With the release of this last Transformers film, I thought we should take a look back at this multi-billion dollar franchise and rank its ups and (mostly) downs in its cinematic history.
There have been 6 Transformers films if you also count the animated movie from the 1980's. Here there are, ranked from lowest to highest.
6. Transformers: The Last Knight
As I wrote in my review, this is the worst of the series. It is an incomprehensible mess that could not be saved with all of its amazing special effects. Worst of all though is their exclusion of Optimus Prime from most of the movie.
5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Watching a tiny robot hump the leg of the dead-behind-the-eyes Megan Fox was a real low point for the series. This film also included an autobot farting out a parachute, a person with a marijuana freak out, and the heroes torturing a Decepticon with a blowtorch. I've noted before that this movie started shooting without a script and it shows.
The original film is silly and has a lot of stupid parts like the Autobots hiding in Sam's yard in a sequence that goes on way too long. But this was the first time we saw a live-action Transformers and it was marvelous to see. So much was forgiven in this.
3. Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
I maintain that if you re-edit this overlong movie and remove as many scenes as possible with Sam Witwicky, you actually have a darn good action film.
2. The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
This film does not hold up as well in reality as in memory, but it is still a benchmark for the franchise. It is horribly emotional in ways the rest of the Transformers movies are not and it is the only movie where the Transformers are the main characters, not the humans. It's biggest drawback is the cynicism in which it was produced as a way to clear away the old characters to make room for new ones (with new toys to sell). Notice how the poster itself doesn't feature any of the classic Transformers but the new crew.
1. Transformers: Age of Extinction
I liken this movie to Independence Day, which is a great movie with bad parts. This Transformers movie has an improved cast and improved Autobots (ones with personalities and distinct looks). But most of all, it has the best Optimus Prime story. I felt like there was an actual character arc for him. And in many ways this was the one movie where Prime stands out as a main character along with Cade Yaeger.
Those are my thoughts.
What are yours?