Transformers, a crappy movie not in disguise.
Just for the record I was not expecting the next 12 Years a Slave with this movie, but I was expecting something more than… ugh, hurts to even think about it. I guess I’ll go down the list of this movie’s major factors; the new cast. different tone, and the plot to go with it all.
The movie starts out with the most stereotypical Texas family that I have ever seen. If I remember right this part of the film was done outside of Austin (don’t quote me) but was supposed to have been set outside of Paris, Texas. As someone who lived right outside of Paris for a period of his life and has lived in northeast Texas since he was brought home from the hospital, this looked drastically different. I can imagine that it’s easy for anyone who hasn’t spent much time in Texas to assume that it’s covered in vast fields and full of rustic old towns. There are vast fields and rustic towns but not to the degree that this movie wanted the viewer to believe. I don’t know, maybe I’m being too harsh on this point. Since I’m part of the microscopic minority that will pick up on this it’s probably not a big deal to the filmmakers. Still, do your research. Northeast Texas is not all farmland, it’s predominately wooded. If you’re filming in central Texas, place your film in central Texas. Isn’t that hard.
And the cast, oh man the cast. Mark Wahlberg is the new leading man for what is undoubtedly going to be a new trilogy and I do enjoy him more than Shia. He brings some form of adulthood to the chaos that ensues when the action gets tough. However the rest of the cast, besides Kelsey Grammer, are pretty much pieces of cardboard. Wahlberg, who was nowhere near perfect in this film, is the only member of the Texas crew that even tries to have a proper accent. He fails, miserably, but he tries. His daughter (not even going to try names with these people) ends up being another chick-in-a-Michael-Bay character. She’s just around to be put in danger so that the adolescent boys watching can fantasize. It amazes me that this character type has been used for a fourth time and no one has stood up to the writers yet. Combine her with the stereotype Australian surfer boyfriend and you have the most boring characters so far this year.
A darker, more gritty tone is attempted in this movie but it fails gloriously. Maybe it’s because I’ve begun to do my own writing over this past year but I couldn’t help but notice the plot holes, clichés, and every other sign of lazy storytelling. The entire idea that the United States government would hunt down the aliens who SAVED EARTH seemed ludicrous to me. Then when a shadow government organization starts to hunt down US citizens it’s revealed that these citizens have “nowhere to run” because any law enforcement group would turn them in.
Here’s a bit of a lesson for anyone who hasn’t been to Texas. See, there’s a bit of a feeling of distrust towards the federal government down here. It’s nothing personal, it just stems from an independent mindset that a lot of Texans have. In the movie its stated that the characters would be turned over if they went to the police. In reality if one went to a sheriff’s office and said that they were on the run from a shadow government organization because they were trying to help the good guys, the sheriff would probably not believe them. Once the shadow guys actually showed up though, every deputy from the next three counties would show up to protect those people. The Texas Rangers (not the baseball team) would probably show up as well. It would cause a domestic incident and end up on every news channel.
Basically what I’m saying is that this movie exists in its own universe with its own rules on how almost everything works. The Texas is this film is nothing like the Texas I know, the Transformers in this film are totally different (besides Optimus Prime, but he even becomes comical towards the end), and the laws of the conservation of matter is broken with the ridiculously named transformium. There’s just so much in this movie that’s broken and doesn’t work once a view opens their brain up just a smudge. Oh, I can hear you know. “You shouldn’t have to think in this type of movie.” To you I say this, there are movies that I enjoy from a pure brain numb point of view. I loved Pacific Rim because it tickled me in all the right places. Pacific Rim was fresh to me and made me squeal like a child in glee. This movie could have had a better chance at that if it wasn’t almost three hours long. It doesn’t have any meaty details to it that can give the film a soul. The added length just stretches out the little that was there, making the more awesome scenes like the Dinobots only highlight what the rest of the film did wrong.
Seriously though, Dinobots are now the best example of deus ex machina I’ve ever seen.
Is it hypocritical of me to say how much I didn’t like this movie, to tell you to not go see it, even though I did? In my defense I saw this film on my brother’s birthday because he wanted to go. I had seen the negative reviews and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and DAMN did I see. In the end this film is my least favorite of the entire Transformers saga, which should have ended with the third movie.
I did get a laugh at the very end of the movie though. The way Optimus sets out for the next objective made me cackle inside.