People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different. In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all. Read on!
Every time I watch a new Transformers film I tell myself “never going to do that again” and then enough years go by where the portion of my brain irrevocably damaged in the process ceases to exist and a new Transformers film comes out and I’m like, “Can’t be worse than the last one.” That’s where I am now.
Transformers: The Age of Extinction is a perhaps the very first 700 hour film about a United Nations of robots coming together to stab things with giant swords. Seriously, I think Michael Bay has broken some sort of robot movie record, as his newest entry into the film-series-based-on-a-toyline-based-on-a-cartoon tops out at almost three hours, and oh man, if you could cram another second of robot-fighting-robot-fighting-building-fighting-car I don’t know exactly where. Not that it matters, but Transformers 4 (though I’m counting this as the 5th, 6th, and 7th entry) sees the Autobots, now enemies of the state, once again joining with the humans (bitterly though) to fight off aliens and other bad robots. This time the hulking robots are joined by Mark Wahlberg (playing an inventor who clearly never got the shit kicked out of him in high school), his jailbait daughter, an Irish rally car driver (seriously, who thinks this shit up?), the annoying guy from Silicon Valley, Stanley Tucci (in the budget they have a line that says “talented actor”), Frasier, and a whole host of voice-over talent (not that it matters as the movie is so bombastically loud, any and all voices just sound like the screams of innocence, or my neuron receptors dying). This film is better than the other three films, as the story, for the most part, makes sense, and Stanley Tucci is less annoying than the other famous people they clutter into the other entries. And that’s perhaps the best thing I can say for it. It’s better than three of the worst films ever made. It’s also loud and long and looks and feels like every other Michael Bay film (borderline racism included) and when the last six hours of robot destruction came to an end, I felt like the survivor of some sort of natural disaster. And maybe that’s just what Michael Bay is going for, to pound me in the face with so many explosions, moving parts, and vaguely patriotic one-liners that when you exit the theater you’ve actually experienced both the mental damage and the numbing shock that actually getting stomped on by a 30-foot robot would feel like. Always depend on Michael Bay to take you to the next level of filmmaking.
I will never see another Transformers film again.