To quote Shia LaBeouf: “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!” This was my exact reaction when I learned Michael Bay was making yet another “Transformers” film. Never mind the fact that “Dark of the Moon” was supposed to be his final entry in the franchise or that “Revenge of the Fallen” offended more audiences than it entertained with its semi-racist slapstick humour, but I was under the impression Bay wanted to pursue other projects – which he more or less did with last year’s patriotic macho-fest cautionary tale “Pain and Gain.” But with the latest trailer for his fourth entry into the explosion-filled CGI fun-fest that is “Transformers,” he appears to be taking a more serious, transformative approach to the franchise.
“I Think We Just Found a Transformer”
The trailer establishes that it’s been a certain number of years since the events of “Dark of the Moon,” with a billboard declaring “Remember Chicago” appearing early on in the trailer, symbolizing humanity’s remembrance of the catastrophic events of the third film. Off the bat, you’ll notice this film is Shia-free, which may be the best thing Bay has done to this franchise since hiring Leonard Nimoy to voice the surprise antagonist in “Dark of the Moon.” I’ll take Wahlberg over LaBeouf any day.
“A New Era Has Begun”
We’re treated to the standard Bay fare here: explosions, slow-motion, and low-angled shots. What’s obviously new this time around are the DinoBots. Now, I’m not 100% certain about who these guys are but they look mean. The trailer’s final shot of a clearly angered Optimus Prime backhanding a DinoBot in the jungle is epic, but there are so many amazing shots of the Dinobots (especially one that looks like a dragon) that they still retain their danger.
It would also seem as if Bay is pulling the same punches as he did last time, with scenes of a Transformer attack on a major city making up roughly the entire second half of the trailer. As well, John Turturro and his top-secret government sector are gone, replaced by a more ruthless and unorthodox band of men-in-black. Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson’s characters are nowhere to be found, which makes me a little sad seeing as how they were the liveliest characters in the first three films. Yet maybe it’s a good thing Bay is starting fresh. It gives him a chance to learn from his past missteps and transform his film into something extraordinary.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is directed by Michael Bay and rolls out into theatres June 27, 2014, starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, and Kelsey Grammer.