Story

Transformers tells of the longstanding intergalactic battle between a robotic race of Tranformers – the ‘good’ Autobots led by Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) and the ‘bad’ Decepticons, led by evil Megatron (Hugo Weaving). Their battle centres around their attempts to find the source of all Transformer power, the Cube. The Cube has been hidden on planet earth for many years. Megatron and his forces are trying to find it by infiltrating military and political bases.

This plot is stumbled upon by an intrepid artic explorer Captain Witwicky in the early 1900s, who leaves the secret of his discovery to his family.

Over 100 years later, his great grandson, Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) uses a school presentation to impress a popular classmate, Mikayla (Megan Fox). He also sells off some of his ancestor’s belongings to fund the purchase of his first car. The car he ultimately selects is an old yellow Camaro. Sam discovers that the car is, in fact, the Transformer Bumblebee, a good Autotbot. Sam also discovers that he holds important secrets to the location of the Cube and that Bumblebee is his guardian.

Meanwhile, in warzone Qatar, a US military base is attacked by an unknown but deadly foe. The only survivors are a squadron and their captain (Josh Duhamel), who try desperately to warn the Secretary of Defence (Jon Voigt) of this new threat. The Secretary of Defence enlists young computer analysts to identify the origins of the enemy. A young female analyst (Rachel Taylor) identifies the force to be the alien robotic Decepticons.

Back in LA, Sam finds himself pursued by both the Decepticons and an operative (John Turturro) from the secretive Section Seven. His friend Mikayla is caught up in his troubles. As the Decepticon threat looms, Bumblebee sends a message to his Autobot friends, who crash down to earth. The Autobots, along with their human friends, join together in a final bid to rid earth and the galaxy of the destructive Decepticons.

Themes

Good vs evil; self-sacrifice

Violence

  • One scene shows a destructive attack on a US military base in Qatar in which buildings are blown up, windows are blown in by a sonic boom, and soldiers are killed in explosions and machine gun fire. No blood is shown, but soldiers are thrown about and land as inanimate bodies.
  • The surviving squadron is attacked by a robotic scorpion-like creature. It kills one of the soldiers and injures others. The attack moves into a local village, where villagers are injured and homes are destroyed by bombs.
  • A small Decepticon infiltrates Air Force One. While attempting to upload a virus into the military database, it is attacked by CIA agents. Several agents are killed by the Decepticon, which survives.
  • Sam is chased and eventually caught by a Decepticon. He is thrown about and appears to be hurt.
  • There is a huge battle scene towards the end of the movie, with fighting between the Autobots and Decepticons, and the military and the Decepticons. Many soldiers, air force personnel and terrified civilian bystanders are killed and injured.
  • Many Decepticons are destroyed. Megatron callously rips apart one of the central Autobot characters.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

  • Children might be frightened by the transformation of the Autobots. It is particularly scary when the Decepticons are masking themselves and transform into very threatening entities.
  • Captain Witwicky discovers a frozen Megatron. It later escapes its cryogenic freeze and destroys its prison to reunite with the other Decepticons.
  • Children might be frightened by the asteroid-like landing of the Autobots on earth.
  • In Qatar, a local child who befriends US soldiers is frightened by the Decepticons, and in danger. He is later reunited with his father.
  • Bumblebee is captured and tortured by the Section Seven unit.
  • Sam and Mikayla are attacked by a Decepticon. Bumblebee saves them, but is then involved in a high-speed chase scene with the police car Decepticon.
  • During an escape from Section Seven, Sam and Mikalya fall from a bridge. They are saved, but Bumblebee is captured.
  • Sam is given possession of the Cube and ends up perched on the top of building, where Megatron taunts him. He is knocked off the building and screams as he falls to the ground. He is saved by Optimus Prime.

From 8-13

Children in this age group might also be disturbed by many of the scenes described above.

Over 13

Some children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes described above.

Sexual references

  • Sam has posters of bikini-clad women on his bedroom wall. He also refers to porn magazines that he hides under his bed.
  • Sam’s friend calls Mikayla an ‘evil jock concubine’. When Sam dumps him for Mikayla, he tells Sam to put ‘bros before hos’.
  • As Mikayla is looking at his car’s engine, we see Sam checking out her body. He then inadvertently makes sexual innuendos, such as, ‘I like females working on my engine’.
  • When Sam locks himself in his room, his mother asks him whether he was masturbating.
  • The Section Seven team invade the Witwicky home and destroy the garden. Sam’s mother yells at them, ‘Get your hands off my bush!’

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

  • Sam’s father drinks wine one evening at home.
  • Sam asks a police officer if he is taking drugs.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: the Transformers, eBay, Apple computers, Panasonic, Porsche, Camaro/General Motors and Nokia.

Coarse language 

This move contains some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Transformers is an action adventure movie adaptation of the 1980s cartoon series featuring the Autobots and Decepticons. This well-made and surprisingly humorous movie will be enjoyed particularly by a male audience, adolescent and adult.

The main messages from this movie are that sometimes victory can only be achieved by true sacrifice and that people can have hidden depths and qualities. You might like to talk to your child about some of the values in this movie: loyalty, friendship, tolerance, female independence, strong family relationships, courage and facing your fears. 

You could also discuss the real-life consequences of behaviour such as dangerous driving and showing disrespect to parents and people in authority. You could talk about your attitude towards using violence and aggression as a means to resolve conflict.