So, Michael Bay has been doing these Transformers movies for about 7 years now, to varying degrees of success, depending on who you ask. A lot of people enjoy the movies, myself included, for what they are. That is, loud, explosion filled movies with some sweet robot action. Obviously people enjoy them, elsewise we wouldn’t be here 7 years later. These movies make money, hence why we keep getting new ones. But there are a lot of others that declare the Bayformers movies as utter crap, cinematic excrement. And this latest movie is no exception. If you already don’t like the movies, you won’t like this one, but if you do like these movies, then you’ll enjoy it. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I have some issues with the movie, stuff that made me go ‘WTF’ in the theater as it happened. So, let me break down what was cool, and what was not so much cool, while these thoughts are still fresh in my head.
First, the good:
1. Frank Welker. Now, for longtime fans of the franchise, we know that Frank Welker was the original voice of Megatron in the 80’s show. When Michael Bay first started this franchise back in 2007, he signed on original Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen, to bring the character to life for a new generation, and for whatever reason…marquee value I suppose, chose to go with Hugo Weaving for the voice of the Decepticon leader. And he was decent…but he’s no Frank Welker. Now finally, we have Frank Welker back as Galvatron, who was initially voiced by Leonard Nimoy in the 80’s movie. They already used Nimoy on the last movie as Sentinel Prime, so we need a new Galvatron, why not just go back to basics? Which they did, and I loved every bit of Galvatron action in the movie.
I….really thought there was more to this than just that….but the more I think of it…that’s pretty much it. Now the action is frequent, and pretty awesome, but that’s really it. It’s entertaining to watch, but utterly forgettable movie. Now for the Bad section, now this stuff I need to get off my chest.
1. Laughably bad dialogue. This movie was written by just one screenwriter, Ehran Kruger, who used to write good scripts like Arlington Road…and now he’s writing lines like
Mark Wahlberg: You can’t search my house, you need a warrant!
Guy from Lost and Sons of Anarchy as a CIA type: My face is my warrant.
Optimus Prime: We swore to play by the rules….but now the rules have changed.
And others just as bad, that didn’t stick in my head like these examples.
2. The Dinobots were the main featured attraction in all the previews, and the only reason they are in this movie it seems is just so Optimus Prime can ride Grimlock into battle. That’s basically it, they don’t even get named or have their personalities, which I wanted to see, they’re just borderline mindless robots that just happen to turn into Dinosaurs.
3. Optimus Prime has rocket boots. Yes you read that right, Optimus Prime can now not only fly but can fly into deep space, on his own…which makes no sense considering they used spaceships to come to earth in the first place, and now Optimus can fly….for no reason other than to set up the next movie. Which I will still see…but still, WTF…
4. Mark Wahlberg playing a robotics expert from Texas, who’s lived there his whole life it seems, with a Boston accent. C’mon man, don’t be like Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, if you’re playing a character from a different location other than your own, you adapt, that’s why they have vocal coaches, so good actors can fake new dialects, like half the stars of current tv shows are actually British, but you couldn’t tell that on the shows.
5. The length of the movie. Now, some movies need to be epic in length, because they are indeed epic, things like The Dark Knight, and Lord of the Rings needed that. Other movies, like King Kong or these movies, don’t really need to be three hours long…but they are, because they can. I lost track of time after a while, but was thinking in the back of my head, this should be close to done now, right? And I was wrong. Cut the movie down next time, 2 hours is just fine to tell a decent story. Hell the 1980’s Transformers was only an hour and a half or so. And that movie still holds up to this day, for me.
And one last thing, that just left me scratching my head, not a real comment on the movie, but is Bingbing a common Chinese name? We had Fan Bingbing in the latest X-Men movie, and now here we have Bingbing Lee. I’d love to see those two meet, along with X-Men’s Booboo Stewart. Bingbing, meet Bingbing, Bingbing, Booboo, Bingbing, Booboo…
Well that’s it, take it for what it is, if you already hate Michael Bay as a curse upon Hollywood, destroying your childhood, then just avoid the movie, but if you like this sort of thing, which I do, then you’ll probably enjoy it. But this is a very flawed, albeit entertaining, for the most part movie. Till next time, be sure to keep it Reel.