The unrealised potential of the Transformers movies

Feature Ryan Lambie 7 Jul 2014 - 06:28

Age Of Extinction leaves Ryan pondering the Transformers franchise, and asking why the 80s Marvel comics aren’t a source of inspiration...

NB: This article contains mild spoilers for Transformers: Age Of Extinction

This summer’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction brings Michael Bay’s franchise to its latest, wildly intricate zenith. It contains a bewildering cast of characters, a plot which spans different continents (including a large chunk set in China) and several epochs. It introduces a new evil robot called Lockdown, a substance called Transformium, and a deadly device called the Seed. It is, in short, completely bonkers.

Age Of Extinction has elicited the kind of irked critical response (not least on this very site) Michael Bay’s probably inured to by now, and we won’t rehash our opinions on its punishing duration or plot specifics again here. But as we sat in the darkness of an IMAX cinema during Bay’s latest action banquet, we couldn’t help returning to the precise same thoughts we had when we laid eyes on his first Transformers film back in 2007. Why can’t it be a bit more like the comics and animated TV shows of the past?

Now, we’re not necessarily saying that the original Transformers G1 TV series and comic books were perfect, even if we do look back on them with a great amount of nostalgia and affection. But hasn’t Bay and his filmmaking team, in the quest to bring the Transformers to a new generation of kids, sacrificed a bit too much of what made those Autobots and Decepticons the characters they were? 

Age Of Extinction suffers from a similar problem to the earlier Transformers films: it’s massively cluttered, almost to the point where the robots in disguise are reduced to bit-players in their own movie. Even Optimus Prime, brilliantly voiced by Peter Cullen though he may be, is barely recognisable from the inspiring, faintly Shatner-esque leader he was in the comics, TV show and 1986 movie.

This version of Prime is terse and ornery. He solves leadership problems by punching his usurpers in the face. He threatens to abandon Earth in the face of alien invasion - something he promised never to do in Dark Of The Moon, to the best of our recollection - and even goes off on a murder mission in space at one point.

The other Transformers barely register; Bumblebee’s now a clumsy and practically mute sidekick, while Hound is a pot-bellied, bearded gun nut who smokes a cigar (actually a bullet case or something) and shoots caged, harmless aliens in the face because they look a bit odd. Megatron’s now Galvatron, and only appears in the film for about 15 minutes.

The writers of the Transformers films seem to have a certain lack of confidence in the robots’ ability to carry a film on their own. How else do we explain the constant urge to crowd every movie with human characters? Like its predecessors, Age Of Extinction is led by an extended cast of particularly fine character actors. Nominal leading man Mark Wahlberg is joined by Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles and Li Bingbing.

While human characters have appeared in Transformers stories since the 1980s, they never barged their way into the frame in quite the same way as they do in the current run of films. When you start to compare Transformers to other recent adaptations of comics or television series, its treatment starts to look a bit odd. Can you imagine an adaptation of the Avengers where most of the story was told from the perspective of ordinary members of the public?

If Michael Bay directed an Avengers movie, the Avengers would only be a small strand in a much bigger (and difficult to fathom) plot that vaguely resembles an Irwin Allen disaster flick. And even then, the heroes would only bear a scant resemblance to the ones from the comics. The Hulk would have a beard for some reason. Black Widow would constantly pose in tiny shorts. Captain America would be an antique pistol collector, Thor would, mystifyingly, have two heads, and Iron Man would turn up the final 20 minutes, break a few windows and then vanish again without uttering a word. 

It might seem strange to be so irked by a movie franchise based on a few toys from the 1980s, but readers of the comics - particularly the great Marvel UK ones, published weekly until 1992 - will probably tell you that some of the characters and stories in those books were well thought-out and thoroughly entertaining. Yes, the media stuff surrounding the Transformers was essentially an extended commercial for the toys, but that didn’t stop the artists and writers from creating some terrific plotlines for them - especially Simon Furman, who was largely responsible for some of the comics' most memorable moments.

Yet the writers of the Transformers movies have long since lost interest in the classic character interactions so many of us remember from our childhoods - Optimus Prime’s fatherly leadership of his bickering Autobots, or Starscream’s constant and absurd competition for Megatron’s leadership of the Decepticons.

