I think it’s safe to say that the Transformers movies, while not a really good (well, the first one was pretty good), is a wildly successful movie franchise. Each outing making well over $300 million (TF2, well over $400M) dollars in tickets sales. However, after the trilogy was over, the dust had settled and it was pretty apparent that Shia LeBeouf had taken his last breath as the leading man, it was no surprise to anyone that Michael “BOOM, POW, SCREAMS, DRAMATIC STARE, BOOBS, SLO-MO” Bay wanted to do another flick – or trilogy. Let’s be honestly, the STARS of this franchise are the robots. Period. It was only by sheer coincidence that people sort of liked Shia (I like the parents more personally) in his starring role as well. You could have honestly put “Joe, The Plumber” in the role and it would have been as deep or as entertaining, so I’m not sure why there’s a need to have a mega-star in the leading role of this franchise.
Mark Walhberg is a great actor – that’s undisputable. His movie choices are iffy at times, but not his acting ability. I don’t think I was the only one who raised an eyebrow when Marky Mark of Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch decided to jump into acting and was even more shocked how good he was in his breakout role in the movie “Fear”. However, after coming off the surprisingly successful “Ted” (another budding franchise), I was a little shocked to hear that not only was he up for the leading role, but that he entertained this at all.
My only thought to that is two-fold, Paramount/Michael Bay 1. sold him a direction of the next trilogy that is markedly different than the one previous, or 2. Paramount basically opened up their wallets and said, “Take whatever you want! Seriously, just start grabbing until your satisfied” until it became economically unreasonable for him to NOT do the film.
Listen, I have no hopes for the “greatness” of TF4, but what I do have is the 9-year old boy who BEGGED his mom to take him to see the greatest fruition of his young, pubescent dreams come true – “The Transformers: The Movie (1986)” on a 70mm screen. I laughed at Jazz’s “jive talk”, I almost popped a vessel when Blaster’s tapes were revealed, I cried when Optimus died, I booed when Galvatron was born, I was shocked when Starscream was disintegrated and cheered when the head of Unicron popped off when the Autobots saved Cybertron. To this day, I put on my DVD of The Transfomers: The Movie annually and transport myself back to that packed-fro, little boy living in Texas with wide eyes and imagination galore. The only movie that’s had this 30-something, grown man revert to a little boy since then (and my wife will REPEATEDLY attest to this) was while watching “The Avengers” movie this summer.
So bring on the big robots and bring on Mark Wahlberg. Bring on the explosions and (knowing Bay) the unnecessary sexual overtones. Bring on the action and bring on the impossibly overdramatized slow motion. However, I have one request of Mr. Bay – for God’s sake, please, please, please – do NOT bring anymore Agent Simmons (John Turturro)… no… that would be bad.
Okay… I’m done ranting now.