The Movie Scab: "Transformers: Age of Extinction."
"The scab you're picking at is called execution."
--American film producer Scott Rudin.
Transformers: Age of Extinction: Zero Acks!
Monkey Boy gives Transformers 4 zero Acks! out of 5!
Michael Bay is a serial killer. I know that sounds extreme, but after you see Transformers 4, you will be as convinced as I am that he is trying to murder the world. And if not the world, then in the very least he's trying kill the movies. If he keeps this up much longer, I think he'll succeed at both. He will murder the entire human population and the movies at the same time, with the same movie franchise. Yes, that's right, in the far, far future, long after humanity has gone extinct, aliens will drop by to study our history and point to Michael Bay and Transformers as the singularity that killed off Man.
And the American moviegoer is guilty as hell because we keep giving our hard-earned money to Michael Bay and his Transformers movie franchise over and over and over like gleeful, brain-dead lemmings running off a cliff. You get what you pay for and in the end we're going to get what we deserve, full-blown cliff-jumping and falling and splatting-on-the-rocks-below death and extinction.
Thank you, Michael Bay and Transformers. Thank you, humanity.
I should preface this with an honest admission: Monkey Boy and I liked, even enjoyed, the first Transformers movie. It’s a Hollywood blockbuster about sentient robots from another galaxy (or wherever, I don’t care, shut up, if you’re a Transformer fan boy or girl who knows where the Autobots came from there’s something wrong with you and there’s nothing I can do to help you). These super smart, living, breathing robots can transform into cool cars and trucks that talk to you and drive you at the same time, kind of like drinking and driving while texting yourself—or maybe not—anyway, the movie kept it real enough and told the story well enough to make the whole, crazy, stupid concept work, entertaining me and Monky Boy and everyone else.
As soon as Monkey Boy and I walked out of the movie theatre, we knew a Transformers sequel was on its way—color us movie psychics—but when the second movie rolled around and it was so god-awful that it caused us to gouge out our eyeballs and drop them in a bucket of popcorn so we could suck the salt and hot butter product off them later, we hoped, nay, even expected Michael Bay to take it like a man—in the balls—and stop, just stop the madness.
But, no. No, no, no. Having no shame (or sense of pride, similar to that overrated hotshot Darren Aronofsky), Michael Bay directed a third installment that, it turns out, was better than the second, but worse than the first. And of course he wasn’t about to stop there. Michael Bay was and is on a George Lucas movie franchise-killing roll.
And now we have Transformers: Age of Extinction, a cancerous tumor in Hollywood's blockbuster crap colon, and I'm certain number five is just around the corner, holed-up somewhere in the common bile duct waiting to be squeezed out, and six, seven, eight, nine and ten, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, and to loosely paraphrase Monty Python, get me a popcorn bucket, I'm going to throw up.
Gag and splat, all my soda pop, Rasinets and popcorn mix together in one messy pile.
Now that I think about it, that pretty much sums up Transformers: Age of Extinction.
There is nothing good in this movie. There is nothing good about this movie. It is complete and total ipecac.
Should I tell you the plot? Why bother? It doesn't matter, nothing about this movie matters. It's a matterless movie.
But wait, you cry! What about the new Transformer cast? Don’t they make the movie matter? I mean, Michael Bay dumped self-destructive psycho-boy Shia LaBeouf and replaced him with Marky Mark Wahlberg, adding Stanely Tucci and Kelsey Grammer as dependable, respectable backup. And a new meaningless hot-hot-hottie named Nicola Peltz too. (She’s the meaningless hot-hot-hottie who replaced the other meaningless hot-hot-hotties and she’s the only Transformers hot-hot-hottie in the series so far that Monkey Boy and I found so irritating, selfish and tiresome we wanted Optimus Prime to squeeze her in his massive metallic hand until her head exploded. The scene with her and Marky Mark walking the tightrope from spaceship to building while she complained about her life? Oh my ack! Kill. Her. Now.) But, you blubber on, don’t these new actors make the movie matter?
