Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
The Perfect Night In
Great Movies From Warner Bros.
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save up to 63%
Empire Blogs
Empire States

Back to all blogs Comment Now

Empire Vs. Transformers: The Ride-3D

Posted on Monday May 28, 2012, 17:31 by Ali Plumb in Empire States
Empire Vs. Transformers: The Ride-3D

Say what you like about Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise – and God knows you will – but even the most highfalutin' critic would find it hard to claim that the action sequences aren’t spectacular. So when you hear that Transformers has finally been turned into a theme park attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, your immediate question is... why didn’t they do it before? Well, because I'm always willing to leap in front of a bullet, I went over to Los Angeles to find out. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

“You’re the second person to ask me that today!” says showrunner Chick Russell. “I think one of the reasons it wasn’t done sooner was that we were waiting for the right technologies to be developed to make it happen. When you’re doing something like Transformers, the Autobots and the Decepticons are so huge, so you want to make sure you can put them on the right scale. Second of all, there’s so much action, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got a ride system that can deliver all that, and thanks to the likes of Industrial Light and Magic, we developed things like a ride vehicle that actually lets you feel G-forces.”

I’m speaking to the man behind the ‘3D high-definition video and audio-animatronics experience’ on its official premiere day, just a few steps away from bank of photographers who have been snapping the likes of Steven Spielberg, Judd Apatow and, of course, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.

Both Autobots could be described as athletic men in 10-foot-tall plastic suits – that cost around about $100,000 a piece, by the way – but as far as the crowds of journalists and opening day attendees are concerned, they’re the real deal, high-fiving fans and waving at excitable Chinese TV show hosts.

But one man you might expect to be here is missing – and that man is Michael Bay. Busy shooting his latest film, the less robotic, more muscle-bound endeavour Pain & Gain, he sends his greetings via a brief video message on a specially mounted big screen, introduced by General Morshower himself (Glenn Morshower in the flesh) and the vehicle versions of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime.

An elaborate and explosion-filled set-piece follows, with NEST soldiers abseiling down the nearby Jurassic Park – The Ride and Revenge Of The Mummy buildings before fireworks shoot into the sky and ticker tapes blast across the throng of Tranformers fans. The ‘battle for the All-Spark’ is over and we get on with the actual business of riding the actual ride. Hoorah!

But before I discuss what the attraction is like, a word of warning: like T2 3-D: Battle Across Time and Shrek 4-D before it, Transformers: The Ride-3D is a definitive part of the Transformers film franchise, so if you want to avoid spoilers, here’s the one word review: it’s good. So good, in fact, that it’s hard to describe the “again, again!” feeling you get at the end of riding it without sounding a little insincere. I really did enjoy it very much, and so did the rest of the attendees I spoke to afterwards.

The plot, for what it’s worth, sees you riding transportation Transformer 'Evac' as he makes his way through Manhattan to take the All-Spark into safety. As such, it echoes the end of first Transformers, except it’s night-time in a different city, and our Megan and that Shia fella aren’t anywhere to be seen.

In fact, human characters are non-existent: it’s just you and your team of fellow “recruits” sitting in a 12-man rollercoaster cart, experiencing the onslaught of everything Michael Bay, state of the art 3D, 20 foot high screens and polymorphic (and remarkably well-armed) vehicles can offer.

As you drive through New York Megatron comes along to spoil the fun (of course!), with Bumblebee and Optimus Prime defending you against the Decepticons’ attacks. Over the course of the struggle you’re slung through two office buildings – perhaps a ride highlight – catapulted off a skyscraper and snapped at by everyone’s least favorite motor-mouthed mini-robot, Frenzy.

The action is fantastic, the immersion extraordinary – just wait until one of Megatron’s rockets ‘explodes’ in your face and a heat blast follows – but perhaps what I’m happiest about is the lack of, well, anything other than action. Bar Frenzy’s brief appearance, there’s no Transformers silliness: no giant robot testicles, no gags about dogs “lubricating” on people’s feet, no extended speeches about the impossibilitude of the situation... just full-on, undeniable fun – whether you like, love or loathe the films, in fact.

If you’re looking for flaws, those who have been on Universal Orlando Resort’s The Amazing Adventures Of Spider-Man ride will notice a few similarities: the frantic pace, the New York setting, being slung about a cityscape. But even bearing that in mind, it’s a breathless blast of action that’s nigh-on impossible not to enjoy. Honestly. Plus, at no point does Shia LaBeouf say, “No, no, no, no, no, no!”, which is a definite yes.

Want to see for yourself? Here be the details...


