In 2007 Michael Bay’s Transformers arrived in theaters. At the time I was relatively new to the action intense franchise, I went in expecting a popcorn summer movie and wasn’t disappointed, in fact, I became a fan. I loved the interactions between Shia LaBeouf and Bumblebee, the action sequences were refreshing and overall, I was impressed by Transformers. I went with the highs and lows of this franchise with the sequel and was revitalized with Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It wasn’t until Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) that my love for this franchise was comprehensively extinguished.
A lot had changed from 2007 to 2014 cinematically. Strong female characters had gained momentum as movie headliners, audiences weren’t being blinded by a movie-star in a leading role, instead, they wanted character developments and storylines, and finally, the online entertainment industry had risen to new heights. My love-affair with movies was going strong and growing. I had engulfed myself in the history of cinema, movie making, and script writing; this was becoming my world. With all of these changes and personal changes, I was still ready to give Age of Extinction a chance, after all…Dinobots. Calling Age of Extinction an extreme disappointment is an understatement. This movie was lazy but that wasn’t what caused my breakup with Transformers, I could have complied with the action sequences even if the storyline didn’t make sense, it was Tessa Yeager played by Nicola Peltz.
The character of Yeager was a sexually charged object. It’s even pointed out in dialogue that her character is underage to be dating her boyfriend, but that’s fine because she is hot and he is hot. The female character in Extinction is boiled down to her butt, boobs and smile, nothing more. Now, I understand that Megan Fox during the first three movies was very sexualized but her character did have development, an arch and was empowered at times. Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley didn’t move the dial forward or backward with Dark of The Moon, she was just an attractive face on the screen. Everything went wrong with Peltz’s Yeager. Michael Bay continued the objectification of young women on screen, at times celebrating it with Yeager’s character.
The female demographic was ignored with Extinction. I was actually angry after Age of Extinction was released, so when I heard that a new Transformers movie was going into production, I was fed up. I was done with Michael Bay’s objectification of women, lazy action sequences, and horrendous dialogue. I refused to acknowledge this movie. My individual boycott will not a make a significant difference in the long run as this movie will still make millions domestically and internationally but I had to take a stand.
Thankfully, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman took second place at the box office during the opening of The Last Knight and continues to make box office history. Gone are the days that audiences are ok with female objectification and over-sexualization. We want to see Diana Prince cross “No Mans Land,” we don’t want to see females getting trapped in cars when they could just open the door to safety…(Yes, that happened in Extinction).
The theme of Transformers is to stand together and fight back against evil, I’m standing up and fighting back against The Last Knight. Even Anthony Hopkins cannot save this and that’s saying something.
Women are leading battles in cinema, not waiting to be saved. Those are the movies I will be supporting with my box office dollars, not Transformers: The Last Knight.