When I saw the first Transformers film back in 2007, it changed everything with the way we look at CGI. The technology and the visual effects were absolutely mind-blowing. I left the theater in awe. Then as the sequels started to come out, the magic started to wear out, the characters began to slip into their predictable roles, and the plots began to become unimpressive. The third installment started to breathe life back into the Transformers franchise, but not enough to warrant a sigh of relief, Shia LaBeof was still in it. Now we have a fourth installment that continues the story of the giant alien robots that once again uses our planet as their battleground.
The title should have been titled, Transformers : The Arrogance of Men. In this film, it has been four years after the Battle of Chicago, the Autobots and Deceptions are being hunted down by the U.S. government. Lead by Harold Attinger, played by Kelsey Grammer, is the CIA lead agent whose paranoid behavior created a so-called death squad called the Cemetery Wind to accomplish the task. But everything is not black and white. As always the belief that we are the superior race, we presume that we can control anything and make it better. Throughout human history, there is evidence to show that we have the capacity to create wondrous innovations and devastating weapons. Our curiosity and necessity to improve our way of life has always been our mission throughout the centuries. The fact that giant alien robots have landed in our backyard with technology that is beyond our understanding is a huge temptation waiting to be researched and duplicated. Stanley Tucci, who plays this rich billionaire Joshua Joyce, is the head CEO of KSI. Their sole mission is to find a way to defend our planet by creating their own Transformers they can control. By creating their own robots, the Autobots and Decepticons are obsolete.
There is an entirely new cast of humans, new Autobots, new Decepticons, and DINOBOTS!!. Mark Wahlberg plays Cade Yeager, a failing inventor and struggling father of a rebellious teenage daughter. Tessa, the daughter is played by Nicola Peltz. Their relationship is the typical battle between father and daughter and it is kind of refreshing to see something different for a change, rather than watching Shia’s character, Sam Whitwicky whine about how miserable his life is. I hope he is happy with his supermodel fiancée, and I hope they don’t procreate, because I don’t want to see little Sam’s running around. In this film, Michael still trashes the image of any teenage girl growing up by making them wear these ridiculously skimpy outfits, but at the same time trying to give them strong quality and personality traits. It’s a mystery to me. But Nicola did a fine job in this film. Her portrayal as a teenage daughter trying to help her father is endearing, but sometimes it’s annoying at times. Mark Wahlberg is great in this film. His struggle to hold his family together is apparent in his performance. He brings humor and conviction every time he is on screen. Kelsey Grammer who plays the dark and paranoid CIA agent Harold Attinger leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. His portrayal of a man determined to protect the planet from the alien robots is frighteningly convincing. He gives us a perception of what the government thinks what we should do in a situation like this. On the other hand, Stanley Tucci who plays billionaire Joshua Joyce is rather comical and flamboyant. His performance is fine. It didn’t stick out like Kelsey’s performance, but it definitely is enjoyable to watch.
I really enjoyed how they created Optimus Prime. Peter Cullen voiced the leader of the Autobots and I think it really gave the film a true authentic Transformer’s story. Without him I don’t think this would have been a true Transformers movie. It was a little weird seeing Optimus this dark. I’m so used to having him be this positive, inspiring leader that I grew up with when I was a child. But I can understand with everything that has happened to him and his fellow Autobots, he has the right to be pissed. The other Autobots like Bumblebee, Hound, Crosshairs, Drift, Ratchet, Brains and Leadfoot definitely made their presence known and it definitely was enjoyable to watch them in action. The Dinobots are a great addition to the franchise. The idea of creating the Dinobots from a skeletal structure makes sense. They look scarier and more powerful compared to the old 80’s version. I hope to see them in the next installment. The Decepticons didn’t make their presence known that much in the film. The only villain that made its presence known is the bounty hunter Lockdown. He definitely gave the Autobots a really hard time. His action sequences were fast, ruthless, deadly, and very cool to watch. Not to mention he transforms into a badass 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Coupe. Galvatron makes his first appearance in this film. For me he didn’t have that much of an impact unlike Lockdown, but nonetheless, I hope he will come back in the next movie and create more havoc, I hope.
The special effects and the CGI lived up to their reputation of being fantastic and mind blowing. The action scenes were fine, but predictable, and the plot is not all that impressive. I don’t go into the theater with high expectations when it comes to the storyline for a Michael Bay film, but I would like to leave the theater satisfied that I didn’t waste my money. My opinion of this movie is that if you want to see a film with mediocre plots, but great CGI, go see this film, otherwise save your money for something better.
I give this three movie stubs out of five, and that is being generous.