The Case for Transformers: Age of Extinction
By Ryan O'Neill
July 4, 2014
Now even I am not blind enough to ignore there are problems with some of the plot. Marky Mark’s daughter and her idiot boyfriend definitely need to go. They are there because the studio needs something to appeal to teenage girls even if their target audience is teenage boys. Anyone who has seen Twilight knows it can get much worse so where is the positive thinking? At least there are no scenes between the movie’s two worst characters staring at each other for 30 minutes with an expression that wavers between misery and constipation.
Many critics go berserk over the blatant product placement in the film. Personally, I found the exploding beer truck scene to be funny, but before I digress, I ask what exactly the big deal is? Instead of accusing Bay of whoring himself out, think how all that extra money is allowing for more effects and more spectacle. The scope of this film is ridiculous. Most directors would not even attempt to make a film even half as large as Age of Extinction. The worst of the worst critics are the ones who dare to use the word hack and Michael Bay in the same sentence. They would curl up into a ball and cry for mercy if they switched places with Bay and tried to manage the set pieces in this movie, but it’s so easy to chastise him behind their computer screen. When you compare what is on screen in a Transformers movie, in relation to its budget, to movies that cost more yet showed far less (The Lone Ranger) you should be impressed, not pissed off.
Any protest of the plot being incoherent is incorrect. This is another common Michael Bay bandwagon complaint. If you can’t follow this plot then you are not paying attention. For an example of a ridiculous, incomprehensible plot, I present Enemy and Only God Forgives. Here are two of the worst movies ever made with scriptwriting so asinine that the IMDb message board has several explanations of the plot, but every single one of the viewers’ “guesses” about what the hell they just watched is different. These are independent art house movies though, otherwise known as “critical darlings.” Apparently, it’s intelligent when the viewer has to guess what happened since there is zero logic or explanation in the movie. When your double’s wife turns into a spider and the movie fades to black it must be because the director is brilliant and he is making a metaphor about relationships. The next time Bay releases one of his “stupid” movies, I suggest that these critics go to the library and get themselves a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.
The fact that the movie does not pay homage to the comic book mythology is the next hurdle to tackle. I thought the Galvatron storyline was very respectful to the cartoon and comic. Many complaints were made towards the Dinobots having no dialogue. I can guarantee that if Bay had put in a “Me Grimlock,” or a “Me Kick Ass,” the racism comments, similar to the twins from Revenge of the Fallen, would have started again. Even worse, somebody trying to get attention may have started a Michael Bay is making fun of autism protest. You can say I’m assuming the worst, but the hypocrisy has already been proven. How many complaints were there in the first three Transformers about the juvenile humor? The fourth film tones it down in comparison and even incinerates the “goofy” character. So now there are numerous comments of the movie not being funny enough. Seriously?
My hope as I end this article is that the reader understands that I do believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion whether I agree with it or not. Michael Bay certainly could care less what the critics think as he strikes gold yet again and the money rolls in like a waterfall. I just want to have valid criticism; otherwise I can make better use of my time arguing with the wall. Much like a court case, the better your facts, the better your ability to sway the jury, so if you are going to accuse a film of being stupid, boring, lazy, incoherent, etc. make sure that your evidence is not filled with all of the exact same attributes you are accusing Michael Bay’s directing of. Otherwise, your critique just makes you look jealous of his success.