Thursday, 10 September 2015

Kill all Robots! Transformers: Extinction and Chappie

 Transformers: Extinction

Less explosions and better story.

If you haven't seen any of the previous Transformers movies, rejoice! There is no requirement to do so for this film as most of the previous protagonists were scrubbed / killed off during a time skip. Speaking of time skips this movie certainly begins with a few! Fortunately once it gets back on the rails it does a pretty good job of telling its tale, that of how the humans decided to kill all these metallic alien bastards known as either Autobots (goodies) or Decepticons (baddies). For some reason, Optimus Prime (the good guy leader) is number one on the hit list.

Ok, good things first: Mark Wahlberg is a good lead, better than -all- the army guys previously. He plays the part of overprotective father / skilled enough inventor pretty well and I rather enjoyed that he could take on lesser bots by himself. The CGI is outstanding as always, and those cars the robots transform into are -really nice-! There are less explosions than the previous movie (I think) but it also has a better story. Quite liked all the sponsor shots too.

Not sure -why- a robot would make a weapon that size but whatever.

Negatives include: Bits where humans should definitely have died, the "daughter" character is hot but incredibly stupid (oh, let me take a nap beside this giant alien space ship which the authorities are hunting down!), the samurai bot forgets he can turn into a helicopter after using it once(?), all the "extra" bots talk way too much in combat and for some reason there exists stupid "comedy" bots that serve no purpose other than to get laughs. Think carefully as to why the hell you would create such a thing.

The main negative though is that the film feels long. It reached the third act and it just began introducing new characters, what? Anyway, all up I give it two and a half transformium cubes out of five but have no real desire to watch the whole thing again.



Featuring the least secure defense company ever.

In this film, South Africa has an almost fully automated police force with "Scout" robots being the new front line all the bad guys have to deal with. Yah, F-U Robocop! While profitable for his company, the creator of the robots is unhappy because he still wants to create a robot that is more than just a machine - he wants a robot that is self aware (possibly because he's never seen any Terminator movie ever), and through exploiting the really, really weak security measures of his work place (which is meant to be a multi million defense contractor) he gets his wish. Unfortunately the bot falls into the hands of scumbag gangsters thanks again to security flaws, and they end up having to raise the bot as one of their own.

Aww, cute doggie!

Alright, good stuff first - CG is great, how they make Chappie be cute also gets the thumbs up from me. Hugh Jackman (who rocks a mullet and speaks in his native Australian accent here) plays the antagonist and is fantastic. Not only does he stand for the "opposing church view" of requiring to destroy all godless constructs but also highlights the very, very flawed security of the defense company by carrying a gun everywhere he goes. Even pointing it at colleagues in the office. The action scenes are great and the body count is high: both positives in my book.

On to the dumb stuff: I think I've harped on enough about a defense company having moronically lax security, lacking something as basic as monitored video cameras but that's just one of many plot holes. Such as bad guys letting people that know where their base is, and people forgetting they have advanced tech and time to prepare it. Also, the gangsters who become the main focus of the film were unlikable and as the robot slowly but surely took on their traits it also became unlikable. I was really hoping for a "and then they all died" ending but it wasn't to be. I was definitely cheering for Hugh's character at the finale. 

Anyway, it's an entertaining ride if you don't mind the holes but it's not one I'd like to take again unless there's an alternate ending option I don't know about. All up I give it two and a half broken robots out of five.


  1. I was going to say something about the defense company's security being moronic in the movie, but then I remembered certain things I'm not at liberty to talk about, and let's just say that you'd be surprised.