Kevin: While there was plenty of action on the field in Sunday’s overtime classic Super Bowl, we also got some tantalizing glimpses at several films that made our 2017 Preview. And as far as we’re concerned, Charlize Theron kissing Vin Diesel in the “Fate of the Furious” trailer was even more shocking than the Pats’ fourth-quarter comeback, and made us feel just as disgusted as the average Falcons fan does today.
So on that note, let’s offer our thoughts on some of the trailers we saw, starting with:
“The Fate of the Furious”
Mike: Holy shit, they took “Fast and the Furious” to the sea!
Kevin: Yeah that whole scene is reminding me a lot of James Bond driving an invisible car through an ice palace in “Die Another Day,” which compared to the recent trajectory of the F&F films looks like a model of restraint by comparison. And are they implying that Dom might be swayed from Letty’s side by another woman just because she’s a lot more attractive than Michelle Rodriguez? ‘Cause that’s not the Dom I know. Now getting a super hot chick to succumb to his bald turtle-ish middle-aged charms IS the Dom I know.
Mike: In the movie’s defense, in real life Charlize was with Sean Penn, who looks like a leather seat cover that got too much sun. So Dom is a step up for her.
Kevin: I would like to believe the whole “Dom is a bad guy now” angle is actually real, and that by bringing in Jason Statham on the good guys’ side the filmmakers are acknowledging that he, Kurt Russell, and Dwayne Johnson are the people we’d rather spend time with. Hell, for all the grief I gave Statham in my “Mechanic: Resurrection” review, I was genuinely surprised and happy when he showed up in this trailer. But it’s pretty obvious that either Dom is pretending to be bad to help catch the real criminals, or he suffered a hit to the head and is only temporarily evil, like when Hulk Hogan briefly became the sinister “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan.
By the way, didn’t the last F&F movie open with Statham killing several dozen cops and hospital personnel? How exactly are they gonna brush past that?
CJ: So in our Most/Least Anticipated of 2017 rundown, I wondered how they’d top jumping through three skyscrapers:
Submarine. The answer is submarine.
Also, if you’re one of the cops where The Rock works, what must it be like each day when he comes in telling you about the stuff he’s doing? Chasing submarines, bad guys who look like Charlize Theron, etc.; meanwhile you’re going through hours of confiscated kiddie porn from a fat, middle-aged, balding Eastern European.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”
Kevin: Like the first “Logan” trailer, this goes for some unearned emotional depth by piggybacking onto a Johnny Cash song. BTW, remember when Hollywood somehow got every woman you know to fall in love with “Walk the Line,” a movie that charts the romantic story about how Johnny Cash spent a decade ignoring his wife and family and trying to fuck his best friend? Good times.
Anyway, judging by the trailer apparently Geoffrey Rush is the main star in this and Johnny Depp makes a brief cameo covered in shit. Unless of course they are saving his best stuff for later. Apparently we also get a returning Orlando Bloom (they must have paid him a lot of money to come back!) and I guess Javier Bardem as the villain, although I thought he was in the last one, and also I forgot the last one existed. If nothing else, this movie’s extended shoot in Australia, and Johnny and Amber Heard’s attempt to illegally smuggle their dog into the country, gave us the best acting Depp has done in a long time:
Kevin: Dour, humorless, and pretentious, just the way a movie based on a colorful comic book character should be. Can’t wait! Also they must have saved a lot of money on sets since for all the commercials and trailers I’ve seen, it appears that the only two locations in the movie are a dusty junkyard and a forest.
Mike: The Wolverine is brooding! And dressed in Armani.
Anthony: Rated R baby!
Kevin: Great, so Wolverine will get to say “fuck” twice and they’ll throw on some extra CGI blood to the usual slicing and dicing.
Kevin: I had no idea this movie existed until now; when I saw the word “Life” on the movie calendar I thought Universal was re-releasing the 1999 Eddie Murphy-Martin Lawrence movie “Life,” which was like “Shawshank Redemption” except funnier and with less prison rape. Anyway, I’m always interested in a big budget sci-fi movie where name actors get killed off, and there’s already a very good chance that this will be a better “Alien” movie than Ridley Scott’s “Alien: Covenant” later this year.
