The Skinny (No Spoilers)
Exhausted. That’s the word that best describes how you will feel after this movie. It is 2 hours and 45 minutes, not including previews. This movie is a chore. The CGI? Same as the last three movies. The acting? Are you kidding me?!?. The lack of Megan Fox? An unmitigated cinematic tragedy. I’m not going dwell on the plot not making sense. Complaining about the plot not making sense in a Transformers movie is like bitching about the lack of flavor in a Natty Lite. What the else did you expect?
There is no compelling reason why 165 minutes are necessary to tell a story about Marky Mark and handful of oversized, malleable Hot Wheels. Hell, the final battle lasted a full 30 (freaking) minutes.
The saddest thing: It’s actually better than the last two Transformer movies. Decent step up of the characters, their connection to one another, and the overall plot (No matter how complicated and pretzel-like it might be). In fact, the first 1 and 45 minutes is NOT a complete train wreck. However, after this 45th minute, it’s straight downhill. Stilted dialog, predictable outcomes, and my goodness do the Transformers themselves sound stupid.
Do me a favor: Don’t see this movie. Fireworks and beer are expensive. I’m saying you’re better off blowing up your money. Be your own version of Michael Bay.
Deep Dive (Spoilers)
It goes somethin’ like this—The US government is tracking down all Transformers, including the Autobots. CIA is doing this for two reasons: 1) so that their bodies can be sold and melted down by a U.S. military contractor that wants to build their own Transformers, and 2) so that they can capture Optimus Prime and trade him to a set of Transformer bounty hunters that want to return Prime to his creators. In exchange, CIA will receive a device that, when exploded, will create a ton of the same metal that Transformers are made of.
Exhausted yet? No? Ok, throw in family drama between our protagonist, Dirk Diggler look-a-like, Mark Walburg , and his daughter, Megan Fox stand-in, Nicola Peltz.
And herein lies the biggest problem: The plot is too damn convoluted. Michael Bay wants a ton of action (Probably about 45 to 60 minutes worth). But to have that, and still keep the movie at a decent length, certain plot points should have to be left out. By not simplifying the plot, and demanding an egregious amount of action, we get a bloated 2 hour and 45 minutes movie that is simply too much. Even if you are buying a ticket for robot-on-robot action (and Dinobots), realize that you won’t see the “big battle” until 2 hour and 15 minutes into the film! And speaking of Dinobots, which were sold to the audience as one of the cool new aspects of the film: They only get about 15 minutes of screen time, which is a complete cop-out for the numerous viewers will be seeing this movie only for the Dinobots.
Listen, I’m fine with a spectacle. It’s the summer. If you are gonna have one, now is the time. But there is a proper way to do it and this is not the way. Michael Bay needs to take a page from the Marvel playbook. Notice how those movies are just as void of depth, great acting, and plot cohesion? But you know what, they are fun, around the 2 hour mark, and connect well with the movies that came before it. Transformers does not do the same, and the entire franchise has suffered because of it.
Don’t see Transformers. Life is too short to waste it on this.