Transformers 1-4 – Film Series Review

I was going to rewatch all of these in order to do this series review, but I got about half an hour into the first one and realised that they’re all just so damn long that I really couldn’t put myself through it. Oh yeah, and they’re all mostly terrible. So if I’m a bit fuzzy on them I’m sorry, I just didn’t like to torture myself for a seemingly infinite amount of hours. Michael Bay has created one hell of a franchise and it sometimes feels like a literal hell to watch them.

Transformers (2007)

This one really is the best of a bad bunch, but that isn’t saying much at all. The Autobots and Decepticons come to earth looking for the All-Spark, some sort of magical cube that creates Transformer life but also kills it for some reason. Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and some other largely interchangeable Autobots team up with Shia LaBeouf and his romantic interest Megan Fox (despite the fact they have zero chemistry whatsoever) to stop Megatron from getting the spark and doing something bad. It’s a long a overly complex story which really boils down to the bad guys want something and the good guys have to stop them. A recurring theme in this series.

The special effects are good, even if the colours aren’t refined enough to be able to work out who is fighting who at any time. The acting is really hammed up, especially from John Turturro. The voice acting is pretty good from Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving as Prime and Megatron, but that doesn’t exactly give them any extra personality on top of basically nothing. Everything is just okay-ish in this film. It’s not great. It’s barely even good. But it’s not the worst. I guess, in a way, that’s the best praise I can give this film…

JACK’S SCORE: 3/5

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Things get worse instantly. Racist robots, LaBeouf dying and going to Transformer heaven, an even longer runtime. It’s all terrible. Once again, the bad guys want a thing (this time it’s the Matrix of Leadership) and the good guys have to stop them. It’s another globetrotting adventure but with no fun, no decent jokes and some very indiscernible extended action sequences. Did anyone find the parents funny in the first film? Well who cares because they’re back with a vengeance! Once again the design and special effects of the Transformers are largely really good, with Devastator looking particularly cool. But the film is just way way too long to be able to enjoy properly.

The Fallen is a boring main villain, Skids and Mudflap are the least funny and most offensive robots ever and the acting is once again pretty B-movie quality. It’s hard to know what to write about these films because they’re all pretty bad but there’s just nothing really to talk about. It’s all the same, it’s all bland and superficial and it’s all not very good.

JACK’S SCORE: 1/5

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

I will say that this one is slightly better than the previous one. This time around, the bad guys want a thing that the good guys have to stop them getting. Revolutionary right?! There’s a lot of plodding around, a lot of revealing the moon landings were investigating some Transformer spaceship and then a whole heap of fighting and action stuff. The action is brought back to the city with an extended 40 minute (at least) third act battle sequence that’s good-ish, but just goes on and doesn’t stop. Leonard Nimoy voice Sentinel Prime, Optimus’s old mentor and Megan Fox is replaced with the actor-slash-plank of wood Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who can’t act at all and just reads her lines with a blank stare.

But once again, it’s just the same old story, the same old impressive special effects, the same action and the same flaws. Those flaws being it is overly long, isn’t funny and is hard to work out what is going on. Too much is happening at all times and none of it is really worth your time.

JACK’S SCORE: 2/5

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Guess what? This film is more of the same. Again! The bad guys this time want some thing that can make stuff into Transformium and the good guys have to stop them. This is sort of a soft reboot. New human cast headed up by Mark Wahlberg and new designs for the Transformers. The new designs are meh and Mark Wahlberg is okay, so that’s not the best. The most interesting element is that the world now hates all Transformers after they wrecked an entire city in the last one. That’s good, I like it. But then it’s ruined by a plot point that has human bad guys siding with a Transformer bad guy to create their own Transformers by using the previous bad guy, hence making their own new bad guy. It doesn’t make sense!

There’s a new effect for the human made Transformers when they transform. They turn into a millions little cubes and fly about and it is terrible. It looks horrible. Another thing this movie was sold on was the Dinobots showing up. Awesome! But sadly they show up for 10 minutes, have very little effect and then disappear. The robots are easier to distinguish this time around though, but only really because the Autobots are essentially colour coded and the Decepticons are all interchangeable black and grey ones. It’s no better or worse really. The jokes are still horrifically unfunny and it’s still way too long. I look forward to more from the fifth one!

JACK’S SCORE: 2/5

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