What’s most frustrating is that the comics provide a goldmine of story ideas that could work perfectly in a movie. The Insecticons would make for unusual and potentially quite scary villains. What about Death’s Head, the humanoid 'freelance peace-keeping agent' who was so well-received by readers that he got his own comic book? Or, if you need a human antagonist, why not introduce Circuit Breaker, the unspeakably tough villainess capable of taking on the Transformers in hand-to-hand combat? Admittedly, getting the rights to some of these characters might take a bit of legal bargaining with Marvel, but the inherent potential they offer would surely make such a deal worthwhile. 

When it was revealed that the Dinobots would be a part of the fourth Transformers film, we were hopeful that Age Of Extinction would be a departure from the first three franchise entries. But despite the prominent display of Grimlock on the poster (with Prime riding on his back - something the Grimlock we know and love would never allow), the transforming dinosaurs were in frustratingly short supply. Once again, Bay decided to make a movie about invaders laying waste to cities while the Dinobots were reduced to little more than a walk-on appearance.

The treatment of the Dinobots is the latest symptom of a franchise that seems utterly uninterested in treating the Transformers as relatable characters; even their fussy, chaotic design conspires to make them look emotionless and - at times - unidentifiable.

None of this will matter too much to the makers of the Tranformers franchise, of course, since the latest film is likely to be just as lucrative as the earlier ones. But with Age Of Extinction once again focusing on mass destruction, we're quietly hoping that, at some point in the future, someone will have the bright idea of taking the series back to its 1980s roots.

As a look back at the comic books proves, there was so much more to the Transformers than explosions and collapsing buildings.

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After watching the movie yesterday i have to agree totally with you. Though i enjoy the special effects and the action (it's entertaining) I can't help but feel that it's just Transformers in name only now. Optimus' strange dialogue and actual murdering of both robots and humans just seems completely wrong. They had a little less focus on the humans in this one but even so the Autobots in hiding had a fair amount of potential for them to drive the plot themselves. I paid my money to see it in the IMAX in Waterloo and i'm happy to have seen it there because its what that screen was made for but I feel bad for the kids seeing this as the Transformers of their generation not the originals that had some morals and integrity.

I am a Transformers nut, I have my original G1 comics from the 80's and most of the IDW (superb) graphic novels and the thing that kills me the most with the films as mentioned in the article is the lack of characterisation for any of the transformers. The interplay between Megatron and Starscream is worth a film alone. I got suckered in by the third film thinking it cant be as bad as the last one and was proven wrong. Wont get fooled again.

If i remember rightly, the design of them is so intricate because when they tried simpler designs that looked more like the cars just split up, they looked (even more) unbelievable, too much like giant toys.

I think part of the problem here is people who watched the show in the 80's think they're a significant part of the audience, and that their thoughts should matter. The reality is these films are some of the biggest and most successful ever made, and these people who think grimlock would never let prime ride him are in such a minority that it just doesn't matter.

Personally i'm sort of in 2 minds. I love the originals, i find the new films very entertaining although don't think they're "good films". I actually thought the way the dinobots were handled was pretty cool. In the originals they're basically slapstick comedy characters, its really hard to see how that could've worked.

I know they are already set for a Transfomers 5 due to amount of money this franshise makes. But it would be SO nice to see a new director and a new direction.

I feel that if they make just another sequel, it will be more of the same. There is no where for these films to currently go. I won't be going to see T4 as I have no reason to go and see it.

What I would like to see is some sort of prequel. I would like someone in Hollywood to have the balls to make a totally CGI film set on Cybertron with NO human interaction. I want to see how the war started, and then hopefully we could have a 'reboot' of sorts so they could start over again.

However, this will not happen. They have a money making machine, why change things!

I am confused why people have an issue with Prime being totally disenfranchised with humanity. He has been hunted down, and his fellow autobots have been hunted down, killed, and eventually he finds they are being melted down. That's enough to make any peace loving alien turn bat sh*t mental. And he doesn't say he will leave earth in the middle of a conflict, he actually says they will deal with this and then leave.

I really like the film, and I respect people who say they don't like it, that's fine. What I have an issue with is people who don't understand plot points and so criticise the film for them. i.e. I read in another comment someone asking "Did bay just have some playing cards printed up so Frasier could deal them out on a table?" Well, that was meant to portray that the transformers are now on Americas most wanted list, just like the troops in Afganistan etc get playing cards with the most wanted faces on them, so they can learn to recognise those faces in their down time.

