Sunday, 1 February 2015

Film Talk | Transformers

Discussing the Transformers movie franchise, from the first to the latest instalment

Transformers: Age of Extinction Screenshot
The Transformers franchise has become one of the most talked about movie franchises of all time, as it has gone through an extremely successful original (Transformers, 2007), which amassed a worldwide gross of $710 million, followed by 3 successful sequels, which altogether including the first gave the Transformers movie franchise a total worldwide gross of $3,757,212,051 (billion).

The Transformers movies, although commercially successful, have received a lot of negativity from hardcore movie watchers around the world because of its lack of character development, predictable storyline's and the overuse of action in each Transformers instalment. However, some (including myself) may argue that it is all of the action that makes it such an appealing movie to see at the movie theatres, as occasionally it is nice to watch a movie, not for the shocking plots, but rather for the madness of never-ending explosions and havoc on-screen.

Not to mention, Transformers is a franchise clearly designed with families in mind, as the whole family can get together to watch a Transformers movie, and when the whole family is sat together watching a movie, usually the last thing on anyone's mind is whether the characters are being developed or if the storyline is original and unpredictable. As most will be purely happy that the movie was entertaining, as at the end of the day isn't that why we all pay to watch movies at the cinema. 

On the other hand, of course it's nice to watch a movie with originality, exceptional characters and a great direction for the movie, which is why I enjoy watching thrillers and dramas, as these are the genres where the best masterpieces in film-making will be found. Plus, when did you last hear of an action movie receiving an Oscar award or a Golden Globe award, as I'm pretty sure this doesn't happen all that often. However, action movies/franchises like Transformers are almost always the box office hits, which is simply due to the lasting entertainment that they provide for movie-goers.

As far, you can probably tell that I'm a Transformers fan, but that doesn't mean that I can't be subjective with my thoughts as I would be the first to step forward if someone was to claim that Transformers was the greatest movie franchise to set foot on-screen, as it is far from the greatest. But that isn't necessarily to say that it is the worst, as if I'm not mistaken there are thousands of movies worse than Transformers and this year alone there will be at least another 50 that could be added to the list of movies worse that Transformers.

So, lets take a separate look at each of the Transformers movies that have been created so far.

Transformers (2007)

Transformers (2007)
source: (CC image)
When it all began back in 2007, we saw Transformers adapted from a children's animated TV series into a movie made for the big-screen. Michael Bay directed the movie, which some argue as being the problem, but I believe that this was a wise decision being that Transformers required a direction that was going to include plenty of thirst-filling action, being that Bay is well known for adding a bombardment of explosions into his movies.

The balance of good vs. evil is always a formula for entertainment, as who doesn't want to see the bad guys (the decepticons) getting their butts kicked by the good guys (the autobots). From the very moment the movie began, it was clear that this was going to be a movie flooded with CGI, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the CGI was brilliantly mixed with live-action from a cast of actors/actresses who performed very well throughout the movie. The best performance certainly came from Shia LaBeouf who played the leading role as Sam Witwicky, which must have been an interesting character to play considering he had to spend a lot of the time screaming at nothing (the transformers).

The idea alone of the transformers is an interesting one, as they are robot aliens who have come to earth and they have the ability to turn (transform) into vehicles of any kind. Michael Bay has executed a difficult movie, but it is certainly a joint effort that has pulled-off the entire show, being the work of the CGI animators, the entire cast (including the voice-over actors), the producers and Paramount Studio who we can all thank for funding the entire project (along with DreamWorks Studios).

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
source: (CC image)
Transformers first sequel, and what a bitter disappointment it was, but luckily for the production studio the movie grossed more than the first, meaning that this wouldn't be the end for the franchise.

Getting down to the movie itself, the attempted comedy throughout was almost embarrassing with plenty of hit and miss moments. Although, in fairness the movie did have some credibility with the returning director, Michael Bay, as well as Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and our favourite here at Augustus Worth, being the parents of LaBeouf's character, as they actually were heartfelt and funny to watch.

Then there was the return of the transformers (autobots and the decepticons), who as before brought with them plenty of action, although there were a few annoying autobots who did not fit to our liking and probably not anyone else's.