3 nights in Los Angeles

Three nights in Los Angeles with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow direct to Los Angeles, accommodation at the 4V Sheraton Universal Resort on a room only basis with transfers and unlimited Universal Studios Hollywood pass included starts from £779. Prices are per person based on 2 adults travelling and sharing a standard room, price includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Prices are based on departures 08 – 22 Nov 2012.

Virgin Holidays is a member of ABTA and is ATOL protected

To book: , 0844 557 3859 or visit one of our 90 stores located in Debenhams and House of Fraser stores nationwide.


Login or register to comment.


1 MatthewPriestly
Posted on Friday June 15, 2012, 19:51
I'm not a fan of 3-D films, I prefer sticking with classics. So far, I'm most eager for Giorgio Moroder’s limited edition of Metropolis, which will be released on DVD in the UK. It will also be viewable online on July 23rd through YEKRA- a revolutionary video on demand system that conveniently streams directly to you! If anyone is interested the official trailer is at!

Log in below, or register to post comments
Remember Me:


Empire States (444)

Under The Radar (335)

Infinite Lives (92)

Small Screen (57)

Words From The Wise (36)

Cannes 2011 (28)

Off The Wire (24)

Comic-Con 2010 (21)

Casting Couch (2)

Oscars 2011 (1)


Empire Goes To Jerusalem
By Will Lawrence

Screen To Stage: The Hobbit Stars
By Helen O'Hara

Screen To Stage: Shakespeare In Love
By Helen O'Hara

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
By Ali Plumb

Pete Docter And Jonas Rivera Talk Pixar's Inside Out
By James White

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
By Dan Jolin

H. R. Giger: An Empire Tribute
By Ian Nathan

How Edible Cinema Finally Allows You To Eat A Movie
By Ali Plumb

Why Do People Think Captain America Is Boring?
By Helen O'Hara

Are iPads And Smartphones Changing The Face Of Filmmaking?
By Ben Kirby


Empire Goes To Jerusalem
"Cool .. Like it.."  mariarheateddy
Read comment

Empire Goes To Jerusalem
"Such an interesting post. I am very happy to read this amazing article of yours. Thank you so much f"  claraashii
Read comment

Chinese Propaganda Is Hitting Hollywood
"Purchase Reverbnation Plays"  tofifi808
Read comment

50 Shades Of What Now?
"Just thought I'd return to this as FSOG is now out at cinemas. I haven't read the books or seen the "  Cookiedough
Read comment

Empire Goes To Jerusalem
"Good blog I really like it."  silvermovies
Read comment

8 (Possible) Reasons John Carter Bombed At The Box Office
"The trailer gave me the feeling that this would be something of a 6+ family movie. And a guy on an e"  my5p
Read comment

Screen To Stage: Shakespeare In Love
"Have just re-watched this twice over the past few weeks and forgot how fantastic it was. I'm now des"  fire_and_water5025
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"This looks unbelievably good... wish I could afford to go!"  Roo
Read comment

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Nice to know Martin enlisted another author to help in his world-building. Time to get acquainted wi"  Imperion
Read comment

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
" The original Hogwarts section and what was duelling dragons (has now"  Sexual Harassment Panda
Read comment


Movies’ Most Quotable Lines

'It's Just A Bit Of Fun': Why Defensive Fans Are Bad News For Movies

Competitive Geek Baiting: Or, How To Start A Fanboy Fight

The Avatar Backlash: Evaluatin' The Hater-atin'

The Complete List Of Tired Movie Cliches

Your Favourite Animated Film

Note To Hollywood: How To Get People To Switch To Blu-Ray

Food For Thought

The Ten Moviegoing Commandments

Just The Facts, Ma’am

Damon Wise (299)
Helen O'Hara (181)
James Dyer (86)
Amar Vijay (71)
Ali Plumb (56)
James White (29)
Phil de Semlyen (21)
Owen Williams (21)
Simon Braund (6)
Nev Pierce (5)
Ally Wybrew (2)
Ben Kirby (1)
David Parkinson (1)
Will Lawrence (1)
Dan Jolin (1)
Ian Nathan (1)

Wes Craven: Film By Film
Empire celebrates the late, great horror director

My Movie Life: Andrew Haigh
The 45 Years director on the movies that made him

Vanity Projects: The Musical Edition
A dozen more hits and misses from the rock and pop world

Inside The Martian: Empire Meets NASA
Prepare to science the shit out of it...

Deadpool: A Complete History
Empire's guide to The Merc With A Mouth, in comics and on screen

Spectre – Everything You Need To Know
Empire's essential briefing on James Bond's 24th outing

The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)