Welcome to Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I ramble about a movie I own. I made a very important discovery when I watched Transformers: Age of Extinction: I'll forgive just about anything if you give me a Dinobot. This is in my notes at October 19, 2014.
We have live-action Dinobots in a live-action Transformers movie.
The Dinobots have arrived, and they growl and snarl and blow up stuff like I always wanted them to.
Too bad they only show up and do so in the last 20 minutes of a 2 hour and 45 minute movie. There is no good reason why a Transformers movie needs to be almost-3 hours long.
My biggest complaint about Transformers: Age of Extinction is its length. When it reaches what you think is a logical end and a good end, you realize you haven't seen the Dinobots that are all over the TV commercials, and they haven't even gone to China yet, which was also in all the TV commercials. Seriously. It didn't need to be this long.
I feel guilty and a little ashamed at having enjoyed the movie as much as I did, while the rest of the world grumbled and complained how a franchise like Transformers is part of the problem, and not the solution. But I can't help myself! They started digging into the Transformers mythology a little deeper stuff I like!
Quintessons! (aka the Transformers' creators)
Frank Welker is finally voicing Megatron! And he's rebuilt into Galvatron! GALVATRON!
And the annoying humans are toned down quite a bit, thank you very much.
It's 5 years since the last movie, and it's a changed world. Given the mass destruction of Chicago in the last film, humanity has declared war on the Transformers, both Autobot and Decepticon, and is forcing them off the planet. Optimus Prime in now a hunted fugitive. In a weakened state, his discovered by struggling inventor Cade Yeager, played by Mark Whalberg, taking over for Shia LeBeouf. He's got a teenage daughter, she's dating a race car driver, and that's all we ever really learn about them as characters, as they get caught up in this and become the token humans tagging along with the Autobots on their latest adventure.
Optimus Prime...really goes into a dark place in this film. When I described it to my brother, I said Optimus was having a crisis of faith. Needless to say, the way humanity has turned on him, he no longer sees the great potential in the human race. He grumbles and growls that he's going to kill the humans who've killed his kind. And the film ends with Optimus flying off into space to punch Transformer God in the face. Optimus even makes good on his word. At the end of the film, he does kill the human who's been killing his kind.
Oh, and it's Fraiser Crane himself, Kelsey Grammar.
Our new quirky, eccentric human is played by Stanley Tucci. He's Joshua Joyce, a inventor and multi-billionaire...obviously some kind of spin on Steve Jobs. He's using the corpses of the Transformers that Fraiser Crane hunts down, and he's been reverse-engineering them to create Transformers that work for humanity. And along the way, he winds up rebuilding Megatron into Galvatron.
Oh, and he's got two female sidekicks. For the first two thirds of the movie, it's Sophia Myles, who you probably remember as Madame du Pompadour in that awesome episode of Doctor Who. For the the final third in China, she kind of disappears and is replaced with Chinese actress Li Bingbing.
And the racial stereotyping of the Transformers continues. There's Drift, a samurai who speaks in haiku, voiced by Japanese actor Ken Watanabe. And there's Hound, the 'Murican, who loves his guns and speaks in World War II movie cliches, voiced by the American actor John Goodman.
Yeah...I loved this movie. Dinobots blind me to its many, many, many flaws. Dinobots.
Dinobots, who are now roaming free somewhere in China.