Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
June 28th, 2014 by Joel Watts

Transformers 4, the complete destruction of my childhood

Cropped image of shooting for Transformers wit...

Cropped image of shooting for Transformers with the vehicle for Optimus Prime. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are approximately two good things about this movie. One, we get to see the Autobots on the big screen again. As one who grew up watching the cartoons, became devastated when Optimus died, and then found a new love of them when my son started to take notice of the toys — well, I really like see Optimus Prime, the robotic Stoic sage, on the movie screen. The second best thing about this movie is when the credits rolled.

You would think that a movie about giant metal robots from outer space wouldn’t have so many plot holes, but it does. From the lack of mentioning the Witwhickys to the dreaded misuse of fan favorite Bumblebee — to even more ethnic characters serving nothing more than to act their stereotypical parts — this movie franchise has repeated the same tired elements to produced a remarkably long and dull movie. And usually without explaining much of anything. The wooden characters do exactly what we expect. There is not one honest surprise in this movie. Even the humor was little more than recycled B-roll.

I am done with the program-error hindering Bumblebee’s voice. Honestly, it’s been almost a decade — fix the stupid voice program! I am sick of the lack of meaningless villains. I am done with the series.

And who was it that thought John Goodman as the stereotypical American-veteran-of-a-Southeast-Asian-conflict as an Autobot was a good idea? They must have mined Platoon, Hamburger Hill, and Apocalypse Now for every cliche and inflection they could so that Goodman wouldn’t have to actually have a personality.

One of the biggest highlights of the entire movie was when an unfortunately filled movie theater let out a groan when the movie turned into a propaganda piece for the Chinese Government and their continued quest to exert control over Hong Kong in a parental fashion. For no explicit reason, we get cut shots to Beijing where, after a Hong Kong security guard demands (in English) that the central government be called, the Defense Minister states, “We will always defend Hong Kong at all costs.” Thanks, buddy. Didn’t know that. I don’t even really know why it is in the movie except the fact China now bankrolls numerous Hollywood blockbusters.

Overall, this movie is a dud. It is symptomatic of Hollywood’s aversion to anything new. What is lost in dialogue is made up in language surely stretching the almost meaningless PG-13 rating. What we once held dear in our childhood, these characters sustaining us and sometimes impart wisdom when we would not have received any, are destroyed and transformed into propaganda and little more than continued panhandling by inflated movie studios.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


2 Responses to “Transformers 4, the complete destruction of my childhood”
  1. Know More Than I Should says

    “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” — H. L. Mencken

    Much the same thing can be said for bad tastes.

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