“Oh Michael Bay. Whether or not your film is good, at least you’re consistent. I always know what to expect from you. Your style is always the same, basically that of an ADHD 12 year old boy. It just doesn’t always work. Instead of learning from your mistakes, you dive deeper into them.
So this was a hot mess. Yet I sort of expected it by this point. The Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) story has been taken about as far as it can, so we’ve got a new cast of characters led by Mark Wahlberg. Well that’s already a drastic improvement. Besides the addition of Stanley Tucci, not much else falls in the improvement category.
Now, to be fair, you know what you’re getting with Transformers at this point. We’re not expecting 12 Years a Slave or anything else that’s critically acclaimed. We’re getting a loose and wobbly story with some awesome looking special effects that go on way too long. We’re getting male characters that are basically giant kids and female characters that only have enough brain cells to look hot and stare up in wonder. It was fun the first time around, but it got old. Hell, even the third movie could have fallen on the happier side of the spectrum if the mindless non-stop action sequence of the last hour (HOUR!) of the movie was cut in half.
I did like that the aftermath of the third movie was addressed. No one is just ignoring the fact that these giant robot creatures destroyed one of our largest metropolitan cities. There are repercussions. Or at least they’re quickly talked about here and there. Not that there was a lot of plot going on. Still, the action was fun to watch. Bay at least started to move away from the music video editing of 3 second cuts. Maybe it was only 5 seconds now, but that’s a small improvement. He’s clearly not Paul Thomas Anderson.
However one area that Bay certainly needs to step up is with the females in the film. Nicola Peltz is basically interchangable with Rosie Huntington-Whitely who was a blonde clone of Meagan Fox. Very one dimensional, and way too pretty to believably be in their situations. Okay so you’re in the middle of basically a demolition zone. Your tight clothing and heels are not restricting you from getting to safety. While you may have some strategically placed dirt spots on your face your lipstick and hair are still flawless. And after the first act establishes that you as a “”person”” all you do from then on is gape and stare and then need to be rescued. Awesome. (Sarcasm).
There were some things that were just absurdly laughable. First, hella product placement. The logos hidden in ads on busses perfectly fine. Oh look, you served Wahlberg a Budwiser with his dinner. Okay. Hmm that truck we crashed into spilled a ton of Bud Lights onto the street that we’re going to focus on for a shot. Um okay. Wait, did Marky Mark just grab one, pop the cap on the truck door and drink it? Oh and the transformer material you’re manipulating couldn’t turn into any old speaker. It had to be The Pill, which you proudly held to the front of the screen. And then you have a random transformer covered in in the Oreo logo banging around on vending machines. Where did he come from?
Wahlberg couldn’t decide where he fit in this world. Do I play up the absurdity and have fun with it? Or do I commit as a serious actor. Both were kind of humorous and appropriate in their own way. Stanley Tucci was the one who really sold it. He knew how dumb the things he was saying were, so he made it that much bigger and sillier. He knows how this game is played.
At some point during this 2.5 hour (2.5 HOUR!) madness I nodded off for a min. I guess my body just couldn’t take it anymore. When I woke up, there were dinosaurs. DINOSAURS?! Well Dino-bots. Couldn’t we have made the movie about them? Eh maybe they wouldn’t have been enough to save this. As it was, they felt like a last ditch attempt to say “”Hey look, this movie can still be cool and exciting!””
Transformers: Age of Extinction – \m/ \n