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Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Transformers

I took my old man to catch the latest Transformers movie ("Age of Extinction") yesterday (3D IMAX version) and he kinda nodded off after just 10 mins in .. though, admittedly, that has more to do with his age than, say, the Robots-smashing-everything-in-their-way CGI fest. For what it is (err, it IS a franchise based on a toy...), I thoroughly enjoyed the 180-min of action, bar a few annoying things, like, product placement. It really was pretty blatant. 

I'm surprised they actually try to squeeze a bit of drama into this fiction tale of alien-invasion (dad-daughter relationship) and it kinda worked and it didn't; the dialogues aren't that great but this is no Shakespeare, but Mark Wahlberg (in his more physically deflated than pumped up form) plays the dad who looks far too young to have a 17-year-old daughter whose boyfriend doesn't look that much older than he is, the father... a bit confusing there. Even more confusing though are the various kinds of Transformers featured in this latest instalment. To say this is mindless entertainment is a bit unfair since I did have to think -- and think hard -- about who's who doing what, when, how and why.

Mark Wahlberg is pretty cool
in Transformers 4

SO (and I'm looking at Wiki for help here) Optimus Prime is the Good Robot (you see, I kinda forgot about that ... since he is so mean looking I mistaken him as Megatron, which is the Bad Robot that led the Decepticons); and Optimus Prime and his pals are all Autobots who are nice to humans (and ultimately betrayed by them). I kinda figured this out, like, half way through the movie (at the beginning I was like, why are these baddies on the run? Oh, never mind). Then there is Lockdown (a Transformer bounty hunter I learnt later reading Wiki). Like, who the hell is this thing? And there is also the upgraded version of Megatron called Galvatron (created by a human scientist) ... by the time he appears, my brain was, like, okay, just focus and keep this really simple: Optimus Prime and his mates are all GOOD, the others are all BAD. Once over that hurdle, the rest is kinda fun: the scenes in HK are fabulous, I thought (esp when Li Bingbing's trying to borrow a motorbike from Ray Lui using her cute Cantonese); I didn't realise Stanley Tucci is also in this movie so another pleasant surprise. You can kinda tell the director Michael Bay and the crew didn't take things too seriously (and were able to take the piss out of themselves) but just seriously enough to keep the movie from descending into some horrid farce. 

I'd recommend this movie to anyone who are suckers for sci-fi CGI action flicks like me. But tickets for good seats are all but gone for the next week or so. Oh, my dad did manage to stay awake to watch his home city being totally smashed up by alien robots... the Convention Centre getting sucked up and then spat out by a spaceship is just Too Awesome to be missed!!! 

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