Friday, June 23, 2017

Transformers 5 chooses special effects over substance

Grade:  C

Rating:  PG-13

In a Nutshell:  Michael Bay says this is his last Transformers movie.  Even fans hope that's true. This Transformers blockbuster franchise seems to have fizzled, disappointing movie-goers with a weak story and paper-thin characters.  

Having spent 260 million dollars on the film, Director Michael Bay seems to have chosen special effects over substance. If you have kids who love the auto-bot franchise, they'll still be entertained.

Uplifting theme: 
  • “Without sacrifice, there can be no victory.” –  – Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins)
  • “Funny what you can do when what depends on you is all you have.” – Izabella (Isabela Moner)
  • “We all want to believe we can be heroes in our own lives.” – Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock)
  • “Magic does exist.” – Sir Edmund Burton

Things I liked:
  • Anthony Hopkins is always great.  I loved his beautiful British home in the film. There's also a lovely British cathedral that gets painfully destroyed by Transformers destruction.
  • You get to visit Stonehenge...sort of. He wanted to set off an explosion at the real site, but was denied, so he had to create a set that looks like the real thing. Seeing it was on my Bucket List and I finally visited the site a couple of years ago. Very cool!

  • I appreciated some of the slow-motion scenes.  One of my complaints from the previous films in the Transformers franchise was that the action sequences were so fast and jumbled that it was difficult to actually see what was happening.
  • I thought “Canopy” was a cool Transformers that I would liked to have seen longer.
  • I love Stanley Tucci in anything. I almost didn't recognize him as Merlin.
  • TONS of action sequences and you get to see a lot of your past favorite transformers, as well as some interesting new ones.
  • Mark Wahlberg works pretty doggone hard in this flick.
  • Laura Haddock is the newest beauty to save the world, but with a higher IQ than her gorgeous predecessors.

Things I didn’t like:
  • The very first scene features England in the Dark Ages when some knights were fighting.  The CGI fire looks totally fake and so I worried that the whole film would have terrible special effects.  It definitely got better.  By the way, King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) looks like Josh Groban.
  • The legendary Merlin the Magician is a drunkard, intended for comic relief, but the jokes fall flat. 
  • I definitely appreciate humor in movies, but most of it doesn’t land in this one.  The jokes fly pretty fast, but land with a thud.
  • If you’re hoping to see Optimist Prime, you’ll be disappointed with his little screen time.
  • I’m sure Michael Bay thought that a new twist to spruce up this installment of the franchise would be to throw a bunch of foul-mouthed kids in it.  Nope. They were all super annoying.
  • Like the other Transformers movies, it’s often difficult to understand what everyone says because of their garbled voices or due to all of the background noise.
  • It drove me nuts that Izabella had carefully placed strands of hair down her face in every scene. I just wanted to comb it back sometimes. It seemed super manipulative.
  • Girl power! every other movie lately.
  • The aspect ratios kept switching around, which was super distracting.
  • The movie contradicts itself constantly.  For example, we're supposed to believe the world is in chaos, yet Vivian has time to play polo in an idyllic British field before teaching children in a museum.
  • Product placement that features Mark Walhberg drinking a Bud Light, just like in the last Transformers' installment.
  • Some of the edits are too fast and choppy.
  • The little leprechaun robot is a C3PO rip-off.  Even one of the transformers points it out.

Funny lines:
  • “You get back in your hole and think about what you did.” – Cade Yeager
  • “Love that guy.  Goosebumps every time.” – Transformer with a Cockney accent  (What's his name?)
  • “So, is this a kidnapping situation or her first transformer experience?” – Cade
  • “A mojito needs ice.  Ice!  We are not animals!” – Agent Simmons (John Turturro) 
Tips for parents: 
  • Lots and LOTS of destruction and fighting.
  • There is a lot of profanity…in fact, a surprising amount of it.  What makes it even worse is that it comes out of the mouths of children and even Sir Anthony Hopkins, both equally disappointing.

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