I think the Dino Bots were used in the only way they could be. You can't have a reasonable discussion with Grimlock. Likewise, if you roll him out early on in the story then he would just have to be the default resolution to everything. He's heavy artillery, and will smash, stomp and bite through anything. It was a bit crazy though that they were allowed to roam china freely at the end.

The ending reaffirmed that Earth is under Primes protection, so he is more than ever fighting for humanity.

Also, I liked that the 4th film tied in with several aspects of the Transformers Prime tv series,i.e. New Mexico, human built transformers etc

Agree, as much as I really like Bays films they do have that Bay look. I was watching Pearl Harbor last night and saying to my wife "That's a bay-ism", "that's a bay-ism" and even she spotted the similar look and feel in his films. I was trying to explain to her the difference from Jon Favreau to Shane Black with iron man. A different director and new look would be cool.

I think T5 may be space based, as we are going to find out more about these creators. Up until now, Prime thought his race was created by the cube, but now it looks like planets were seeded by these creators. I think we may see prime off world working out who the creators are, and how the transformers came into existence.

The Dinobots weren't slapstick comedy characters in the comic book though, they where far more three dimensional than the clowns of the cartoon series.

It's still possible for this movie franchise to undergo a change in formula, even with Age of Extinction performing so highly at the box office. Die Another Day was (I think) the highest grossing James Bond film of all time, yet Casino Royale saw a dramatic change in both the formula of a Bond film and the character himself.

Whether it worked or not is debatable (I think it did), but at least the producers/studio/whoever allowed it to happen. Live in hope, old school fans :)

A prime example (sorry, couldn't resist the joke) of the collective shame Hollywood seems to infuse in it's need to grab nostalgia cash.

We can't have the Transformers be the main characters because the "real" people won't get it. Superman has to be a dark and cynical character that saves the day by levelling a city because we have to avoid anything that might be construed as camp.

And yet, Marvel is getting critical and box office successes by having confidence in their properties, not shying away from some of the sillier stuff (hell, they made Iron Man's briefcase suit look cool) and taking creative risks.

If we can have all the CG excesses of the latest Transformers movies, there's no technical reason why Cybertronians cannot be the main characters. If Paul could do it three years ago with less than a quarter of AoE's budget, there's no reason a big budget Transformers film have Optimus (or Bumblebee) be the main character.

I seem to remember one of the original ideas for the first film was E.T. but with E.T. being a kid's first car. If that had been the focus of the film, the friendship between Spike and BB (something How to Train Your Dragon has managed. Twice), then there's an anchor for people to connect with. The first film flirts with this idea very briefly before it gets into conspiracies, government agencies and the mysterious contents of Megan Fox's pants so the emotional gut punch of BB getting captured to protect Sam falls completely flat. I could completely accept a "rebooted" Transformers film only having BB if his friendship with a human is the whole point.

Some things i enjoyed:

"Hey dad you forgot to eat again! - Oh thanks, i wonder how i got so enormously muscular when all i do is sit in a shed inventing things forgetting to eat small sandwichs!"

"Dinobots, you're free!" - What are they going to do now, just mash about china?! They can't even speak, haha.

I agree with this peice so god damn much

NO! please don't let Hollywood get hold of Deaths Head, they'll NEVER get him right! Look what Dan Abnett did with Deaths Head II (totally screwing up what made the character so great in the first place)

However, I agree in principle with the rest of the article! I too won't go to the cinema to see this, Instead, I will wait for the DVD release. I won;t even dignify this by buying the bluray!

and Dinobot Hunt (which I think was Furman's first epic Marvel story) would make such a great film.

Dinobot Hunt. Crisis Of Command. These are the templates that should have been used.

There is a wealth of fantastic material which they could use from the comic or TV series. Even the 1986 movie is better than the trash Bay releases! At least the 86 movie had a soul and great story to tell unlike these soulless new versions. In a way I am glad that they have not taken anything from the old material as going by what's been released so far, Bay and his cronies would have wrecked that as well. The whole series needs rebooting with Simon Furman penning the story and a director who cares about the franchise.

Actually his first credited epic was Wrath of Guardian/Grimlock, still the best comic book arc he's ever done, but I agree, Dinobot Hunt would be terrific :)

I think I'd enjoy the films more if they didn't come across quite so apathetic to the source material.

