Ends of series
What does the movie tell ? Like the first episode, it is through a human being discovering a Transformer that the movie starts. We have this engineer/inventor who considers himself as a failure, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), single father burdened with bills. The man picks up everything he thinks he can fix or repair and re-use to make one of his inventions work as a way of seeking security for his family. When he brings back to life Optimus Prime, he is surrounded by agents of the government. « Rules have changed » and the Transformers are now being hunted by the government and by an intergalactic bounty hunter, Lockdown. Militaries launch an attack, Cade’s house is blown up and Cade runs away with his family, chased like an Autobot.
The man overwhelmed by taxes and not able to fulfill the American dream, the soldier Optimus, who used to be a hero and now a fugitive, as well as the figures of power, are mirror figures in balances of strength. There will be not one, nor two but four possible antagonists, each influencing the others as much as being derivatives : the government agent acts only thanks to Lockdown, who does a favor to the humans as he is fulfilling a mission from alien decision makers. The CIA department is also financed by a company, KSI, to whom it resells robots captured in spare parts in order to put in place new models in series. These will escape from their creators' control and become a threat for all. Everything is inextricably linked, in a world system vision, with antagonistic groups each reflecting the others . Each of the protagonists of the adventure is defined by its belonging to a community and by its conditions. It's true for the governmental agency, the company, the survivor group of Autobots, the emissary Lockdown or the new « race » of Transformers, without forgetting the familial circle taking part of Optimus by default. They are all inevitably tied in their challenges and spend time in claiming that they are not the same : « we will be done with the humans » goes Optimus Prime during a scene, « Do not take care of humans » answers the chief of government to Lockdown in another scene « You are useless » goes KSI’s CEO to the chief of Autobots, « I am not the representative of humans » states Cade later on.
As in the previous opuses, there are analogies between the destiny of humans and robots, as between the agent of the creators and the one of the CIA, both of them claiming patriotism to justify their actions. But the most devious mirror-game is to look on the side of KSI’s CEO, Joshua Joyce, who reveals to be the double «who succeeded in the liberal world» of Wahlberg’s character. Both of them are creators but Stanley Tucci’s character is a sort of autoritharian Steve Jobs. Having said that, their motivation is not that so far away from each other. Joshua Joyce made his fortune becoming «the manufacture master» of tomorrow’s technology. By retrieving the famous «Transformium» on a construction site from Antarctica, he then hopes to confirm his supremacy as a revolutionary inventor. Cade Yeager prefers to protect Optimus so that he can help him to complete his creations. The figure of the creator and his responsibility is in the centre of the whole story : KSI’s CEO facing consequences of his technology but also Cade Yeager, considering his daughter as his thing. The « creators » are all claiming the right of life and death upon all species they created. And it's the main plot subject : the Autobots have been created in a specific purpose, and once this goal is accomplished, humans as well as extra-terrestrials, ask them to go back to manufactured parts. They want them to yield and disappear. Their planned extinction links with the humans doomed to self destruction ; the challenge of the movie is to retrieve an object called «the Seed». Sort of bomb that could condemn the whole humanity to change into «Transformium», the main material used to create Transformers and that Tucci uses to manufacture his replicas. The large company is in partnership with the C.I.A in order to rule the world, between marketing and manipulating mass like objects. This situation, sustaining the misanthropy of robots towards the human race will end in a final war in which a choice will have to be made between complying, dying or staying free.
"Their planned extinction links with the humans doomed to self destruction"
We are in a typical scenario of « Bay’s method » : multiple characters and intrigues that come together intermittently, this not facilitating the involvement nor the understanding. It is surprising to see in this opus the new extension to the universe of Transformers. The movie does not only carry the integration of social realities in our present world in centre of the narration, as in Dark of the Moon with its metaphore of the world of work, but as in several movies dealing with the end of the world this year, we will talk here about gods, creators, origin…Far from being a heavy think piece, the movie handles this issue throughout a war and society fight conductive to a non-stop action, ending in a space-opera announcement where Optimus leaves the Earth, flying to the divine creators to get revenge.