Sunday, June 29, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction

For a lot of people, Transformers has ruined everything. And not just the whole Transformers franchise, but everything! It's not hard to sympathize as I sat down and watched these movies only to realize that, yeah, these movies were as horrific I was hearing. But, even after so much complaining, a couple of people in charge felt like they were missing a couple of million dollars from their money bin, so they decided to bring Michael Bay back for round 2. Everybody was in a state of resignation by then, saying "Ugh, fine, let's get it over with." but things were looking up a little. We found out that Shia The-Beef and the rest aren't coming back for these sequel, the trailers made it look like Michael Bay learned how to keep his action scenes coherent, and....robot dinosaurs.

With all of this coming together, Michael Bay has manage to make the best movie of all of the Michael Bay Transformers movies. It's still not very good though. In fact, the movie isn't really good at all. It's just another mess that seem destined to happen from another Michael Bay Transformers movie. However, things seem to have improved from making terrible, incoherent messes to barely-watchable, incoherent messes.

Probably the most significant improvement to the Bayformers movie is the fact that there's actually a plot to speak of, for the most part. Mark Whalberg plays a guy who has a daughter and they live out in the middle of Tea Party land(which is out in the middle of nowhere). He collects and invents a bunch of helpful robots, yet, none of these robots have gotten him anywhere, which is pretty drastic because these guys are broke and are on the verge of getting kicked out of their property. Also, Mark Whalberg is having trouble taking care of her daughter as she is...well, a teenager. I have to say, placing the burden of being a protagonist in a Transformers movie on a "hard luck" father figure who has to try to figure out what to do with the mess that's handed to him is more compelling than having this burden be placed on an actual teenager who doesn't learn ****ing **** through out any of the movies.

But, in the midst of a bad situation, Mark Whalberg manages to find a truck that he decides to take back home and it turns out that this truck is a damaged Optimus Prime who is hiding from the government as the government has decided that all Transformers are evil. Also, there are other Evil Transformer robots that are helping the government and there's this one company that's trying to make things that can transform into anything which manages to produce even more Evil Transformers robots. After two hours of mucking around, there's a giant battle and, after the group goes to China for some reason, there's another, bigger battle that lasts 40 minutes long, they call in robot dinosaurs, and then, eventually, the movie ends.

Can I go home now?

Credit where credit is due, Michael Bay, a big problem with the first one was that there were 5 or 6 different subplots going on that didn't have any direct affect with each other which made the movies feel disjointed, messy, and one of the major reasons why they were genuinely awful. This movie has different subplots happening as well, but these plotlines are directly affected by each other. While things are overly bloated and somewhat confusing, because there is still so damn much that happens in the movie, this different approach helps make this movie to be watchable until the end. I'm not sure why they haven't opted for a simpler, more approachable story to work in to their movies, but things work a little bit better this time. So, whatever.

The thing that doesn't help this movie? Overly bloated action scenes. The action scene at the two hour mark of the movie sort of felt like it could have helped end the movie right there and it was simple. But that last battle scene...ugh. This is easily the loudest and busiest movie since Man of Steel, but Man of Steel was at least well shot through out that entire battle sequence. This new Transformers movie shoves in as much crap in your face as possible and, after a while, I had a hard time knowing what was going on and I had a hard time figuring out why I should be caring about all of this in the first place.

If it's hard to tell who the good guys in the bad guys are in a giant toy robot movie, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

There were a couple of shots in this movie I liked, most of them coming from the end where Optimus Prime and Bumblebee were fighting the baddest robot of the baddest robots. Everything else goes off the deep end of incomprehensibility with long shots obscuring what's going on in these battle and giant explosions. By the end of it all, I was exhausted and I was ****ing glad I managed to not see this in 3D.

While the whole movie will leave you in a state of sensory over-load, at least the robots are a little more well designed than last time. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee have had a little bit of tweaking and they introduce new robots that are all unique and readily recognizable from each other. There's one sort of military robot who wears this sort of cloak and is mainly green and there's even a blue samurai robot with a sword. The other guy is more of the gun-ho military, demolitions guy who's round and overly busy and the guy that I didn't really care for from an aesthetic stand point. Yeah, all of the robots are still overly busy looking with too many moving parts for any sort of brain to get a handle on and none of them get to do much, but a step in the right directions is still a step in the right direction.

Robots who have their faces turn into guns not withstanding.

Even with all of the improvements and things that I liked a little better this time around, Transformers 4 doesn't exactly come out from the bad movie realm. It shows some glimmers of hope and there were some things I liked about it. The human drama feels a little more like...well, drama, the robots look a bit better, some of the action shots I could really get behind, and, most importantly, robot dinosaurs. But, in the end, the whole thing is still big, loud, noisy, and dumb. The plot is a mess, most of the Transformers barely get to do anything, and the robot dinosaurs don't really have a lot of impact on the story.

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