I really loved the first Transformers movie. I thought it was fun, full of action, the effects were amazing and the actors, for the most part, very charming. As far as summer popcorn action flicks go – it was a winner. Were there problems with the film – of course – some of the acting was irritating, the dialogue was more cheesy than witty, and there wasn’t a huge amount of character development. But the original Transformers knew what it was (a thrilling action adventure) and didn’t try to be anything else but an enjoyable ride.
The Transformers first sequel, Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen, was in my opinion a complete disaster. Where it was supposed to be funny I was cringing, I couldn’t care less about any of the characters, and I had no idea what was going on in some of the action scenes which made it the worst thing it could be as a summer blockbuster – boring. After seeing Fallen I began to think that Michael Bay was starting to suffer from what I call George Lucas syndrome – either no one is brave enough to tell him he has some really bad ideas or he’s unwilling to listen to them.
But I like Transformers so I admit I went back for more – although for Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon I waited until it came out on DVD. I remember when I saw it that I thought it was better than Fallen (it would have been hard to be worse) but I can’t say the film left any kind of impression on me. If there was a plot beyond – hey look there’s Transformers over there! – I can’t really recall it. If Megan Fox had not been swapped out with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley I’m not sure I would have even remembered I had seen the film.
But now we are just a few days away from the 4th Transformers movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction. And instead of Shia LeBeof heading the cast we have Mark Wahlberg. I think Wahlberg is a great addition to the cast and will give the franchise new life. Wahlberg is extremely likeable and does well in both comedies and dramas (not many people can go successfully go from The Fighter, to Ted, to Lone Survivor).
He is both charming and funny and he is attractive in an every-man approachable way. These qualities can go a very long way in the success of an action film because when we are surrounded by all of the noise and bluster from the special effects we need a center to focus our attention on. Someone to emotionally connect with. And Wahlberg is very easy to root for in a film.
Of course Wahlberg can’t carry a film like this on his own. If the dialogue is painful, the effects redundant, and the plot seems like we’ve been there done that- there is no amount of charm from Wahlberg or any of the other actors that will save the film. But from the trailer below it looks like the film might just have a coherent plot – and who doesn’t want to see a transformer ride a dino-transformer around this summer?