The Transformers Saga: Ingeniously Good or Comically Horrible?
By: Raedan Goldblum
When Michael Bay’s first installment of the Transformers saga debuted in 2007, it got a pretty solid reception. As a seven-year-old, I remember watching this movie, oh I don’t know, maybe about three, four times a week? Although I haven’t seen in it in a while, my basement is littered with evidence that shows I was clearly obsessed with this movie. If I went into my storage room, I’d still find about five to ten transformers toys – you know, the ones that you buy as cars but can extend into their robotic figure – not gonna lie that is still cooler than 90% of the sh*t I own today. The weirdest piece of evidence that displays my obsession with this movie an old, torn up journal that I found in a drawer. Within the first…maybe twenty pages was inscribed the same note…over and over again. In these pages was the opening monologue Optimus Prime gives at the start of the film, and for some psychotic, extremely insane yet mysterious reason, I kept rewriting his opening speech over and over. Point is, as a kid, I f*ckin’ loved the first movie.
And then the second movie came out two years later: Revenge of the Fallen. And I know what you’re thinking, to the five people that will read this; the bad guys of the movie who seek revenge aren’t fallen soldiers, nope. The literal name of the evil decepticon of the movie is The Fallen…very creative Michael Bay. Yeah, this movie is pretty awful, but as a kid I was still entertained by it. Big explosions, cool speeches, Megan Fox spray painting on motorcycle for no apparent reason…yeah, this movie had it all, my 10-year-old self always thought.
Alright, now let’s skip ahead. Transformers Three: Dark of the Moon? Yeah, I only saw it once, forget everything that happens, and who cares. Moving on, Transformers four: The Age of Extinction. Mark Walberg?! Robots?! Dinosaurs?! Robot Dinosaurs?!...yeah, I never even bothered seeing this movie. So, let’s keep it movin’.
Finally comes Transformers Five: The Last Knight. I saw this movie three years ago with my friends, and everything I am about to tell you is completely based off of my single viewing of this “film” if that’s what we want to call it. I did not re read the plot while writing this, I didn’t look at any clips. This is just my memory based off one viewing. Feel free to fact check, the one person who reads this (cheers, whoever you are). The movie opens with…a battle during the middle ages…consisting entirely of humans. No robots. No guns. Just middle-aged humans screaming and charging at each other, like a low budget rip off of gladiator. The battle goes on for about ten to fifteen minutes. It is so long, in fact, that I literally turned to my friend next to me and asked if this was a trailer for another movie. I secretly hoped it was, as this opening was pretty terrible. My hopes were dashed and my unwarranted faith and love for this franchise disappeared when I saw the “Transformers: The Last Knight” title appear across the screen. Yikes. Fast forward a couple minutes, we have Stanley Tucci playing the wizard Merlin guzzling a keg of mead (yes, this is real) and then a few minutes later we see Arthur at the round table and Whoa! Hang on…one of the knights of the roundtable is a Transformer! How cool is that...thought nobody. Fast forward to the present day. Mark Walburg does some stuff, I can’t really remember, and some other stuff happens that really isn’t important. Don’t know, don’t care.
Anyway, fast forward even further. Ah yes, Anthony Hopkins is a teacher who lives in a castle and has a transformer as a butler, I guess. Uh let’s see what else…Ah, Megatron is alive again…somehow…for the fifth time. Optimus Prime has now turned evil and his eyes are purple now, aaaaand, I forget why he’s evil or how it’s important, but good news! He turns good shortly after, simply because he hears Bumblebee talk in his normal voice! What a ride this movie is. Let’s see is there anything else? Oh yeah, Mark Walburg has an intimate dinner on a submarine with a random female, a seven-year-old girl is found living in a nuclear wasteland and it’s never clear how she survives, and the transformer home world of uh…whatever it’s called almost collides with Earth. Spooky stuff. Wow, I haven’t been this exhausted since explaining the plot to Aquaman to my brothers. Side note, if anyone thinks that Aquaman was good, just say the plot to yourself out loud and then you’ll realize how truly insane that movie was. But I digress. Transformers Five: The Last Knight was so bad, in fact, that my friends and I had plans to hang out after, but we were all so miserable that we wasted two hours of our lives that we went home and probably stared at the wall for the rest of the night.
What started off as a promising and entertaining saga has now transformed (see what I did there) into nothing more than a maelstrom of explosions, loud sounds, over sexualization of female actors, and Optimus prime saying that humans are good even though he spends the first half of every film nearly being killed by humans. So, in answer to the question I posed above, is the Transformers saga bad or secretly good; don’t think for a second that the last four movies are going to be anything except the four worst movies you’ve ever seen in your life. It took Shia LeBeouf literally fifteen years to revitalize his career and ruined his relationship with film studios because of how bad these movies are. Great job, Michael Bay…but also I can’t wait to see Transformers six, seven, eight, nine, and ten.