To be honest folks i cant be bothered to give much of a plot summary on this film – however if memory serves it involved something to do with an ancient staff of ultimate power being gifted to King Arthur by dark age Transformers, we then fast forward a few thousand years and for whatever reason Mark Wahlberg has got to stop Megatron and Optimus Prime getting their hands on it before the Earth is destroyed. There were also alot of things that went bang and some robots fought each other – the end.
Any self respecting film geek will always have a top ten list of the best films he has ever seen, opposingly, he will also have a top ten worst list…………i have the dubious honour that mine features five films directed by Michael Bay – Pain and Gain (a crass, unfunny, morally bankrupt monstrosity) and the last four Transformers sequels (which includes the film that is subject of this review).
As you may have guessed , i am not a fan of Michael Bay’s work – however this was not always the case – I really liked the first Transformers entry, Bad Boys was good fun (although i hated the sequel) Armageddon is daft but gloriously entertaining and The Rock remains to this day to be one of the best action films of the 90’s. However, despite all this good work everything else he has directed has ranged from being mind blowingly offensive (the aforementioned Pain and Gain), a blatant rip off (The Island is nothing more than a copy of the Matrix) laughably awful (PearlHarbor features THE worst dialogue in movie history) or simply overblown, badly made, boring and totally bereft of plot (all the Transformers sequels).
Unfortunately and completely predictably – so it is again with this, his latest effort – the fifth entry in the never ending Transformers franchise-a and putting it mildly there is absolutely nothing good i can say about it.
For a start – the script is a painfully juvenile mess that sounds like it was written by a ten year old. Indeed so bad is the dialogue that at times I genuinely struggled to believe i was actually watching a modern day film made by an established studio.
The story (such as it is) fails on every level to be even remotely engaging, and features characters which at best are nothing more than thinly drawn, personality deficient non entities who i didn’t care if they lived or died (died would have been better).
The performances from the cast (some by actual Oscar nominees no less) are also universally awful – Anthony Hopkins completely embarrasses himself as an eccentric English Lord, the voice over actors (Peter Cullen, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi et al) are all staggeringly poor, the usually reliable Stanley Tucci shows up in a an excruciating cameo as Merlin, plus Walhberg just looks like he’s only there for the money and appears completely disengaged throughout.
Then there is the action sequences – all of which fail on every level to raise even a modicum of excitement. Bay constantly throws in as many explosions, helicopters, guns and special effects as he can muster at any one time and simply hopes for the best – worst of all this was compounded by a horribly downbeat music score which was used in almost every set piece – particularly the climactic last 20 minutes, which was so boringly dull and loud that it made my eyes and ears feel like they were having needles stuck in them.
Indeed it is a measure of how bad a job Bay has done, that not one action scene made any sense or appeared to have been shot with even an iota of imagination or flair. Coupled with this was the unfathomable decision to keep changing the aspect ratio throughout -on more than one occasion the entire screen was filled – then it was completely reduced in size seconds later – whether or not this was an accident or (more likely) a serious flaw in Bay’s dubious directing talents i’m afraid we shall never know.
What annoys me the most however, is the fact that this film had a budget of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars and yet managed to be so bad. How does this happen? How does that much money buy such an appalling script? Or produce such poor performances from normally good actors? Or results in a film that has the temerity to call its itself a summer blockbuster yet turns out to be less entertaining than watching paint dry and more painful than a firm kick in the testicles.
Ask yourself this – how great would it have been if the studio had used that $250 mill to produce lots of smaller more independent projects that were directed by real filmmakers such as Edgar Wright, Sam Raimi, Neil Marshall or the Coen’s? But no – they gave it to Michael Bay – a one trick pony and a hack, who’s only legacy will be that he succeeded in making films that served no purpose other than to sell tonnes of overpriced merchandise, make rich men richer, and were nothing more than plotless, pointless, torpor inducing piles of cinematic excrement that insulted, disrespected and ripped off their intended audiences.
You are probably wondering by now why on earth i even bothered to go and watch this crap -indeed those who would defend Michael Bay’s work would argue that i don’t have to see his films if i don’t want to and to be fair, they would be right – perhaps i just hoped that he would do a better job this time round and return to the promising form he displayed so well with The Rock or the first Transformers film, or maybe i just felt it was my solemn duty to the readers of this website to grit my teeth, suffer some pain, then write a review that when they read it may just save the poor saps from throwing their money away. Hopefully i have succeeded.
All I have left to say is this – Michael Bay -if you are reading this review -be aware that you have directed one of the worst, most catastrophically awful films in history, conned people into watching it,wasted millions of dollars that could have been better spent elsewhere and flushed whatever talent you had straight down the toilet. Shame on you and shame on your employers
Take note Mr Bay – for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for thee sir.
(And yes that is ZERO Stars)
Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek