Transformers have now been deemed “illegal” on Earth and are hunted, most of them hiding or imprisoned. Optimus Prime journeys back to Cybertron and gets mind controlled by some TransformerGodd who wants something on Earth. The humans and Transformers on Earth also want that same thing. EXPLOSIONS. CGI. MASSIVE ACTION SET PIECES. PEW PEW PEW. Let’s face it no one really watches transformers for the story. Come on.
Credit where credit is due, Bay’s transformers series have always been technically very impressive. He has a talent for directing these massive action set pieces and the blend of CGI within practical shots is very well done for the most part. Unfortunately that is pretty much all the transformers series has going for it.
The plot over here is just this overly long, massive, sprawling monstrosity and if trimmed down to a few major plot points, there is actually a pretty epic story here. However, it is severely bogged down by various things. A lot of the film just feels like these long non-stop, over the top action sequences that honestly last for way too long and they are edited together in such a frenetic manner where the average shot length is 2-3 secs? Every single scene just has so much going on and eventually I just felt very tired watching it, making me care less and less as the sequence went on. The whole film just feels like one long unending climax and a lot of the action scenes just felt kind of “meh” due to the high baseline level of intensity. Besides that, the film chose to include several characters in various scenes that just really did not have much of an impact on the main story and the film tries to have a few comedic moments that sadly fell flat. All in all I feel like it is a very bloated film and it would have been much better had some parts been cut out entirely.
The characters. Oh mamma mia the characters. All the human characters are very one dimensional and I feel like a handful of them added absolutely nothing to the story at large, one in particular coming off as downright irritating. It felt like the characters were kind of written around that particular scene they were in and they made decisions based on what needed to happen next instead of what the characters would actually have done if they were real people. Some of the decisions I feel made no sense and even contradicted what we have seen of their character so far. I have to say I feel like Mark Wahlberg and Laura Haddock are trying to portray convincing lovers but I think it is the horrendous script that just gives them such cheesy flirting to act to, could not help but roll my eyes at some of the “romantic” lines meant to make them fall in love with each other. Even the transformers themselves do the weirdest things at times and there is a moment towards the end of the film where bumblebee does something that he should not be able to do and there is just no explanation to that either. A deus ex transfor-china.
The reason why John Wick and Logan were so well received is because they made the audience love and invest in the characters that are driving their action set pieces. They took their time to have slower moments where we could connect to the characters and start to view them as real people. Take away the investment in the character and no matter how spectacular and explosiony your action scenes are, they will feel hollow because there is no emotional weight behind the gratuitous violence and epic kills.