Well at least it wasn’t Revenge of the Fallen. And not having that hack Megan Fox is always a plus (until you realize she has already ruined another show of my childhood).
I have no illusions going to Michael Bay films. I’m going to shut my brain off and wonder at the shiny things called explosions. I’m going for base level entertainment tied loosely together by the most thread bare of plots.
Sadly I’m not sure that I had the most thread bare of plots here. I have lots of questions. Who is Lockdown? Who sent him? I understand being betrayed does things to you, but Optimus changes a lot in this film…more than the plot seems to justify, why is that? How does Optimus know who he is? What legends was Optimus referring to? Who exactly are the dinobots? Why were they locked up? Where did the Samuria (or any of these new Autobots) come from? Will Ken Wantanabe do anything so long as you pay him? How did the boyfriend go from surrendering coward to daredevil driver in 30 minutes? Was I supposed to care about all the Autobot who have all the compassion of your typical Decepticon? Who are the creators? What the hell did I just watch?
I like Mark Wahlberg, but for a good portion of the film I felt I was watching Marky Mark. Stanley Tucci did what he usually does and stole every single scene he was in. I hope they return for the movie that this overly long ball of confusion was clearly setting up. I can do without most of the other characters…honestly I do not need to see another film where Optimus Prime gets his ass handed to him by a villain and has to be saved through the intervention of someone else. (Might be one of the reasons I always liked Rodimus Prime as a child, for all the insecurities of the character he could actually win his own battles).
However, the movie was overly long, it had too many villains (honestly I had Lockdown, I had his mysterious masters, I had a CIA mastermind and CIA merc, I had Galvatron…way too many villains to keep track of. Get rid of at least two villains there and save me a little time with the confusing plot (or answer something).
You know I could say the new generation of Decepticons was a clever discussion of the dangers of drones. Or that Kelsey Grammar’s CIA character was a biting critique of an out of control intelligence agency and Ted Cruz’s faux-patriotism. That the xenophobia of both Lockdown and the CIA has ominous parallels. I could say that…but this is a Michael Bay film and all of those would be really reaching and it’s probably that I just have the nasty habit of looking too deeply at times. But in the end this movie wasn’t needed—Dark of the Moon for all of its flaws wrapped up everything quite well. However, if they can cut the run time down to something more manageable, this did set up a good movie that will likely not waste time.
The trailer makes this look so much more exciting than it actually is.
I give it a two out of five. Not really worth watching (although it might be redeemed if the next one is good) but not so bad that I want it erased from the history books.