Based on the Hasbro toy line that initially captivated kids back in the 1980s, director Michael Bay's 2007 big-screen adaptation TRANSFORMERS finds two warring factions of shape-shifting alien robots renewing their intergalactic conflict on Earth. While the Decepticons--followers of the malevolent Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving)--strive to take over the planet, the Autobots--led by the valiant Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen)--are intent on protecting humanity. The action kicks off when college student Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) makes the startling discovery that his prized new car is actually Autobot Bumblebee (voiced by Mark Ryan) in disguise! It soon becomes apparent that a War of the Worlds-style showdown is imminent, with planet Earth as the battleground. A shining example of the Hollywood summer blockbuster at its best, TRANSFORMERS combines stunning CGI effects and thrilling action sequences with drama, humour, and a touch of romance.
The epic battle for supremacy between the Autobots and the Decepticons rages on in the 2009 sequel TRANSFORMERS REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, and as usual, it's the humans who are caught in the crossfire. The Decepticons continue to spearhead a destructive campaign against the earthlings and their Autobot protectors. But the main villain of the piece is The Fallen (voiced by Tony Todd), a centuries-old Giger-esque baddie who emerges from the scrap heap hungry for power. Having lain dormant for so long, his batteries are in serious need of recharging, and the only energy source in the galaxy powerful enough to restore him to his former titanic glory is the Earth's sun. The Fallen realises that draining the sun of its energy has the added benefit of wiping out the entire human race; something he has been plotting ever since his last attempt at harvesting the sun's energy was foiled. With its eye-popping visual effects and dramatic set pieces, this instalment manages to be an even bigger spectacle than the first, which is saying a lot for a film about giant robots that turn into cars.