living creatures of doom.

And at the center of it all (well, several centers) there’s Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf). He’s the key to saving the planet from turning into essentially a Borg state, which is why the Autobots dispatched the high-performance vehicle in the shape of a Camaro to be his bodyguard. Don’t ask – I’m probably giving away more than I should at this point. But I will say that the Camaro also doubles as a matchmaker machine for Sam to hook him up with the high school darling played by Megan Fox. Who knew that a Camaro could double as a matchmaker, since most guys usually bought one to pick up girls in the first place.

Directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg, “Transformers” must have been a blast for these two men. I predict many women will scratch their heads and say, “Why?” But, for us guys, who tend to be kids at times, to see the mechanics of these Erector Sets changing into different shapes and characters … what’s not to like?

— Howie Nave is host/manager of The Improv comedy club inside Harveys and reviews films for seven radio stations throughout northern California and Nevada, including the Sirius Radio Network every Sunday evening. He hosts “Howie’s Morning Rush” on Tahoe’s KRLT radio and you can see his film reviews every Friday morning on KOLO ABC TV Channel 8.

Keepin’ it reel:

Now Playing: “Transformers”

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rachael Taylor, Anthony Anderson, Jon Voight and John Turturro

Directed by: Michael Bay

Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action violence, brief sexual humor and language

Running time: 145 minutes

Howie gives it: 3.5 out of 5 bagels

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