Film / Transformers

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Ironhide: Why are we fighting to save the humans? They're a primitive and violent race.
Optimus Prime: Were we so different? They are a young species. They have much to learn... but I've seen goodness in them. Freedom is the right of all sentient beings...

Note: This is about the 2007 live action Transformers film. For the 1986 animated Generation One film, see The Transformers: The Movie.

The first in the Transformers Film Series, live-action films based on the long-running Transformers toyline and television series. Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Michael Bay.

Our protagonist is teenager Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). He wants his first car to impress "evil jock concubine" Mikaela (Megan Fox), who turns out to be rather talented with cars. He ends up getting a beat-up yellow Camaro. But it turns out the car chose him; it's one of many sentient alien robots who can "transform" and disguise themselves as human vehicles. His name's Bumblebee, an advance scout for the Autobots, a noble faction from the planet Cybertron whose mission is to protect Sam from another faction, the evil Decepticons.

On another front, a US military base is attacked by agents of the Decepticons, with the sole survivors handling valuable information on whom they are fighting and how they can stand a chance at fighting back. At the same time, a Pentagon analyst finds evidence that there is a Government Conspiracy that knows more of what is going on than anyone else. These plotlines converge as Autobot reinforcements led by Optimus Prime arrive on Earth and tell Sam his family heirloom holds answers to the location of the AllSpark, a powerful artifact responsible for the Transformers' existence and lost for thousands of years. The two factions battle over it: the Autobots want to return life to their dying world, while the Decepticons seek to exterminate their enemies.

Here is the character sheet.