I respect Marky Mark Wahlberg as an actor, if you must know, and I would never insult Marky Mark Wahlberg by calling him Marky Mark Wahlberg—until now. You want to see Mark Wahlberg the actor, go see him in Lone Survivor. You want to see Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, go see Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Adding insult to injury, not a word in the script about what happened to three movies of characters. Yes, you read that right: Three movies of characters. Just gone, baby, gone, without a word, a nod, an honorable mention. That’s like replacing the entire cast and all the characters in the fourth Harry Potter movie and moving it from Hoggwarts to Key West and hoping nobody notices.
At least with the original movie, you got a sense the filmmakers cared enough to try to tell a coherent and interesting story with characters the audience connected with--today? Forget it. Forget plot, story, story arch, character, blah, blah, blah, such a waste of time when we can have more BLAM! BOOM! CRASH! POW!
I can imagine Michael Bay saying, "More BLAM! More BOOM! More CRASH! More POW! And we'll make billions."
He was right, of course, damn him, damn him to hell! And it was also right and smart to make sure that half the movie takes place in Hong Kong. Sure, to do that the script had to kowtow to the Chinese government ("...don't worry about our endless human rights violations, mother China will save you, Hong Kong!"), but the ticket sales there are going through the roof. So what if they sold their soul for a buck or two? OK. A billion or two. OK. OK. I get it. I'll shut up now.
But let's be honest, more BLAM, BOOM, CRASH and POW doesn't always work. Look at Gore Verbinksi's career-ending The Lone Ranger for example, written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rosso (the “other” screenwriter wishes to remain anonymous), the super geniuses behind the craptastic Pirates of the Caribbean sequels which are all about BLAM, BOOM, CRASH and POW. (Can’t wait to see Pirates 5.) The Lone Ranger was a big budget Hollywood blockbuster with enough BLAM , BOOM, CRASH and POW to make Michael Bay admit—finally—that he has BLAM, BOOM, CRASH and POW Envy and we, the people, flushed it down the toilet.
Why didn't we do that with Transformers: Age of Extinction?
Because we’re freakin’ stupid!
OK, maybe that’s too on the nose. Maybe it’s more complex than that. Maybe it's because giant, living, intelligent metal robots that turn into cool cars and trucks are, by their very nature, cool and we like cool things.
Maybe it's because a quarter of the audience played with Transformer toys and watched the cartoons when they were kids.
Maybe it’s the shiny special effects--and they are shiny. But are they great special effects? No, and I don't care how hard the special effects crew worked. Sorry, gang, but there wasn't a single effects shot that filled me with awe or made me go, "Wow, that's impressive." Why? Because there's so much spectacle in the special effects the special effects get lost and drown in buckets and buckets of in-your-face visual meaninglessness, the result of the effects team channeling George Lucas.( My brain couldn’t comprehend the action half the time. I didn’t know what I was seeing. The special effects looked like Van Gogh’s painter pallet, a colorful, bloody, insane mess.) But nothing kills special effects dead like storytelling mediocrity. When you don’t care about the story or characters, who cares about the impressive special effects?
Not me and Monkey Boy. And not my brothers either, and we love science fiction and action pictures. Yeah, it's one thing for Monkey Boy and me not to like Transformers 4. But my brothers? They love stuff like Transformers and they hated this movie. Why do you think we ended up at the bar afterward? Just to hang out and have a good time? No! We needed to erase the last three hours of crappy movie of our minds, that’s why.
And, yes, you heard that right. The movie is three hours long. I wanted to walk out an hour into it because—I swear, I’m not exaggerating—I was bored, but my brothers wouldn’t let me because I dragged them to this insulting atrocity and they were going to make sure I sat through every painful minute of Michael Bay’s BLAM, BOOM, CRASH and POW Envy.
So. Monkey Boy and I believe it’s time to for Michael Bay to admit that during his psychosexual development he realized he did not have a penis, or in the very least, he had a smaller penis than Kurt Vonnegut (three inches long and five inches in diameter), and that’s why he keeps pumping out these big, gigantic, explosive, monster-sized-phallic movies that fail to satisfy. Overcompensating for something, Michael?
And that explains why he’s a serial killer.
My rating: Drink as much Energon wine as possible. I mean, buckets and buckets, as much as an Autobot would drink. Then drink an Allspark (absinthe, mescal, scorpion vodka, three lizard liquor, snake wine, baby mice wine, seagull wine, purple drank, four loko, and unpasteurized milk). You will be dead after you finish your Allspark and your death will prevent you from going to see Transformers: Age of Extinction.