I saw this last night, The human characters in this one for me were better than Le Beef and his lot. Some of the dialogue I thought was actually pretty funny. These films for me are still a technological and logistal marvel that I cannot help but be impressed at. My feelings on Bay? Go and blow up something else! There is a couple of directors that I think could do magical things with the series regardless of the source material. Neil Blomkamp I'm looking at you!

I know some people have been irked by comments on this website, on both sides of the Transformers coin. I can understand people being annoyed at the grief they feel aimed towards them if they actually enjoy the Bay Transformers films. They don't understand why others seem so angry about it.

However, I believe it's borne of frustration – fans knowing the films could be action-packed, but also much more than that. They see the TV series and comics they love not being treated with the care that it could.

I think it will be a long time before we see a more nuanced Transformers film, as they make so much money. Here's hoping the huge financial gain trickles down to more interesting projects and directors.

I will be avoiding this like the plague. I couldn't make any sense out of the last two movies.

All Bay had to do with his Transformers films was do real life versions of the 80's cartoon. Simple plot, Autobots vs. Deceptacons, all the characters we remember from the cartoon - actually LOOKING like the characters from the cartoon - Megatron with a daft plan and Optimus foiling it. Job done, those films would have been awesome. Especially if they'd culminated in a real life version of the 1986 movie.

Basically Bay tries far, far too hard and doesn't even get a decent product at the end of it. I'm sure they'll continue to sell tons of toys though, so bravo to him.

Think I said this before, but Michael Bay is like the one friend we all had as kids, who would never want to play with the transformer toys like you did, and would sit making up his own story. Lets scrap all these new models, with too many moving parts, add faceplates to some of them instead of mouths (all the time not just in combat), give the Deceptions some colour instead of grey, try to make them like the 1980s versions and then get a new director :) Plus the Decepticons in the movies tend to act like the Tazmanian Devil from Loony Tunes each time they see a human or Autobot, even in the cartoon they were at least civilized. Give Megatron a gun ON his arm, not a gun arm, or he is confused with Shockwave.

Start the first film on Cybertron, then goto earth in the next movie where they crash land. We haven't learnt our lesson though, someone is letting him make the new Turtles movie...... :/

As I test, I took this movie round to my parents house, they having been fans of the original as well. They did not recognize any of the robots apart from Prime, and that says it all....

Are we just seeing a film franchise that mimics the toy franchise? Something cool for about half an hour before you forget them or find creative ways to destroy them. Kinda like Hasbro have looked at it and gone 'Meh, someone will buy it' and had that transplanted to the screen.
Have I/will I see this film? Much as I love the Transformers, and like Mark Wahlberg (yeah, I said it), I'm far less enamoured with Bay and his, for want of a better word, style. I think I'll wait till it either hits the reduced bin or Freeview

I would absolutely not want Death's Head to appear in a Transformers film as it would most likely mean he couldn't appear in an MCU film. I think it would be tricky to work him in well, and I appreciate the odds of him ever getting an appearance are pretty low, but I'd like to keep the options open there.

What bothered me most about the film was the weird fake science... So they said they "discovered" a new element, 'transformium,' which can somehow fly through the air with the power of thought (!?!) but then the scientist guy said that they mapped its genome... wtf, elements make up genes, they don't have genomes! That's like saying they mapped the genome for oxygen and cloned a human! stupid. You'd think a movie about cloning transformers would try slightly harder with its "science-fiction"! Did they think we'd be too dumb to see that they're just throwing out sciencey buzzwords for plot-filler? Or is there some sort of transformers lore that I'm not understanding, here?

What's sad is I can name 16 out of 18 of the Autobots in the pic from the animated series, but I can't tell any of them apart from from the movie pic.

Die Another Day. Pure eye Aids.

Really good article. I didn't hate Extinction as much as most, in fact I can see some hope for the future. However, "Optimus Prime’s fatherly leadership of his bickering Autobots, or
Starscream’s constant and absurd competition for Megatron’s leadership
of the Decepticons" is spot on. I want this so darn badly!

A Death's Head film would be awsome yes?

