Friday, June 27, 2014



Review By:
G.P. Manalo

Directed By:
Michael Bay

Mark Wahlberg | Nicola Peltz | Jack Reynor |
Stanley Tucci | Kelsey Grammer | Peter Cullen |

This film exists (when it is supposed to be dead) to re-boot the rather tired franchise. Though it may have delivered some ridiculously awesome imagery like Optimus Prime horseback riding Grimlock as he charge through his enemies, the film unfortunately gives us more of the same flaws the last two films offered instead of genuinely revamping the series, resulting to another dumb yet fun popcorn movie you’ve come to expect from Michael Bay himself.

This film takes place years after the events of Dark of the Moon, the government is displeased with the the catastrophic effects in their battle in Chicago. They decided to exterminate the remaining Autobots and Decepticons on earth with a project called “Cemetery Wind” led by Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) and a robot bounty hunter, Lockdown. Meanwhile, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a struggling inventor discovered a busted truck lying around a theater that turns out to be Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen). When Cemetery Wind discovered where Optimus Prime is hiding, Cade, his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) and her boyfriend are caught on in this high octane adventure that involves a conspiracy that lies in this government project.


The plot of the film is mostly recycled from the past three films where both sides fight for *insert plot forwarding-McGuffin here* and end with an orgy of explosions, gun fights, fist fights, and metallic shards flying out. It sounds simple until you realize the run time for this movie is almost 3 hours long (2 hours and 45 minutes). I wasn’t aware about this film’s run time, so I ended up getting caught off guard when this film keeps going. Of course you’ll say “oh, man! Almost 3 hours of rock-‘em-sock-‘em robots?! That’s awesome!” well…. I hate to rain on your parade but that’s not really the case.

There are some brilliant spectacle to be had but you had to go through some laughably terrible dialogue (I could’ve sworn that Optimus looked at the camera and said “did I just really say that?!”); the kind of dialogue that is considered as un-intentionally funny. There was still some comedic dialogue, but lessened this time around and not as hard to sit through like the past three films. The film tries its best to set-up future installments. The ideas the film brought out were admittedly intriguing, but the execution was terrible that the film became a mess after the first act. The film expects the audience to take the movie seriously, but the things that they bring to the table were just laughably dumb and filled with noticeable plot holes that you just can’t help but to turn you brain on and point out “that’s stupid”.

The film still develops the human characters heavily and it expects you to care about these (stereotypical one-dimensional) characters, but the efforts weren’t enough for you to be fully invested in them. I do understand why they must put humans in this movie, especially when this movie is based on earth (for us to relate to them, and blah blah blah). But like I said, they are just so uninteresting, stupid and  some of them, useless. The robots actually had some development this time, having a decent amount of focus and moments to shine except for the heavily advertised Dinobots who only appear in the last 20 minutes of the film with no build up at all (or at least rather vague).


You really go in this movie for the visuals and the action in this film and it is definitely a sight to behold. There were some impressively choreographed fight scenes in this movie both regarding robots and humans going against each other. There were moments where the slow-mo actually shines and gives away cool 3D effects. Unlike the past three films you can definitely tell apart the robots in this movie this time, each having their own unique design based on their personality (yes, they have personality this time) and when it comes to the action scenes the robots are focused enough that you can tell what the hell is going on. Though there were a few shots in this movie where the green screen is noticeable and badly rendered, mostly scenes that involves the windows of a car in its interior shots and someone falling (almost like that glitch scene in the original Robocop).

An exaggerated example of what I am talking about.
The cinematography is what you expect in a Michael Bay film: low angle shots, overly close shots, shots of a scene with an american flag in the background, and cinematography discontinuity. But what really topped this movie were the blatantly obvious product placements, no not just luxury/sports car brands with manufacturer logos on them (this film had every car manufacturer in one movie). We’re talking chinese water and milk brands, designer lingeries, light beer, Oreos, and more. If you think the product placements in My Little Bossings (only Filipinos will get this) and Man of Steel are shameful, you should see what this movie has to offer.


Mark Wahlberg is a slight improvement of Shia’s Sam Witwicky, he did do a solid performance in this movie and he is more involved in the action than running around with a mcguffin while screaming “OPTIMMMUUSSS” or “BUH-BALL-BEEEEE”. The material given to him wasn’t really enough for him to make his character believable (Shyamalan tried, Bay. Why do it again?) And he barely chewed up his already comedic dialogue. Despite having a talent like Stanley Tucci in the film he is reduced to a comic relief role, but like I said the film doesn’t know what “comedy” even means (he mostly yells throughout the film and the film expects you to laugh), almost resulting to being a John Turturro-ish character for this new franchise.

Though I have despised Nicola Peltz being involved in this movie (because of her so-called “performance” in Shyamalan’s Last Airbender), she did do a decent performance but much like Wahlberg and Tucci, the material she was given was rather insulting. She mainly exists in this movie to have that “rebellious teenager” sub-plot where all she wants to do is date apparently (like Liv Tyler in Armaggedon). Which leads me to Jack Reynor, there’s a perfectly good reason why he barely said one line in the trailers (or even be showed), and wow was this guy useless. He’s more of a plot device because he’s a “good driver” and shares a love interest with Nicola Peltz (also a social commentary about the legalizations of dating a minor). There's nothing else to say to the Transformers voice actors other than it is good hearing Peter Cullen return as Optimus Prime (even though his character is reduced to an angry mofo - i guess he's THAT done with our sh*t) and surprisingly hear Frank Welker voicing Galvatron. But this is definitely Lockdown's movie, his character was brilliant in the film being the franchise best villain yet. Other than those three, My favorite newcomers had to be John Goodman's Hound and Ken Watanabe's Drift in this film, their robot counter parts are fun to watch in the film.


I get that this film is trying to be a dumb action movie (the kind that you have to leave your brain outside the theater) but the film is like a dumb person trying to be smart. The “serious” points of the movie are overshadowed by the film’s inconsistencies resulting to a mindless and gratuitous (dumb) action film. I do admit that I did have fun when shit hits the fan but it is a chore to sit through in this brain-numbing 2 ½ hour run time. The film has great potential to revamp an already tired franchise, but Michael Bay and writer Ehren Kruger (he wrote the last two films) instead gives us more of the same schtick…. An overly-long one if I may add. The film ends with a cliffhanger, and is open for two more movies... Let's just thank God that this is Bay's last.  

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