With "The Last Knight" finally here, let's take a look at where the latest Michael Bay opus falls in the rankings of the live-action "Transformers" movies. I signed on for this (for 2014's Age Of Extinction) because I liked working with him on Pain & Gain.
I'm not sure I'd care and the early U.S. box office suggests others are agreeing with this sequel apparently being made largely for the overseas market.
Mind you, this is after I spent a half-hour on the toilet reading through the highlights of the film's dismal "16% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Something about the experience of viewing one of Michael Bay's fighting-robot movies renders the viewer objectively dumber afterwards. For bloated summer tentpoles, the Transformers films continue to have more visual and sonic imagination than most superhero films, even if the result isn't anything I'd call lovely.
Two years later, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was released, and it was the weakest of the entire franchise - something even Bay admits. I saw the first one and thought it was meh. Or, worse yet, to pay someone to inflict it upon me?
When the sprawling universe that is Transformers began, it started as a (somewhat) simple story told through the eyes of #ShiaLaBeouf's Sam Witwicky, an adventurous young man who became embroiled in the world of the Transformers, and became a pivotal part of the franchise.
"He does get heated, he does get passionate, if you will, but it really is about getting the best shot and people are on point". Not forgetting the wonderful Transformers Prime spin-off series that shows how unbelievable the characters from the movie can actually be. This is a shame because the trailers promised us a film that integrated the Transformers mythos into Arthurian legend. As the plot lumbers on about Yeager being the "last knight," on a quest to recover an ancient staff of power, Wahlberg's muscles and eyes appear to be in a competition to see which can bulge more.
"Action is the global language and that's what audiences really respond to", he said.
Next week, fanboy darling Edgar Wright releases "Baby Driver", an action film about a wheelman for the mob that was filmed with old-fashioned stunt drivers and minimal CGI. On top of that, for the first time since the first film, the action sequences felt clean and crisp, allowing for easy discernment of which magical machines were punching which other magical machines. I can not wholeheartedly recommend it, but I think I had enough fun that fans of AOE should give it a shot.
The Transformers themselves all look great with Bumblebee in particular taking on the role of "lead bot". That takes the title of "worst movie of the year". I'm not even sure how many there have been now.
Critics agree that the story is hard to follow, and it's just not as much fun as the previous films, and some critics suggest that this is likely because Michael Bay just doesn't particularly care anymore.
We are in the midst of a rapid cultural decline; guess I might as well enjoy the slide.
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