With Transformers: The Last Knight’s trailer smashing its way onto the Internet, I’m asking myself two things: firstly why is this still a thing, and secondly, should we actually care about this franchise anymore?
Let’s not kid ourselves, what Michael Bay has done with the Transformers franchise is really quite incredible, in the sense that he’s managed to make a huge amount of money by making the same movie over and over again, and it wasn’t a great film in the first place. OK, I do have fond memories of watching the first Transformers movie, but I was young and didn’t really know any better. Since then, Bay’s movies involving machines hitting other machines (robot porn in other words) has just descended into an incompressible CGI mess, with the odd explosion and shot of a young woman’s bottom thrown in.
You want to know don’t you, why they keep coming here…
Now that Transformers: The Last Knight’s trailer has hit the web, I’m left asking myself if there’s anyone out there who really wanted this movie, apart from Michael Bay himself and Paramount’s executives, who are just seeing dollar signs. One thing I will say about the last movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, is that it managed to crack the Asian market, which is incredibly lucrative, although even that well seems to drying up somewhat.
Michael Bay isn’t the world’s greatest director, in my eyes he’s actually one of the worst, not because his films aren’t visually striking, there’s certainly a lot to look at in his movies. It’s more about what his films represent. His Transformers movies are Hollywood in a nutshell: incomprehensible, misogynistic, money grabbing rubbish. They replicate perfectly the current state of Hollywood, and it’s not pretty.
Two species at war, one flesh, one metal.
Moreover, his films never have anything in the way of a plot. I find it incredible to see the huge list of writers who have worked on The Last Knight. Matt Holloway, Art Marcum and Ken Nolan are down as the official writers, but Paramount obviously thinks that more is more and therefore created a ‘writers room’ charged with coming up with ideas for this Transformers movie, which included Christina Hodson (Shut In), Lindsey Beer (writer of the upcoming Short Circuit remake), Ant-Man’s writers Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari, Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman, Jeff Pinkner (Amazing Spider-Man 2), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2), and Iron Man’s Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. That is simply ridiculous. No movie should have so many people writing the story. No wonder these films have been so messy, they’ve had too many cooks in the kitchen.
If that wasn’t enough, Paramount also formed a ‘brain trust’, which is basically a bunch of people (all men) who will check the writers’ work and make sure they’re going in the right direction. (These films have a direction!?). This ‘brain trust’ includes, Akiva Goldsman, Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay (of course it does), Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, and Hasbro’s Brian Goldner. OK guys, this is just getting stupid. How many people does Paramount need to make these films, and if there are so many people involved, why do the movies always end up turning into the same CGI robot porn? Answer: Michael Bay.
Bay himself is at the heart of this issue. His movies are basically all the same and if Paramount were to hand to keys to a more interesting and innovative director, we could end up getting a more watchable Transformers film. Kathryn Bigelow perhaps (that would never happen, but you get what I mean; someone who knows how to direct action properly). Yet, the other problem is the Transformers themselves. Why should we care about these children’s toys being brought to life on the big screen, especially since we only ever get to see them on Earth? Surely, it would far more interesting to see them go through space, meeting other aliens, instead of having to watch the same battle over and over again on the same planet. Who cares? I know I don’t.
I’m sure that there are people out there who love the Transformers franchise, and that’s fine; these movies are obviously made with an audience in mind. I’m just not part of that audience. If you are a fan of this lucrative franchise, then you’ll be happy because there are Transformers sequels planned for the next 10 years. Yep, Paramount has announced that they want to make Transformers 6, 7 and 8 after Transformers 5 (The Last Knight). Yippie-Ki-Yay, robot-fuckers!