Before the water boiled for the pasta, we watched a scene in which the dad made out that the mum was the emotional one about his son going off to college - leaving home for the first time - and then a little bit later, we came in for a scene where the dad was trying to get the son, as well as the mum, into the car to escape an assortment of rampaging Transformers. The son said, "Dad, you have to let me go!" and the dad reluctantly saw the logic of this. If you're dealing with uncontrollable, incomprehensible, unpredictable technology, hand over to the younger generation and accept that your place is in the - actually, I want one like that - yellow sports car with your life-partner.
Mid-life crisis, here we go. Playing the dad: Kevin Dunn. And it was Revenge, not Return. Curious collection of themes: the whole "Dad, you have to let me go!" thing, inter-generational, male-bonding, and yes, I can grasp the whole "Stand aside, dad, I understand this technology" aspect. Girlfriend A drove the car like she'd had some serious practice, and when Girlfriend B got so turned on that she turned into a robot with a tail (don't ask), Girlfriend A flattened her under a car. And The Fallen, planning their Revenge. "I have waited a long time," said a black Transformer that seemed to be stuck on another planet. Hmm.
So many themes, so many old stories, raising themselves in a family movie about toy cars that can be rearranged into robots. One thought: we're hard-wired (film about robots, geddit?) to respond to the old themes. Another: they matter right now, and at a level beneath the speeding cars and robots punching each other, we want to deal with them. A lot to think upon, hidden in plain sight, among the robots.