If you haven’t seen the movie by now, you probably won’t. So there will be some spoilers for those that want to read some. I’m also not going to get too deep in my review because this movie truly doesn’t deserve it.
With that said – I had fun. Listen, when you walk into a Michael Bay movie, you should know by now what you’re going to get. Guns – cars – explosions – pretty women who never get dirty – and one slow-motion scene after another. Again, the Michael Bay formula. Michael Bay, like Roland Emmerich, is a (mostly) one trick pony and that’s that. They give you what they have and generally it’s entertaining, even though it’s not quite Academy Award eligible – and they are never meant to be. They make BIG. SPLASHY. EPIC summer blockbuster movies – and they do that very well.
What I liked about this movie was that they changed the tone of this flick a bit and it was a bit more dire that I thought it would be. That’s not to say it didn’t have the corny and light moments like all Transformers movie have, but in general – the stakes were a bit higher for The Autobots this time around. The basic premise was that Autobots and Decepticons alike are now being hunted by humans and a transformer bounty hunter, Lockdown. He’s a mercenary-like emissary of a higher form of being that created the transformer race. He’s been scouring the universe “recovering” the legendary transformers (like Optimus Prime) to take them home to be recommissioned (or decommissioned) by their creators. I found the notion that this new trilogy is setting the groundwork for an expanded understanding of the transformer origin to be quite a good one. Listen, the weakest links in this franchise are the human characters. Let’s be honest. They got rid of the original cast and that God awful John Turturro, Agent Simmons, character. However, they did bring back more amusing characters like Wheelie who stole the show for the most part with his wisecracks. So expanding the story line to other areas was only going to be a positive one.
In this movie, the humans still play an important role in that Optimus is found and revived by Cade Yaeger, played by Mark Wahlberg, the down on his luck, widower, inventor (not a believable character – at all) and father of 17 year old Tessa Yaeger (whose white jacket NEVER got dirty the whole movie). They’re on the run from a shadowy CIA operation that is working with Lockdown to hunt down and retrieve all remaining Transformers, led by Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer). He’s in cahoots with the industrialist Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) to melt down the retrieved transformers and use their Transformium (REALLY? This is what they decided to call the metal?) to create his own line of transforming robots. Using the head and brain of the deceased Megatron, he uses some of his programming to create his own transformer, Galavatron, as his flagship model. Unfortunately, Megatron isn’t so dead and has infected the new model and now is a rampaging force in a new body with new abilities.
The Autobots are no longer friends of humanity in this flick. After being betrayed by the humans who they protected against the Decepticons in the Battle of Chicago in the last movie, their code to never kill and protect humans seems to be null and void. This poses a problem for humanity as they know what the humans have unleashed upon themselves and they’re sort of willing to let them reap what they sowed.
The real story though was between Optimus and Lockdown and that ended in the usual Michael Bay ordered spectacular fashion with the introduction of the Dinobots. After asserting his superiority in a showdown with Grimlock, the remaining Dinobots (Strafe, Slug and Scorn) go off to battle Galvatron’s new force and Lockdown in an epic showdown of might.
Some people complained it was too long. Whatever. It was the right amount of time for a spectacle that I actually enjoyed a little more than X-Men: Days of Future Past, which I had issues with. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say it was a GOOD movie, just that it was entertaining.
We end the movie with Optimus leaving Earth, going to find his “masters” and taking the fight to them. So I guess the next questions is: Will the next movie be set out in space with less human interaction? My honest hope is – yes. I think taking the fight away from Earth is the right course of action and what Optimus finds along the way to his eventual showdown with his creators should be interesting to watch. Who knows – maybe we could see Sharkticons? Another question popped up though – when did Optimus gain these flight powers? ARRGH!! I’m THINKING too hard. I’ll just let it go.
Again, there should be no rush to see this movie, but if you do – check your brain at the door and enjoy the spectacle. That’s all I’ve got for you.