First came the fiddly Japanese toys, then came the 1980s cartoon based on the robots that could transform into other vehicles. Then in 2007, that master of the brain-numbing blockbuster, Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon), turned the story of warring Decepticon (baddies) and Autobot (good guys) robots into a big screen live-action smash (with plenty of computer generated effects thrown in for good measure).
Shia LaBeouf stars as Sam, a teenager who discovers his first car is actually a robot named Bumblebee, sent to protect him since Sam has unknowingly got an artefact that the Decepticons want to get their hands on. Soon other robots arrive on earth, either to defend us humans (led by fan favourite Optimus Prime) or to blow us up (led by Megatron), taking most of the plot with them as the film becomes one long special effects orgy of exploding robots, battling robots, exploding buildings and puzzled cast members running from the nearest fire/explosion/disaster, usually straight into the next one. It's completely silly, and half the time you won't be able to tell whether you're watching a bad or good robot, but for mindless flashy entertainment, you certainly do get a lot of bang for your buck.
Is Transformers suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
The movie is packed with battles between the robots, car chases and explosions, but nothing that should scare the average kid.
Parents may be more concerned about the gratuitous, lingering shots of costar Megan Fox’s cleavage!