I’m out of town, and there’s a movie theater a block from my hotel. As a father, I don’t get to the moviehouse often unless it’s a kid’s movie. So over the weekend, I figured I’d treat myself to a movie. What’s the worst that can happen? The answer to that question: the theater is only showing Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Like an idiot, I pay for it like I’ve never seen a Michael Bay movie and don’t know what to expect besides sexism, racial stereotypes, fluttering American flags, and random lights strung up in trees. There’s not a lesson to be learned here other than that life wears you down and is unfair.
There’s a samurai robot (voiced by Ken Watanabe, no less!) who turns into a helicopter and a random Asian dude in an elevator who kicks ass. Even those primal, stereotypical reaches into my juvenile boyhood don’t allow me to rationalize the three-hour vortex of a movie that sucked out all hope and goodwill towards humanity. I thought Dinobots would balance that out somehow. I was very, very wrong.
Spoiler alert: Once the Dinobots transform into their robot modes, you can’t tell them apart. [Ed. note: Robot modes that can’t be differentiated in a Michael Bay Transformers movie? Shocking!] The artistic design is one thing (of many, many things) that bugs me about the whole movie franchise. All the robots look like they’re made out of forks and butter knives with some kid’s plastic molding. Oh, and flames painted on them.
There’s a ton of critical things you could observe about this movie: scenes are jammed together in ways that don’t make sense and break what little continuity there is, ham handed sentimentality, a simple plot that somehow manages to be confusing BLAAAAARGH. Even trying to critique it feels self-defeating.
And Mark Wahlberg, you’ve got to be an overall shitty human being to make me miss Shia LeBeouf.
Fuck this movie.