“John Wick: Chapter 2”
Kevin: Didn’t watch it, want to go in as unspoiled as possible. As we said in our 2017 Preview, we are both excited as hell for this and worried it won’t match the original, but so far the consensus on Rotten Tomatoes is looking good.
And of course, we left the best for last:
“Transformers: The Last Knight”
CJ: 2018’s Best Picture of the Year. Screw “Star Wars,” screw Marvel, screw them all –pump these bad boys out once, twice, three times a year. I will show up opening night and ALL OTHER MOVIES WILL BE LEFT WANTING.
We open on Anthony Hopkins asking us if we want to know why the Transformers keep coming back to Earth, but I know the answer: to keep CJ entertained with the finest cinema the world can offer! Swish! But no really, I assume Earth has yet another artifact that is the REAL key to Cybertron, until number 6 comes out. Fuck yeah!
At that point someone whose voice sounds familiar but I can’t place it asks Cade (Mark Wahlberg) to spill the beans on the Transformers that he’s hiding. I am convinced Mark broke character to tell this guy he doesn’t sell out his friends, because Marky Mark is a blue-collar man of the people who don’t rat, and won’t even let his characters rat! (pounds chest) I’d like to mention that Wahlberg plays a scientist/inventor in this movie. And a Texan. God fucking damn it, I love you Michael Bay.
There are then a lot of awesome shots that hint at Unicron being the potential villain. Fun fact, in the original 1986 “Transformers” cartoon movie, Unicron was voiced by Orson Welles. Although I’m probably not the only one who finds it ironic that he voices a character who is the size of a planet and spends his time eating other planets.
Finally we get to Optimus Prime (note to future wife, that will be our first born’s name regardless of gender). It looks like ol’ OP is being set up to be a bad guy, but I’m sure he will turn good at the right moment – not because that is the easy narrative to follow, but because Optimus is pure goodness and would never let anything bad happen to us! This concept was immediately copied by the upcoming “Fate of the Furious,” similar to how “The Avengers” copied the entire third act of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Because Joss Whedon is a hack.
Overall, is it 5 stars? 6 stars? Hell with that – a billion stars! One for every dollar it will make at the box office. What mostly gets me excited is that Michael Bay is one of the few action directors around who seems to give a shit that we paid money to watch action, and kindly fills his movies with memorable action sequences that look good. He doesn’t do shitty “White House Down” green screen, or bland punching sequences that seem to be put in just to facilitate more bad jokes (Marvel). He blows shit up, and blows it up nice.
Bayhem is good. Bayhem is right. Bayhem works. Bayhem has marked the upward surge of mankind.
Kevin: I’d shudder to think about what an evil Optimus Prime would look like considering the “good” version in these movies is a rampant bloodthirsty sociopath who delights in killing his fellow robots in the most gruesome ways possible. I think my favorite moment in the last “Transformers” was Optimus proudly intoning “Honor, to the end” after just literally stabbing a robot in the back. Second-favorite was him yelling, “We’re giving you freedom!” to the enslaved dinobot before smashing it in the face and threatening to cut its throat if it didn’t do Optimus’ bidding.
If nothing else I always look forward to these movies for the inevitable final shot of Optimus standing amid the rubble and dead bodies of another major city that’s been destroyed during one of his battles, where he promises that he will never abandon the people of Earth. Gee thanks Optimus but we’re good, feel free to head to Mars or something and see what you can destroy over there.
Mike: Wow, “Transformers” gains Anthony Hopkins.
Anthony: You mean Anthony Hopkins gains “Transformers” money.
Kevin: Yes Sir Anthony is super picky, based on that VOD movie he was in with Josh Duhamel. And the other one with Julia Stiles. And the other one with Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I remember when a friend of mine was wondering what Anthony Hopkins was doing in a “Mission: Impossible” movie. My response: “They paid him.”
Mike: Maybe Anthony Hopkins falls into a wormhole and emerges as Optimus Prime.
Kevin: That would be somewhat appropriate since Optimus Prime is the Hannibal Lector of serial-killing robots.