This film provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Mikaela and Simmons each get Sam's surname wrong when they try to say it. Mikaela says it as "Wilkicky" and Simmons says it as "Wickity", even after Ron corrects him.
  • AM/FM Characterization: Bumblebee, the first Transformer our protagonist meets, actually has no real voice capabilities, and instead does all of his vocalizations through playing songs on his stereo. This is the trope cranked Up to Eleven.
  • Amusing Injuries: When Sam first encounters Barricade, Barricade's door flies open and hits Sam, knocking him on his face.
  • Brake Angrily: When Mikaela asks why Bumblebee turns back into a "Piece of crap Camaro." It seems that Bumblebee does this in retaliation with Sam thinking it's this trope. However it becomes subverted when he was just leaving them so he could find a better form to turn into.
  • Bros Before Hoes: Inverted; Sam's friend reminds him of the trope, but he's kicked to the curb so Sam can go after Mikaela.
  • Car Fu:
    • A rather different case than usual — most of the Autobots turn into cars, who apparently know Kung Fu. For the first movie, in fact, Michael Bay instructed the animators to watch Kung Fu movies to get a feel for how they should move. According to the DVD extras, he even had martial artists on wire rigs filmed to visualize the combat movements of the Transformers in hand-to-hand combat.
    • A more traditional case was Bumblebee's slide/drift in vehicle mode to knock down Barricade while rescuing Sam and Mikaela.
  • Car Skiing: Bumblebee does this to scan and transform into the 2009 version of the Camaro.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Captain Witwicky's glasses. Sam first tries to sell them on eBay, and Barricade implies their importance when he demands to know where they are. Optimus confirms this by revealing the coordinates to the All Spark's location on Earth is imprinted on the lenses. Optimus then uses the glasses to determine the All Spark's location. It's the Hoover Dam, which, ironically, was built around it to prevent it from being found.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Optimus outlines a plan that the only way to destroy the AllSpark is by merging it with his own spark in his chest. The idea was that eliminating the AllSpark and Optimus along with it is preferable to Megatron getting it. Sam managing to execute that plan on Megatron was definitely seen as a Million-to-One Chance.
  • Chest Blaster: Blackout's chest cannon, Frenzy's CD blade launcher.
  • Composite Character: Bumblebee has the friendliness of the classic G1 Bumblebee but combines the visual "door wings" of Prowl and the frontline soldier role of Sideswipe.
  • Cool Car: The car forms of Barricade (a Saleen S281, a variant of the Mustang), Bumblebee (his 2009 Camaro form, which was custom-built for the film two years before its official debut), and Jazz (a Pontiac Solstice).
  • Decomposite Character: The role of Soundwave as the Hypercompetent Sidekick to Megatron was split between Barricade (the cop car) and especially Blackout (the helicopter), including their use of deployable minions of Scorponok and Frenzy. He was in earlier scripts, but the demands against Mass Shifting led to the role being split up and, eventually, leaving him out altogether because it wouldn't have done the character justice.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: The entire role of Lennox and Epps in the story was figuring out the most effective way of fighting against the Decepticons. They come to the conclusion that high heat sabot rounds do the most damage (besides heavy artillery from a gunship), although it's still Death of a Thousand Cuts from regular infantry.
  • Destroy the Product Placement:
    • Zigzagged with the licensed vehicle modes never getting destroyed (with the exception of Sideways in the second movie), with the destruction/killing ocurring only when they're in robot mode;
    • Inverted with the Allspark animating a Mountain Dew vending machine and an Xbox, both of which start attacking passersby.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: The Decepticons' ability to infiltrate Earth technology is Hand Waved by stating that all modern tech was reverse-engineered from the captured Megatron, which would also explain why the AllSpark could be used to transform Earth's tech.
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Mojo's collar.
    Mrs. Witwicky: That's his bling!
  • Explosion Propulsion: Ironhide uses his cannons to blast himself into a vault to dodge Brawl's missiles.
  • Faking Engine Trouble: Bumblebee (who is the car) fakes engine problems to try and bring Sam and Mikaela together.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • The film had its fair share of gruesome deaths. Bonecrusher and Frenzy both getting beheaded (in Frenzy's case, by his own weapon), and just look at the mess of what was formerly Megatron's chest after the Allspark is rammed directly into his spark.
    • How 'bout that soldier in Lennox's squad who got impaled in his chest by Scorponok?
    • And Jazz's death.
      Jazz: You want a piece of me? You want a piece?!
      Megatron: No! I want— [tears Jazz in half] TWO!
  • Five-Bad Band: The Decepticons.
  • Five-Man Band: The Autobots form one.
  • Foreshadowing: Captain Witwicky, according to Sam in his genealogy report, kept babbling, in his last years of life, about a "giant ice man" he thought he'd discovered. Said "giant ice man" turned out to be Megatron embedded in the ice after a crash landing.
    • Ratchet says in the alleyway scene that the Cube's power could be used to transform Earth's machines. In the climax, Sam, while running with the Cube, runs into a Cadillac Escalade and its power brings the steering wheel to life, as well as doing the same to an Xbox and a vending machine.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When he tries to attack Sam, Barricade disguises itself as a police car, with "To Punish And Enslave" written at the side (instead of "To Protect And Serve").
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: When Optimus catches Sam as he's falling from the skyscraper.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The military plan to hide the AllSpark in Mission City.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Optimus is willing to attempt one in the climax. He tells the other Autobots that he would unite the All Spark with the spark in his chest to destroy it. Ratchet tells him it would be suicide to do so. In the climax, Optimus tells Sam to do this if he cannot defeat Megatron. Luckily, Sam unites the All Spark with Megatron's spark, killing him.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Parodied when Sam asked the Autobots to back off from the house while he searched for the glasses. The Autobots transform into their vehicle modes... and sit right there in the back yard. Sam screams at them that it's not a truck-stop, and they have to hide in robot-mode. Optimus later invokes the trope in his message before the credits.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Frenzy is killed by one of his own discs slicing his head in half.
  • Hollywood Hacking: The entirety of the slightly-less-than-awesome "signal processing" subplot.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The capture of Bumblebee by Sector 7, which, coupled with them repeatedly blasting him with freezing chemical during and after the capture, has a definite feeling of torture. When Bumblebee almost shoots the engineers after they release him, it's hard to blame him.
