Monday, June 30, 2014

"Transformers" transforming without the assistance of one particular human

The fourth Transformers movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, opened last Friday and is already loudly smashing and stomping its way toward global domination—but without the on-screen services of Shia LaBeouf, the male lead in the first three installments. As he told MTV News in 2011, shortly before the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, "I'm not coming back to do another one. I don't think [director Michael Bay] will either. It still is a hot property, I think, especially coming out of the third one. So I imagine they'll reboot it at some point with someone else."

Just three years later, "some point" has arrived, and Michael Bay is at the helm once again. Am I the only one who thinks he told LaBeouf he wasn't interested in making a fourth Transformers just so the actor would say, "Yeah, dude, I feel the same way—a trilogy's the way to go"? LaBeouf hasn't led a quiet life off-screen, to put it mildly, making me wonder if he's a headache on the set who chalks up any and all unprofessional behavior to "performance art."

Bay's continuation of the Transformers series without LaBeouf reminds me of the Ben Folds Five song "Army" (1999), in which the protagonist joins a band after dropping out of college:

Grew a mustache and a mullet
Got a job at Chick-fil-A
Citing artistic differences

The band broke up in May
And in June reformed without me

And they got a different name
I nuked another Grandma's Apple Pie 

And hung my head in shame

If it's any comfort, Shia, apple pie is much more satisfying than any of the Transformers movies I've seen so far.

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