So it has come to pass that another Transformers movie is in our local cineplexes and will probably make a killing in the weekend box office. So also begins the usual grilling by critics about the newest installment (it currently holds a 16% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes). However unlike the previous installments Age of Extinction enters the field at a time when big budget kaiju/robot pics are part of the zeitgeist, with movies such as Pacific Rim and Godzilla doing business as well. Critics and audiences alike have lauded both of these films while lambasting the other. This has led to confusion among some amateur film lovers as to why. Some have even gone so far as to say that those who feel that way are hypocrites. This article will try to explain why that is an unfair label and not even a right one. To begin:
It’s OK to like certain movies from a genre and not others
Many who use the hypocrite label seem to genuinely believe that you have to like all movies in a certain genre or none at all. This “take it or leave it approach” just doesn't make any sense. It is perfectly alright and normal to pick and choose what to like in a certain genre. Take another genre for an example, the superhero genre, if someone liked The Avengers but wasn't too keen on Man of Steel and maybe didn't like it, are we going to call them a hypocrite? Not unless we’re total absolutist ass-hats. Those movies are part of the same genre, but are two very different films, it would seem completely illogical to criticize one for liking one over the other. This can be said for Transformers against other movies like it. It’s a question of taste.
Transformers’ poor critical reception is its own fault
Many people like to give critics a taste of their own medicine when they try to call them out on their decisions. Many fans do sometimes side with critics when watching some movies. If one franchise has showed audiences it has not learned from its mistakes, its Transformers. They said it was overlong, and then the run-times got longer. They said the movies should focus on the Transformers more; they practically zoomed in on the humans. They said that we should at least care about more Autobots than Optimus Prime and Bumblebee; they gave us more disposable car parts than an scrapyard. They said the fight scenes should be more choreographed and interesting more things got blown up and choreography got lazier. Perhaps this has worked in Pacific Rim’s favor is that it is only the one film. However with a sequel in development, who knows, Guillermo del Toro and company could fix some the flaws of the movie, and learn from their, and Transformer’s mistakes.
Some people need to learn what “homage” means
Another criticism of Pacific Rim is that it wasn't original enough, that it borrowed from a lot of anime, comic books, old school kaiju films and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers . It is true that those are there, however they are there to pay homage to those properties and not just there to rip them off. Also, the way del Toro presented the story was an original idea, it is not like anyone else presented an idea of each developed nation having their own robot to fight monsters from under the Pacific Ocean. Transformers also does not get homage it could have at least thrown something the way of the old cartoons and toys but apparently not.
Overall, we should just try to respect other people’s movie views, unless they’re really out of left field or something you feel strongly about. Personally, this examiner has plenty of friends who enjoy what Transformers has to offer, and that’s their affair. I’ll probably see Age of Extinction for the sake of reviewing it and to add ethos to any criticism of it, but I’m also excited for Pacific Rim 2 and I’m always down for a good Godzilla movie but for now…can’t we all just get along?