More Than Meets the Eye

Anthony Lane: “Long ago, when the impact of ‘Star Wars’ was beefed up by a line of merchandise, some of us noticed that the five-inch Lukes and Leias possessed a depth and mobility that was denied to their onscreen counterparts, and, decades later, we have reached the reductio ad absurdum of that rivalry: rather than spin the toys off from the movie, why not build the movie from the toys? ‘Transformers’ is not the first effort in this direction; I distinctly remember finding a couchful of children enraptured by a DVD of ‘Barbie of Swan Lake’ and realizing that Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Persona’ had not, after all, signalled the final disintegration of human personality. Bay’s movie, however—as befits the bringer of ‘The Rock,’ ‘Armageddon,’ and ‘Pearl Harbor’—is the grandest proof so far that, when it comes to movie characterization, flesh and blood have had their chance. From here on, it’s up to metal and plastic.” (via Brockman)

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