Alright! Another instalment of Michael Bay’s Transformers! And with it, we have jaw dropping explosions, unbelievable stunts and firefights, and in the middle of it all another convoluted plot to hold some semblance of storytelling. But hey, whatever sells toys for Hasbro, right?
Kicking off no. 4’s story was a brief look into the past with some sort of alien intrusion on pre-historic Earth which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs (of which also altercates the previous sequels’ claims of “first contact” on Earth yet again), then it fast forwards to the present day, being 5 years after the battle of Chicago from Dark of the Moon. Here we find that the world has changed after Chicago and the US government have severed ties from the Autobots, making them hide like fugitives on the run.
Well from there, we get introduced and re-introduced to various characters, new and old alike. Only Autobot mainstays Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, make a standing return in the movie, now both fostering edgier attitudes and are more distrusting in humans. The new Autobots and enemies have likeable personalities akin to your A-team demolition crew and stereotypical action flick bad guys. Whilst in the case of newcomer humans Cade Yeager and his teenage daughter Tessa, their characters and plot seem like a hidden analogue to old Transformer fans relating to the younger generations trying to foster lessons learned from the follies of youth. Too deep? In a nutshell, it’s about a single dad struggling taking care of his 17 year-old hot daughter by fixing and selling junk then gets in way over his head by getting involved with Optimus Prime.
The movie entertains with various easter eggs, product placements, and of course the featured cars. How the characters were portrayed were either done nicely or done quite awfully. Prime examples would be how John Goodman made Hound a gun-touting-cigar-in-mouth stereotype (which really fit him) and Ken Watanabe’s faux Japanese accent as Drift (profound proverbs just sounded stupid because of it). After a while, the plot kind of drags and elements gets thrown in out of convenience, leaving plenty of plot holes. Ultimately, its achieves what it set out to do, feature characters for new toys, and leave a vague opening for a sequel.
Not really a must see, but it is entertaining to say at the least. Watch it with your kids, but be ready to get them a Grimlock and an Optimus for some dino-riding fun. Or just watch it with your friends and nit-pick it as yet again “Michael Bay has ruined” your childhoods.
Written by Gon