The movies ending was entertaining as you'd expect, however, it felt like a wasted opportunity to do something with more substance, offering more to the story's plot. That being said it may have not been as good as we were all expecting, but the movie did reveal more about the back-story behind the transformers and how they came to know of earth in the first place.

This movie, in all was one I'd feel a little pushed to have to watch again, as for the first time watching the movie it felt as though the movie would never end. That isn't the feeling that you want to get on the first time viewing a movie, although, for fans of the franchise it is crucial that at some point you see the movie as it does tell you more about the transformers, revealing new twists on the original telling of the story of the transformers in the original.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
source: (CC image)
The third Transformers instalment, ending an era for Shia LaBeouf, who made a wise decision to end his time doing Transformers movies after doing this final instalment. Megan Fox's character was nowhere to be seen in this instalment resulting in the end for her time in the Transformers movies, with her character being replaced by another, equally attractive and a similarly low-talented actress, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. This bringing more reason to question Michael Bay on his choice of supporting actresses in the Transformers franchise, which is one of the few questions I would like to ask Bay.

The movie itself was an improvement on the second instalment, having more depth to the story, but the in the end it still wasn't as good as the original. Although, the movie was jam-packed full of action, being the Transformers movie that so far had the most action, but the comedy still felt a little dry, but bearable. 

There is more battling between the transformers (autobots and decepticons) with more characters introduced throughout the movie with an ending that was the first to offer shock to the system, leaving audiences wondering whether this would be the end. Think again, after a worldwide gross of $1.1 billion, there was no chance that the production studios were going to lay this franchise to rest, and there has already been a third sequel to the franchise.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
source: (CC image)
The fourth and latest Transformers instalment, starring a whole new cast of actors/actresses including Mark Wahlberg and Kelsey Grammer. The transformers (autobots and a new enemy, not the decepticons) are back and ready to face an unknown enemy, who are interested in wiping out the autobots, which I guess is pretty much the same idea that the decepticons had. However, the latest bad guy (Galvatron) is much more intense than that of the decepticons, being more prepared and quicker in taking down the autobots.

This Transformers instalment is all new and really does feel like the whole franchise is being started over, although with plenty of similarities to the first 3 instalments. Age of Extinction sees the autobots for the first time act in a more brutal manner towards the humans, as they begin to lay waste to the bad guys (humans) that dare to set fire upon the autobots. A welcomed surprise in my opinion, as the whole protecting the humans, even those who try to kill the autobots, was beginning to get a little old and unlikely given the power that the transformers have. 

Age of Extinction has more action than any of the other Transformers instalments, it is less afraid of seeing humans be killed in the casualties of war and it feels as though the entire franchise has been given a new lease of life.

Mark Wahlberg is a superstar in Hollywood today, probably being the reason why Michael Bay made the decision to cast him as the lead following the step-down of Shia LaBeouf from the franchise. Wahlberg managed to own the screen throughout the movie, being the biggest draw for fans of the Transformers franchise and the actor himself. Wahlberg's character held his own throughout the movie with the help of an alien gun, allowing him to contribute to the success of battles between the gun guys and the bad guys, something that LaBeouf's character never did.

As many have said, this was a far better sequel than the second and third, bringing the franchise back to the former glory that it once had after the release of the original Transformers movie. Arguably, some of the characters could have had better actors/actresses cast as the parts, but luckily the ones who were cast well; such as Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci made the whole movie work.

Then, as a happy surprise for all of the hardcore transformers fans, they put dinobots into the movie, which were very cool to watch (spoiler alert- coming up) as they worked with the autobots to stop the reincarnation of Megatron and his ruthless army. 

Whether you love or loathe the Transformers franchise, one thing is certain, which is that with the amount of money that the Transformers movies are grossing, it isn't just a hope that there will be more sequels to come, but a fact, as the latest Transformers movie has made a more-than handsome return on the budget it received, meaning that the studio will be excited to have another instalment made for the franchise. The only question remaining is if Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg will be returning to their positions for the next Transformers project.

So, what did you think about the Transformers movies? Do you love or loathe the Transformers franchise since Michael Bay began directing the movies? Are you looking forward to a fifth Transformers instalment or would you sooner the Transformers franchise be stopped now whilst the going is good? Leave your answers in the comments box below.

No comments:

Post a Comment