Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction [Movie Review]

Yes. I saw the most recent Transformers movie.
No, I'm not a crazy person. Not clinically.
Yes, it was more or less what I expected.

Yes, that is a sword gun. No, it made no sense.
I read another review that summed up this movie perfectly. It was "bewildering and pointless." However that is little more than a nice way of saying that once again Micheal Bay has succeeded in making a movie that is devoid of plot and completely meandering.

2.5 out of 5 stars
Some of our villains. Their motivation - find out in movie 5.
And here's what is, in my critical opinion, the saddest thing about this movie. It was still better than a lot of movies. It never pretended to be anything more than what was on the label. It was a meandering, driveling, explosion filled, action bloated, shotgun blast of colors and sounds. There was no plot... well not one that takes one hundred and sixty five minutes to get through. If they cut out the utterly useless meat-bags, I mean human, characters the movie could have probably been 60 minutes shorter.

Hard to see, but he's a Lamborghini. That's bad-ass.
I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. This is two movies in a short short period of time that have had human characters that were just absolutely pointless. You never ever ever care about them. They could die and the story would be unaffected. They may have, all combined, had one significant line in the entire movie.

However, and in the movie's defense, it was better than Transcendence. It never once lied to me. Transcendence was just a giant bag of lies wrapped in a movie. It set me up for something intriguing and let me down, completely. Transformers Age of Extinction never did that. It was honest. It said 'I'm gonna be all explody, and meandering, and I'm upfront about that.' This movie was Godzilla (2014)'s cousin. Big fights, no important human characters, and very little plot.
People do die in this movie. That's actually kind of amazing.

Ken Watanabe plays a Bugatti Veyron. What a role.
However this movie was a Micheal Bay movie. That means a lot of things. Explosions for one. The other? Editing insanity. On moment we're seeing a sunset, the next it is midday. One moment we're in west Texas, the next moment we're in Monument Valley Utah (for no good reason other than John Ford. Damn you John Ford... you made the movies think that every western location was in Monument Valley. Oklahoma - in Monument Valley. Texas - Monument Valley. Nevada - yup, the same...) then later we're in China. Now the China bit was actually explained. So was the bit in Chicago. Sorta.

Yes. That is Optimus Prime riding a dinobot.
I have not even gotten to the bit about Mr. Bay ignoring his own previous three movies. In the first Transformers film we learn that the Cube's radiation or energy  is what allows the transformers to transform, to have life. Now in this movie we get a whole new reason. Maybe they work together... maybe not. We really don't get any great explanation. Not unexpected.

I will say this. The human designed (spoilers) transformers suck. The way the original ones transform is kinda cool. The new ones are all a craptastic conglomeration of magic-minecraft-cubism-meets-8-bit-video-game junk. It is utterly insulting.

I have no words for this.
Well, okay, to be fair most of the movie is insulting. But there are, and I hate to say this, some fun bits. The transformers are fun. The humans suck. They are so pointless they make Sam Witwicky (the doofus from the first few movies, and no, I'm not certain if I spelled his name right, nor do I really care) seem vitally important. 

And if you want to see a smorgasbord of gorgeous cars... this movie is great for that. There is a Corvette C7, Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini, Ferrari, a Pagani Huarya, oh... the cars. The cars are gorgeous.

The Dinobots... are silly. However, they thankfully, are only in the last half an hour, or so. For all the advertisement around them, they barely show up. Then again, we do spend far too much time wallowing around with really pointless meat-bags. Heck the only semi-interesting human character was a guy that we meet half way through, and he starts off as being (more or less) a supreme ass-hat. He gets better, but only in comparison to the rest of the cast. The female lead, the 'main character's daughter'... she was less useful than an original Doctor Who female companion... at least they tripped over nothing and moved the plot along. She failed to even do that. This one just slowed the plot down. They did take the time to explain Texas' 'Romeo & Juliet' laws... something that I honestly did not need to know about. Thank you movie. 

But you know what I hate the most?
I want to see movie 5.
There is so much in this film that sets up a sequel. In fact I don't think there is any hope of understanding the 'plot' (if it can be called that) without a sequel. It was honestly a hundred sixty five minute long teaser for movie 5.

But you know what, and this point I've got to  ram home, the movie is honest. It never pretends to be anything more than it is. If it were not for Stanley Tucci I think the entire acting tour de force would have been done by the 200+ person CGI team. Well, okay maybe the Chinese star, Li Bingbing, was good too... and the movie was some sort of co-production with China? I got lost there too... and after some research I found that scenes of Beijing were filmed in Detroit? Yes, there was filming done in China... how much? No idea.

Want to know something frightening? It made $301 million world wide on opening weekend. $100m in the US, and $97m in China. 

There will be a fifth movie, sometime in 2016.
And there is likely to be a sixth.

And I know that I will see them all. Even if I end up hating myself for it.

Optimus Prime is a Knight now? What?

No comments:

Post a Comment