As I understood it, the first film had to have a lot of focus on humans to keep the cost down. Every time the robots moved would presumably cost enough to fund two dozen indie movies. However, the tech is now so good, and the budget so high, that I'm left wondering why the balance hasn't been restored and we're still seeing multiple softcore shots of jailbait while Marky Mark runs around looking confused. I've seen far worse films, the action and animation was exhausting but pretty enough (although for all its faults the battle of Chicago in the last one remains a high point). But nothing in it tops say, books like City of Fear. That has zombie Transformers in it and barely a human in sight. ZOMBIE TRANSFORMERS! For goodness sake Paramount, what are you playing at?

"mysterious contents of Megan Fox's pants". If the contents of her pants are a mystery, then you need to get out more son.

I can name them all the animated ones. The film one look like the new Turtles who we all know will resemble none of the character traits we love of the original characters

So far, my research indicates that it's some kind of cat...

I mean, maybe they meant to say that they discovered transformium as well as mapping the transformer genome? But then they focused so much on how they were going to get the transformium and i was kind of waiting for them to explain it better but they never did :-(

Who's standing below Bluestreak and who is between Bumblebee and Cliffjumper?

Overall though I thought the movie was pretty cool. Better than the previous films for sure.

Below Bluestreak - Gears

Between Bumblebee and Cliffjumper - Windcharger

Just came back from the film, and found it the best of the series (for what that's worth). The plot was less cluttered, the humor less juvenile, the action more clear, the designs easier to identify than in past films. It still has issues - far far too much carnage (like Man of Steel) with no recognition that thousands of people are dying (and I call BS on only 1800 killed in the Chicago battle in the last film), and the dinobots are tossed in as a complete afterthought. Really the big escape could have ended the film, and the dinobots saved for the next installment. Anyway, why is it so hard for people to realize that the reason humans get so much screen time is because it is much cheaper to put Stanley Tucci on screen for five minutes than the CGI-fest that is Prime.

Couldn't agree with both of the points you guys raised. Not to mention the points raised in this article. Essentially Michael Bay has made the same film 3 times and it is sounding like the fourth isn't much different. I am in 2 minds on whether to see it....I think I may wait to see it as it just doesn't look that appealing.

Your point about a new Director is and will be the best way to go, borrowing from your example, the difference in style between Iron Man 1 and 3 is staggering and, although Iron Man 1 is a much better film, the visual style from Shane Black made IM3 an interesting film and gave it a very fresh feel.

The Bay-isms are ridiculous now, all you have to do is watch Bad Boys followed by Transformers and most of the camera angles and shots are identical, most directors branch out a bit while remaining true to their vision, like Steven Spielberg. Looks like Bay found something he thought was cool and stuck with it

That was supposed to say "Couldn't agree with you more with the points you raised" sorry for the confusing tone there :-P

ha ha, excellent.

To be fair I really enjoyed the new film. The new cast freshen it up a lot. Not to be too spoilery, Prime has a very hacked off attitude in this film, which I understand but a lot of people criticise. I have enjoyed the Transformers Prime TV series with my son, and the new film has a lot of tie ins to the plot points in that TV series. All in all, I think the new film is an enjoyable romp, but I seem to be in the minority on DoG. Everyone seems to want a camp 80's style film, but I just can't see that working for the majority. I am an 80's child, I have my original VHS of Transformers the Movie, but I just can't see that style of movie working now.

It's so disappointing to see where this franchise has gone. I saw the first on a whim and loved it. I was excited for the second and it blew hard, and I enjoyed the third but not as much as I'd hoped I would. I'm probably just going to catch this on Blu-ray or something. I'm tired of Bay making these movies. They need somebody who hasn't lost what made them interesting.

great article, couldnt agree more. thanks for writting it!

i think the 3rd film is the best, we actually get some quality time between Sentinel and optimus, and again later a bit more between then cons at the end aswell

i dont want a camp 80's film, but i would like Prime to be the Sage mentor to the Autobots he's always been. he's the Captain America of the team, the jedi, the bot with a code that cant be broken.

Windcharger! thats it! Thank you! The only one I couldn't get! I struggled with Gears for ages too.

Shia LaBoeuf, therefore your argument is invalid. XD

No matter how much you hate or love MB, his Transformers movies make serious bank. As long as that happens he will continue to churn out his crap for anyone who wants to pay.

well yer, but i dont like to talk about him

Would love to have seen Shockwave be the straight-up gangsta he was in Marvel's early run: Man, the cover of Transformers #5 (The Transformers Are All Dead) is STILL great stuff. Always liked the way Shocky was portrayed in the G1 animated series: No-nonsense warrior / custodian left in charge of ops on Cybertron by Mr. Megs himself...

