Hasbro’s Transformers toys have been around for 30 years. The new Transformers film set out to equal that record with a 30-year long movie. This turned out to be impractical, but they came as close as they dared. At two hours and 45 minutes, this film suffers from a producer-director dilemma. After spending $165 million – of which it appears that $164 million was expended on special effects – the team just couldn’t bring themselves to edit out anything that they had filmed. Too bad. This film could be shortened by a good hour and be far more effective.
Like other Transformers films, the special effects are exceptionally detailed and imaginative. The problem is that more of the same only adds up to, well, more of the same. The storyline is almost an afterthought. The big battles are center stage and they look terrific. But too many of them look exactly like the ones that preceded them 20 minutes before.
The previous cast is now no longer even mentioned. The new crew includes Mark Wahlberg as a frustrated engineer-inventor striving to keep his home in Texas, although he hasn’t made a payment since the Hasbro Transformers toys debuted. He’s also trying to raise a teenage daughter who just wants to go out on a date with her boyfriend and get wasted with her girlfriends. Kelsey Grammar and Stanley Tucci add to the cast in supporting roles, as the bad guy and the confused, duped inventor, respectively.
Filmed primarily in Texas and Hong Kong, the film looks and sounds terrific. The Real 3D didn’t add much, but at least they now seem to be able to keep Real 3D in focus. If it costs extra for the Real 3D and Imax, you’ll probably be just as satisfied viewing the standard version. The film is aiming to be a big summer blockbuster. The long running time, however, could be a word-of-mouth loser and bring down the final box office results.
The Transformers franchise continues to come up with effects that are astounding. The detail is perfect, but this is all the film has to offer. Many will wait for the Blu-ray or DVD. At least then you can take breaks and even watch the film over a one-week period.
Rated 2.6 out of 4.0 reasons I guess I will be at the next sequel, which is rumored to have a running time of waaaaaaaaay too long.