There have been four Transformers films. Let that sink in for a moment. Now consider there is, a fifth one has been released. How did things get this bad? Why is Michael Bay still doing this to us?
Well the franchise is the 10th highest grossing film franchise in history and has given Hasbro, who for a time struggled with scandals about their products, a new lease of life. So money seems to be keeping this franchise alive but if we cast our minds back to Transformers, the first film in the series from 2007, something has been lost amidst the cash flow – creativity.
That film went through an extensive production process with the careful guidance of Steven Spielberg and lead to a script that was clever, even witty, and made to reflect the world it was released in… just through the medium of alien transforming vehicles. It combined themes of ‘growing-up’, humanity, sci-fi, action and the huge lore behind the original Transformers.
[…] Transformers: The Last Knight just looks like a child slamming two of his beloved Hot Wheels cars together […]
It may not have been a great film but visually it was striking, the fight sequences were well choreographed (even though it was CGI robots) and tense. Shia LaBeouf was also an excellent casting choice, his performance as the stuttering unlikely teen hero has sort of set the mould for the likes of Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland as Spider-Man.
But now we are 10 years on, 5 films into this and Michael Bay has, much like Tim Burton, become a parody of himself and a by-word for his own genre of film. For Bay his genre is ‘boom-boom-boom’ hence the trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight just looks like a child slamming two of his beloved Hot Wheels cars together with a sound board of 5 different explosion noises.
And the story seems more and more absurd with each film. This time aspects of Anglo-Saxon mythology are mixed with robot witches, a metal dragon, bureaucracy and Mark Walberg shouting. How Walberg, and now Anthony Hopkins, ever thought this was a good franchise to get involved with confounds me.
This film will be a rival for worst of the year yet people still go and pay to watch it. So given the willingness of people to part with their money we can now look forward to a Bumblebee origin story film and a sixth Transformers film. The only upshot is Michael Bay has ruled himself out as the director… for now.
By Arran Byers