Supposedly, the prequel for the said BayFormers is the games "Transformers: War for Cybertron" and it's sequel "Fall of Cybertron". Played both games and it is night and day from BayFormers not just the Cinematics but the actual plot and storylines. If you are not a gamer and just want to see it's glory, just search for it in youtube. There are Nerds (thanks to them) out there that uploads videos of in-game movies and gameplays for us to enjoy.

"Writers of the Transformers films..."

Wait! These things have WRITERS? Actual writers? Wow.

I went to see this on Sunday. I really enjoyed the movie, possibly my favourite one yet. The humans were easily on their best performance of the four films and there was some solid action sequences, especially the chase sequence on the highway. There was a lot of clapping at the end of the showing that I was in which is a big deal considering this is the UK, and those type of actions do not occur. I would weight up the pros and cons of the movie. It there is no real point as I reckon most people have already made their mind up not he film regardless of whether they have seen it.

Does anyone remember Revenge of the Fallen? Yes, I know it was so awful that it was downright insulting our intelligence... but I vaguely remembered the Fallen in the Dreamwave comics as being a envoy, or something like that, to Unicron.

So a story already formed in my mind where the Fallen would arrive on earth and was so bad-ass that both Autobots and Deceptacons would have to work together (whilst Megatron worked onn stabbing Optimus in the back, literally) to stop this ass-kicking uber-Transformer. The Fallen would be defeated and die with his last breath saying "My master is coming, Unicron comes to devour your world" END.

OK, not those exact words but still a stinger for the third and ultimate world endangering villain to show up and the stakes ramped up to over nine-thousand. But no... we got dogs shagging, stoner Shia mum acting like an ass, Skids and Mudflap and Devastator's scrotum... well done for screwing up that which is hard to screw up, robots fighting is way to hard for Michael Bay and writer Ehren Kruger to accomplish.

You guys should all watch the transformers:prime cartoon. It's amazing compared to the films. In a lot of ways it's the best the series has ever been

Actually, Furman's first credited story was the multi-issue 'The Enemy Within' but I'd say his first story I'd call epic was 'Dinobot Hunt'.

It must be noted the second pic, you can instantly recognize each and every character. Movie Bots... not so much.

The IDW Shockwave is pure logic, its worth a read. He has plans running for 4 million years, love him

I'll be checking that out then!

What's camp about a Christ allegory Paul? If Prime wore a loin cloth and did a dance number fair enough. I'd also take the 80s soundtrack any day of the week. While we're doing sweeping generalisations, I'm going to suggest fans are irritated Prime shifted his pacifist stance because he held it for MILLENNIA, not just between sequels. The Bay films play off a shared history, and this one goes against a fundamental through line. So enjoy the film sure, but don't justify it down the character route, you'll come up short every time.

I was referring to other peoples comments about a camp 80's style film. People have actually commented saying they wanted a camper 80's style. I just don't understand what that would be and why anyone would want it. I understand people being Nostalgic for films they watched in their youth, but let's face it I loved Knight Rider as a kid, but watch them back now and it's a bit cheesy and dated.

I can understand the issues around Primes change of heart, but to the wider cinema going audience wouldn't it be strange if prime was such a pacifist in the face of his friends and comrades being melted down?

BTW, I appreciate that you have countered my views with valid responses, and not just called me a moron or an idiot for liking the film. That seems to be the general response on DoG, so it's refreshing to have someone who doesn't agree, but appreciates some people have different views.

Strongly recommend you read Making Waves by David Hasselhoff. The man is either a comedy genius, the messiah or a goat of Alan Partridge-esque proportions. I bought it for a chum and his neighbours told him off for laughing so loud. Keep in mind he's a self confessed drunk and read between the lines. It'll be the best £7.36 you ever spent on Amazon.

The goalposts have moved a bit for camp. All this hipster bs has irony to fall back on. However, if Age of Extinction saw Marky Mark belt out (the double homage to Boogie Nights) 'You got the touch... You got the POW- ERRRRRRR!!' (da da daaa... da da daaa... Yeah!), the film would've got four star reviews. Fact.

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