    • Some of this is even intercut with the rest of the Autobots questioning Optimus over why they should save us from the Decepticons, given how primitive and violent we are as a race. Optimus Prime reminds them that at one time, Cybertronians were Not So Different from us.
  • I'll Kill You!:
    Megatron: I'll kill you! Mine! Allspark!
  • Kill It with Fire: Agent Simmons tries to kill Frenzy this way. It doesn't work.
    Simmons: BURN SUCKER! BUURRRRRRNN!!
  • Large Ham: Glenn and Agent Simmons.
  • The Load: Attempted aversion with Sam Witwicky, with the location of the Allspark imprinted on his great-grandfather's glasses, and the fact that he is ultimately the one to kill Megatron.
  • Magical Negro: Used car salesman Bobby Bolivia attempts to act like this as a sales pitch.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: Jazz seems to have have magnetic powers, pulling the firearms of soldiers away from them. Blackout also has an EMP weapon.
  • The Matchmaker: Bumblebee.
  • Meaningful Echo: "No sacrifice, no victory."
  • Men Can't Keep House: Sam's room, with his suggested Porn Stash.
  • Meta Origin: The AllSpark is written to be described enough to explain their origins but vague enough to not answer everything.
  • Midair Collision: Starscream shoots up a squadron of F-22's, causing one of them to spin of of control and crash into another one.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Ratchet is one of the physically strongest Autobots. He's also one of the slowest.
    • Ironhide even more so.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Sam Witwicky's parents notice that he's hiding something from them. Sam's mother outright asks if he's masturbating, and his parents proceed to try to give him space.
  • Moment Killer: Invoked by Mikaela. Sam's parents were questioning Sam's nervous and twitchy behavior (due to the Autobots hanging out in the backyard) after coming into his room, with her trying to hide. To end the conversation Mikaela presents herself, making it seem that Sam was acting that way because they interrupted an intimate moment. Rather than being upset, Mom and Dad Witwicky are thrilled for Sam.
    Judy Witwicky: Oh my gosh you're gorgeous! I'm sorry you had to hear our little "family discussion."
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That:
    • Ratchet's introductory comment: "The boy's pheromone levels suggest that he wants to mate with the female."
    • Earlier, when Bumblebee pretends to cut out at a local make-out point, his radio starts playing Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing".
  • No Conservation of Mass: Mostly averted, since care was taken so that the Transformers had the same amount of mass in vehicle and robot form. However, the Cube can apparently go from house-sized to basketball-sized with no release of energy. That said, the Cube is a magical MacGuffin responsible for the creation of a not just a race of transforming giant sentient machines but their entire world as well so it gets a little leeway.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Michael Bay mentioned in the DVD Commentary that the sequence where Lennox had to deal with an obnoxious telephone operator to get a call transferred to the Pentagon while under fire was taken from a Real Life incident he heard about while talking with some military personnel.
  • Not This One, That One: Invoked by Sam's dad. When taking him to get his new car, he drives Sam through the parking lot of a Porsche dealer, waiting until Sam says in disbelief and excitement, "You are not getting me a Porsche!" to which Dad replies, "You're right. You're not getting a Porsche," and drives into a used car lot.
    • Genius Bonus: The Porsche family has told Hasbro and Takara, makers of the Transformers toys, that their vehicles are off limits.
  • Oh Crap!: Sam has one when Barricade converts into his robot form in front of him.
    • Glenn when the FBI invade his home to arrest him and Maggie.
    • Frenzy, moments before his death. Understandable, considering he'd just lost most of his head.
  • Online Alias: "Are you username ladiesman217?"
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Sam and Mikaela.
  • Papa Wolf: Ron tells Simmons this when he comes for Sam: "You're not taking my son." Optimus as well: "Taking the children was a bad move."
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "Join them in EXTINCTION!" * blam*
  • Precision F-Strike: Frenzy's demise when his head is sliced in half with his own weapon.
    Frenzy: Oh, shit!
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Megatron to Optimus:
    Megatron: You still fight for the weak! That is why you lose!
  • Rule of Cool: Giant robots... Giant robots. The advertising campaign amounted to, "Look at all the cool shit they can do!"
  • Rule of Pool: Omar, Glenn's cousin, is tackled into the pool when the FBI break in to take Glenn and Maggie into custody.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Glenn during his Oh Crap! moment.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Megatron is kept on ice inside the Hoover Dam, and is pretty angry upon thawing out.
  • Self-Deprecation:
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Simmons is suited when we first see him. Secretary of Defense John Keller is also seen in a suit in all of his scenes.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At the site where one of the Autobots crashed, we see a nerdy guy screaming "This is a hundred times cooler than Armageddon!"
    • The scene where Captain Lennox and his team are pinned down, need to call the Pentagon over a phone and need a credit card to pay for the call is almost identical to a scene in the film Heartbreak Ridge.
  • Standard Hollywood Strafing Procedure: The A-10's that attack Scorponok are shown shredding the ground in plenty of space before and after his spot.
  • Standard Police Motto: Parodied. Barricade's alt-mode is a police car mode with the phrase "To punish and enslave."
  • Staring Kid: Several, one notable one is the girl who has a transformer land in her pool.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sam and Mikaela. Both start out as just Ordinary High School Students, then end up actively taking part in the climax with the Autobots and soldiers against the Decepticons.
  • Under the Truck: Captain Lennox grabs an abandoned motorcycle, drives it straight at Blackout, and puts it in a powerslide right between Blackout's legs, firing his assault rifle and Grenade Launcher straight into him (while at the same time, F-22's are shooting him with missiles), apparently killing him.
  • Urine Trouble: Mojo urinates on Ironhide's foot during the backyard scene.
    Sam: Mojo! Mojo, off the robot!
  • Vengeful Vending Machine: The power of the Cube animates a soda machine, which sprouts limbs and goes berserk.
  • We Have Been Researching Phlebotinum for Years: It turns out that the government has been studying Transformers for decades in a secret base under the Hoover Dam, and that most modern technology is actually the product of their reverse-engineering efforts.
  • You All Share My Story: The three separate subplots involving Lennox's team, the NSA hackers, and Sam and Mikaela converge when all three are assembled at the Hoover Dam for the final battle.

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