A few days ago, I watched the US presidential election debate. As I witnessed this disaster unfold, I wondered to myself, how did America get itself into a situation where we really thought Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the best two options for commander in chief? Then I remembered that a fifth Transformers film was not only in production, but will likely go on to make about $250 million domestically. And then everything made sense.
Why do we keep giving Michael Bay movies money? They insult our intelligence by being shameless, explosion-ridden excrement filled with overused tropes, poorly developed, mindless characters, and sexualized women. These are films that have taken our beloved childhood brands and turned them into unrecognizable catastrophes that make us feel like our childhoods were spent at a Penn State Football Camp. I'm convinced that Donald Trump, Ed Hardy and Michael Bay all meet in their evil Wal-Mart headquarters and conspire to turn America into a wasteland of vaping vagabonds who only watch Transformers and The Fast and the Furious movies.
Just when I thought Bay couldn't be any more aggressive in his pursuit of worldwide cinematic assault, the plot of the fifth Transformers film, The Last Knight, will seemingly take a giant dump on world history.
The British Bulldog Makes An Appearance
Remember Sir Winston Churchill? He was only the Nobel Prize-winning British prime minister who played a huge role in defeating the Nazis during World War II and became an honorary citizen of the United States. Well, apparently he's playing a huge role in Transformers 5. How do I know this? Not only did Bay say as much, but he did THIS to Churchill's former residence:
Needless to say, some veterans in the UK were none too happy about this. Draping Swastikas over Churchill's former home seems inappropriate. However, it's just another chapter in the ongoing, confusing saga surrounding the making of The Last Knight. To make things even more outlandish, not only are we getting Nazis, but also King Arthur.
Churchill Isn't The Only British Leader To Make An Appearance
That's right, Arthurian legend is now coming to the big screen in the form of Transformers, and apparently none other than Optimus Prime will be wielding Excalibur. I'm not sure how all of this fits together. I'm OK with an Arthurian Transformers tale in which Lancelot is befriended by Optimus Prime. I'm also OK with a film where Churchill employs Transformers to counteract the Decepticons working for the Nazis. However, I'm not sure how medieval romance, real WW II history and transforming robots from outer space end up in the same film. It sounds like a SyFy channel original.
Maybe that's what Bay is going for. Perhaps he's finally embraced his role as the critics' most loathed director, and decided to make his films as audaciously explosive and absurd as possible, a monster-truck rally all jacked up on Mountain Dew, if you will. After all, he can afford to do it.
Boyhood Vs. Bayhood
In 2014, the movie Boyhood was released. It followed the same characters and actors in a shoot that lasted 12 years, and garnered six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and a win for Best Supporting Actress by Patricia Arquette. Loved by critics, Boyhood has an amazing 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Fitting for a film where the poster reads: "A moving 12 year epic that isn't quite like anything else in the history of cinema." Do you know where it ranked in the 2014 box office? In the 100th place, the last slot on the 2014 Box Office Mojo screen, taking in just over $25 million.
Also released in 2014 was Transformers: Age of Extinction, which received horrible reviews across the board, securing an abysmal 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. The film garnered seven award nominations, one more than Boyhood. The problem is, those awards were Golden Raspberries, the antithesis to the Oscars. Overall, that Transformers installment secured more Raspberry nominations than any film, including for Worst Picture and Worst Director.
And do you know how well Transformers: Age of Extinction did in the 2014 box office? It made $245 million including a $100 million on the opening weekend. It went on to make over $1 billion globally and is the 16th highest-grossing film of all-time, not adjusted for inflation.
Needless to say, Michael Bay is giving less and less fucks about what you think of his movies. That must be a liberating feeling, to make exactly the movie you want and know it will be a box office smash. Which is why we are about to see a film with transforming space robots, Nazis, King Arthur and Excalibur, and more explosions than you can handle. So snap into a Slim Jim, do the Dew, run for the border, and get ready for an orgy of horrible ideas that may end up being so audaciously bad that it's good.
Transformers: The Last Knight will hit cinema screens on June 23, 2017. See you there!