I have been a fan of Transformers since Gen 1 which means the animated 80s franchise. I easily loved Optimus Prime and had a big crush on him as a kid which is still pretty salient I must say. Did I think the Transformers trilogy was very good? It was decent enough and it was enjoyable to watch. In the 3 movies we were shown an array of Autobots and Decepticons with some meat to their metal (aside Optimus): Starscream, Lazerbeak, Bumbledee, Ironhide, Rachet, etcetera.
What did I think there was going to an overhaul in the characters? At first I thought it was a reboot because many franchises nowadays love that. Just rehash. Like some website overhaul. When I saw Mark Wahlberg I thought ok maybe it is an entirely different transformer story. To some extent that is correct. It is a part-reboot but essentially some mythos has been very changed. Top antagonists have changed which is good because Megatron is so common a foe it is understandable that you want to do something out of the box.
CGI wise this film has great components. The bottle green shade of one of the new Autobots is beautifully reflected and so is the Shogun apparel of another. Lockdown, our main protagonist, has an impressive ship and thats very nicely detailed. Optimus now has a bit of a grungier look and that suits the mode of the film. Before they showed him a lot in van mode but one good thing on this film is that they featured him more sans vehicle and more Autobot individual with a very gothic-vintage armour that really spoke out what the film is going for: personalization of the Transformers as entities not as transportation vehicles that humans ride in. They are individuals.
Did the movie succeed in pulling all of those components?
Not a damn way. Unless Bay wanted that to be the case. Maybe, this film is satirical. If that;s the case I am impressed and this succeeds.
Transformers 4 is so bad compared to Dark of the Moon that I am really disappointed. Dark of the Moon was so good in its genre that I can still watch it today with much gusto but this movie can be summed up only as one sentence: CGI wet dream.
Sure, it had a lot of potential and things that make it partly rewatchable like the graphics and if you are a fan like me (you might want to watch again for fun) but as a whole it was kind of a torture. I remember that after 40 minutes by excitement shriveled like a hot air balloon about to pop or just howl away. It does have potential but it many ways it was ruthlessly, as one reviewer stated, lazy. Plain lazy. You can see it in the narratives that put it up there.
I actually got angry at Optimus Prime portrayal I felt that he has a major character assassination. From a heroic person he became miserable and grouchy which I could connect with at first, however, then it just got boring. It didn’t feel organic enough and it felt more like this scaler steel that was talking and doing things rather than Optimus and I was disappointed.
The humans are very one dimensional and are so “inhuman” as in they are caricatures that I felt that they were just meat adhesives to the plot over all this movie gets a D- or E because of its lazy narrative and its uncompelling plot circus that just got drafted inti the CGI. It feels more like a workshop draft than something that is a movie; like some filler for some animation specs. I wonder what Bay was thinking when he was doing all this. It really is so badly written that even I can rewrite a better script.
Now I will go bit by bit on what I feel is wrong with this movie.