Monday, August 7, 2023

Every Transformers Live Action Movie, Ranked


Whether you like or hate them, the Transformers movie franchise, specifically the ones directed by Michael Bay have lasted over 15 years of robots beating each other up & saving the Earth for 2 1/2 hours a time. Some people might like the mindless action and quirky subcharacters, or others who enjoyed the original series may in fact just outright despise them all. I'm not really a huge Transformers toy fan, but I have been seeing these films since the first one came out back in 2007. Don't ask why, some of them can be terrible while others are stupid fun. With the release of 2023's Rise Of The Beasts, the film franchise still seems to be going strong. Let's check out my personal rankings of these films in order, from worst to best. Yes, Bumblebee will also be included somewhere. Remember, these are just my own opinions. If you agree or disagree it doesn't matter. And i'm not including the 1986 animated movie simply because I haven't seen it. Let's start off with what I think is the worst:

Transformers Age Of Extinction (2014)

Unfortunately not even Mark Wahlberg could save this one. Releasing in 2014, it was deemed as a 'reboot' to the franchise after the exit of both Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, (the latter who quit after the 2nd movie 'Revenge Of The Fallen'), the film is also the longest of all the transformers movies - running at an excruciatingly painful 170 minutes (that's just under 3 hours!) for whatever reason. The movie doesn't really start until after the first 90 minutes. Before that it's mostly set in some random junk yard with nothing really going on and immensley dislikeable human characters going on about whatever for over 45 minutes that you don't really care about. Sure the Dinosaurs were cool and all, and the effects were very good but I felt the movie didn't have to be this long. I remember I think i've also only seen it once and not again since yet. The film also lacked a metal soundtrack that was the pinnacle of the original 3 Bay directed Transformers movies, and just relied on a generic theatrical score instead.

Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen (2009)

I saw this movie in the Imax back in 2009 and while it sure was an experience, I don't mind this one. I don't hate it as much as everyone else does but the  main reason I decided to put this one at a lower point was because of how much of the wacky negative press it got. It felt like there was no script and  mostly just explosions for 2 1/2 hours. The pyramid scene was cool (which actually used live explosions during the filming), I mean it's a fun movie if you want to see absolute nonsense for the whole time i'll give them credit for that. It did have some funny moments in it. Unfortunately was the last film in the franchise to feature Megan Fox who understandably had enough of this crap at this point, but to her credit, she did return to the Michael Bay film franchise in 2014 for the very oddly transformers like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. Why did those movies happen again? Despite the negative press this movie got, it did have a great soundtrack and I remember rocking out to Linkin Park's New Divide a lot, I was never really a Linkin Park fan before but I liked the songs they did for the first 3 Transformers movies. 


Transformers Dark Of The Moon (2011)

I thought that 2011's Dark Of The Moon was a better improvement than 2009's Revenge Of The Fallen, however one thing that was always weird to me was Sam Witwicky's girlfriend suddenly changed due to the absence of Megan Fox after she left, despite that being odd it was overall not a bad experience. The effects were pretty cool and I really enjoyed the big budget moon & space scenes as well. This was another one that I saw in the Imax back in the day,  and it was a pretty good time. With not as bad of a run time as 2014's Age Of Extinction, this movie's tolerable 2 and a bit hours seems to just fly by. The pacing in this one here is a lot better than the other 2 I previously mentioned. And the actions scenes in this one are actually a lot better than before. With an A for effort i'm putting this one a bit higher up on the list.

Bumblebee (2018)

While i've always been a sucker for the original Bay Trilogy Transformers films, I happened to like Travis Knight's take on the newly directed spin-off 'Bumblebee' starring John Cena for whatever reason and Hailee Steinfeld. To his credit, John Cena isn't afraid of putting himself out there in weird and wacky movies, as we will be seeing him again in the upcoming Looney Tunes flick 'Coyote vs. Acme'. Bumblebee is an origins story of the character, how he came to Earth and what he became of himself today. The movie is set in the 1980's and there's a lot of over the top 1980's nostalgia that I feel like sometimes crams down people's throats a bit too much. I was born in the 90's so not a lot of 80's technology and stuff really interests me. I never had a hugely nostalgic pondering for 80's crap like Cassette Tapes and Atari, (Yes, you will see this stuff in this movie sometimes), but other than that the movie does have heart and a different direction with a more story based plot of the lead characters trying to protect Bumblebee from danger and eventually befriending the humans. Despite the heavily overdone 80's junk, it is actually quite a good film. 

Transformers The Last Knight (2017)

2017's The Last Knight was the last movie to be also directed by Michael Bay (remember when Dark Of The Moon was supposed to be?) thankfully, The Last Knight fares much better than 2014's Age Of Extinction. One of the main reasons is due to none other than Sir Anthony Hopkins being in this movie for whatever reason. At some points even he questions why he's there and doesn't even give a shit about most things that go on. Hopkins steals the entire show, even if you don't like Transformers, but like Anthony Hopkins, you will probably enjoy this movie just for him. Also if you're aware that this film is a piss-take on movies such as Lord Of The Rings then you'll be in for a more sillier time. It's thankfully a bit more self-aware of itself unlike Age Of Extinction, which took itself too seriously therefore not working as well. But Michael Bay certainly goes out in style in The Last Knight. The effects are huge, the action is really good, the story is fast paced and mostly funny especially with Sir Anthony Hopkin's involvement. Despite it getting negative reviews from critics, it did well in the box office, and is a fun one in my book. Transformers The Last Knight may be a silly film about medieval Knights and Robots but you are in for a good time. 

Transformers Rise Of The Beasts (2023)

The Transformers movie franchise continues to show it's unstoppable with a long awaited new film for 2023 with Rise Of The Beasts, a movie based on the Beast Wars TV series. I never knew anything about this spin off or whatever, considering I never watched any of the Transformers cartoons as a kid. Nor did I even care about any of the toys. Despite the film underperforming at the box office, it got some decent reviews. Directed by Steve Caple Jr. - a change in the film's series entirely is with an actual plot this time. Something I wasn't used to in these Transformers movies which usually involves giant robots beating each other up for 2 1/2 hours. The plot was very welcoming for a change. The film is set in the 1990's in Brooklyn, so there's a lot of wacky 90's references. Thankfully they don't cram it down your throat so much like 2018's Bumblebee did with it's annoying 80's nostalgia. I also really liked Anthony Ramos' character and performance. The film takes place before the main 2007 movie,  so before hand they hadn't met the main characters of the other movies yet. The effects were quite good. The humor was mostly funny, and I liked how they added a few new Transformers this time round. I was surprised I thought it was quite good and fun. I wouldn't mind watching this one again. 

Transformers (2007)

Ah. 2007 was a crazy year for Box Office movies. We had The Simpsons Movie, Spider-Man 3 and Michael Bay's breakout success of Transformers, a film franchise that whether you like it or not still continues to this day. I remember seeing the first one in the cinema as well and really enjoyed it. It had loads of great action, a fun plot and a great soundtrack. Starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, along with Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime who still voices the character today (this guy is unstoppable!) - the first film at least was a great introduction to the film series. Lots of blockbuster action and effects. It was done well. Hitting a whopping $709 million at the global box office it's no wonder that the Transformers movies continue to this day.



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