Boy, for an unrealistically portrayed inventor that lives on a farm for some reason, Mark Wahlberg’s character sure knows how to fight. He can even beat up specially trained CIA assassins. Yep, it must be another Michael Bay flick. I’ve also noticed that each Transformer film he does, the girls that function as the sex objects keep getting younger. This time he decided to showcase a 17 year old girl’s short shorts from low-behind angles whenever possible instead of the 20 somethings he’s preferred in the past. Sorry, while ridiculously gratuitous as usual, this time he’s venturing into the creepy zone with this girl whose character hasn’t even graduated high school. Shame on you Michael Bay, not cool…
The story this time ‘round is that the Autobots (and all other Transformers) are being hunted by both human and another alien force that’s at work in the background. Optimus Prime and crew have gone into hiding but soon have to emerge to defend themselves from extinction. On the human side of the story, we have the aforementioned inventor who is a shitty dad but of course needs to rise to the situation surrounding him consisting of alien-war, government black ops and a new nemesis that’s a threat to the Transformers (in addition to his daughter’s boyfriend).
The movie is nearly non-stop action (although not nearly as well paced and exciting as the new Mad Max film), in fact, that’s one of the problems… There’s so much going on that it gets a little boring after awhile since the film clocks in close to 3 hours in length (yes, no shit, 2 hours and 45 minutes to be exact). There’s also the issue of being pounded almost constantly with corporate sponsorship. I’m a filmmaker and an entrepreneur, so I get it, but this kind of product placement was often distracting and overly blatant.
The effects and design is mostly pretty awesome although at times the new Transformers incorporated into the film look super-digital, especially when they’re transforming. Prime and his crew still look cool when they’re doing their thing and it was great to see the Dynobots join the fun. A lot of the green screen scenes are easy to spot too, kind of surprising for Bay, his films in the past have looked a bit more organic than this one, especially the third Transformers film. Oh well, maybe he’ll do better with number 5.
The acting is cartoony at times, even Stanley Tucci was a bit over-the-top almost annoyingly so. Wahlberg was ok but didn’t do anything out of his phone-it-in zone. Even his slow-mo fist drop to the ground looked pretty staged. Ugh. It seems like the actors mostly just fall into a plastic mold whenever they do a Transformer film without any major arcs or lines that require more skill beyond just a rudimentary paint-by-the-numbers approach. The lineup includes Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, T.J. Miller and Thomas Lennon.
This latest installment of the Transfomer series of films ranks as one of the worst, although not quite as bad as number 2, but pretty damn close.
reviewed by Sean McKnight