The Transformers movies have an interesting place in pop culture. While they’ve grossed over $ 1 billion, they’re not exactly the top-rated movies. The action is thrilling with a lot of Michael bayexplosions and robots punch each other but characters and stories are lacking in some areas. However, Paramount is not letting go of this franchise, with another film on the way called Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. It will most likely be in a different direction than the Bay films, following the tone set in 2018. Bumblebee. Yet the bay Transformers movies continue to be popular even as Paramount begins to take a new direction. Here is a ranking of the six Transformers movies.
6. Transformers: the age of extinction
It’s hard to believe that going from Shia Labeouf To Mark Wahlberg was a bad idea but that’s exactly what happened here. It’s not just Wahlberg’s fault, necessarily, because the script is doing him a disservice. Age of extinction is a painfully long experience filled with unnecessary and confusing moments. The new main girl, Nicolas peltz, is again supersexualized. But for some strange (and scary) reason, Bay decided to include a scene where we learn that she is underage and is dating an older man but their relationship is legal because he is only three years older, according to “The laws of Romeo and Juliet”. Was it necessary? No. But again, neither of them was making the movie in the first place.
On top of that weirdness, there is hilarious product placement for both American and Chinese products. Marketing promises dinosaur robots and these don’t arrive until two hours after the movie starts, which at this point you’re completely verified. Is the action fun? Sure, but it’s the same hard-to-follow robot fights as before. Still, there are a ton of dodgy moments, bad jokes, and a lousy story that make it a completely unpleasant experience.
5. Transformers: The Last Knight
Although not the worst, The last knight looks like the one where Bay and the studio gave up. It has a lazy script, horrific jokes as usual, and it ignores much of the lore previously set in previous films. Still, there are better characters in this movie, and Wahlberg has more to do besides just being an inventor. Anthony hopkins also appears as an original and rich character and is quite entertaining.
The last knight introduced the idea that the Transformers have been around since the Arthurian era and have helped humanity at various times including WWII. It all sounds like a lot more entertaining movies, but that’s what we got. There is also the plot of Optimus prime (Peter Cullen) brainwashed and turned evil. However, it ends very briefly and leads to another big, explosive battle with some nonsense. Megatron (Frank Welker) is also back because it might as well happen. It makes sense that Bay won’t return to the franchise because The last knight really looks like the last breath.
4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Revenge of the Damned was rushed due to the writers’ strike at the time and it shows. The story does not give time to take a break which proves fatal with its two and a half hours of execution. The editing leaves much to be desired and there are even several cases of reused plans. Again, like any Bay Transformers movies, the humor is awkward and immature and pushed to random times. LaBeouf’s roommate and parents do nothing but tell lame jokes and get in the way. There are also the shockingly racist robots that didn’t even age well in 2009.
However, if there is one thing that has worked somewhat in these films, it is the relationship between Megan Fox and LaBeouf. While it’s not exactly believable, their relationship gives you something to root for as these two characters are likable. The action is pretty strong here, especially in the forest scene with Optimus Prime. Now, the decision to leave Optimus Prime dead for most of the movie is weird, and eliminates one of the best aspects of those movies. Megatron is doing next to nothing here as we’re supposed to focus more on this fallen villain who is killed off pretty quickly. The Devastator Decepticon is a big bad guy but doesn’t amount to much other than a weird joke about the testicles of Jean Turturo. Revenge of the Damned is terrible but at least LaBeouf’s story is more intriguing.
3. Transformers: Darkness of the Moon
The darkness of the moon is the first on this list which is somewhat decent. Although he suffers from many Transformers problems, the final battle featuring Autobots vs. Decepticons on the streets of Chicago is very exciting. Shockwave and the Driller Decepticons are cool villains who bring a unique ability to the film that creates an awe-inspiring sequence where LaBeouf and others try to survive inside a falling building.
However, the plot here is still pure nonsense. The Decepticons want to recreate Earth as Cybertron, but the way they do it is causing some confusion. Megatron is, again, given very little to do, and Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy) becomes the center of attention, however, he also doesn’t do much except betray Optimus Prime. There are also several obnoxious new comic book characters, including John malkovich and Ken jeong. Megan Fox is also replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whitely which essentially fulfills the same role but can actually have a more interesting arc. Patrick dempsey is also another human villain who is only there to create relationship drama with Labeouf and Huntington-Whitely. Although it is definitely flawed, The darkness of the moon still has some of the most entertaining footage from the Bay movies. It’s also too long, but it’s certainly less painful than the others.
Here we are at the one who started it all. Transformers presents the same problems but it is at the absolute minimum. There are times like Bumblebee peeing on Turturo that brings down the movie but Transformers remains the best of the Bay films because it is the simplest. The Autobots arrive on earth to defeat Megatron and the Decepticons before they get their hands on the Allspark. The film doesn’t bother to dive into the story and create a puzzling story that creates a plethora of intrigue.
LaBeouf and Fox are at their best here and their relationship has its moments. They work well together and it’s a shame that Bay can’t give Fox more to do. The introduction to the Transformers is handled well, with LaBeouf and Bumblebee developing a charming bond. The fights themselves aren’t as explosive and absurd as they get later in the series. It takes a while for the Transformers to show up, but their arrival is worth the wait. The direction of the bay is more contained here, which allows Transformers so as not to feel like such a mess. It’s still the best of the Bay Area movies even if that doesn’t mean much.
From the opening scene on Cybertron, it was already clear that Bumblebee tries to be completely unique from the films by the bay. It feels like a scene straight out of the cartoons, with a new makeover of the Transformers that makes them more true to their origins. However, what really stands out in Bumblebee is human characters. Hailee Steinfeld is really a strong character with a charismatic personality and an interesting background.
The relationship she develops with Bumblebee is heartwarming and reminds HEY. The action is minimal compared to other films, but the director, Travis Knight, does a great job of making sure everything is clear and the main characters are the center of the action. It’s a more family adventure and closer to the cartoons on which the series is based. It’s not a perfect movie as the villains aren’t that threatening and the movie itself feels too tied to its’ 80s nostalgia. Still, with better human characters, a decent script, and more focused action, Bumblebee is the best of the Transformers movies to date. Yes Rise of the Beasts looks more like that, so the Transformers franchise could go in a promising direction. Let’s just hope that leadership never meets Michael Bay again.
“We want to deliver a film that has the scale and spectacle of the Bay films with the heart and humor that we were able to achieve in Bumblebee.”
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