‘Transformers: Age Of Extinction’ Producer: ‘Critics Do Not Understand This Kind Of Movie’
It’s no secret that Transformers: Age of Extinction is a massive hit with audience members. As The Inquisitr reported earlier, the latest in the Transformers franchise has surpassed the $400 million mark worldwide, and is anticipated to hit $600 million by the end of the weekend.
But while audiences are willing to shell out some money toward the Michael Bay-directed film, critics have not been so kind to it. Actually, they haven’t been kind to any of the Transformers entries – with each one getting a “rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes. Age of Extinction is the lowest of the franchise at 17 percent.
The man who has been with Bay since the first Transformers, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, spoke to MTV News and said there is “a combination of factors” as to why he thinks critics are thrashing Age of Extinction.
“Number one, critics do not understand this kind of movie. They just don’t understand; they don’t get why people like this kind of movie.”
He also mentioned that reviewers are looking at the latest Transformers and evaluating it “as though it’s a 1970s Martin Scorsese film.” However, Age of Extinction is something “meant for mass entertainment on an epic scale.”
“There’s just a disconnect there. They seem to look at every film in the same prism; this is a different prism, and they don’t accept that.”
The Transformers producer also believes the critics “just don’t want to have any fun” with a film like Age of Extinction.
“We’re not pretending on our side to be making a big social statement or something. Our intention is to entertain the audience.”
If the reviewers had watched Transformers: Age of Extinction with the audience, their opinion might be different, Bonaventura said.
“If they’re with the audience, they can’t help but be affected what they’re hearing and reacting to.”
So, to what films should Transformers: Age of Extinction be compared? Bonaventura would like to see it compared to something like Jaws or the original Star Wars.
“[Those were] movies that transported the audience into a different experience where you were wowed; you were swept up by the story and by the spectacle.”
The Transformers producer would also like to see Age of Extinction compared to anything by James Cameron.
“I’m a huge fan of Jim Cameron, and you go back and look at those movies, and they stand up as massively entertaining.”
One of the criticisms of Age of Extinction is how long it runs. Clocking in at two hours and 45 minutes, it’s the longest of the Transformers franchise, but all the others were near two and a half hours. Bonaventura believes that everyone involved would like for the movie “to be shorter,” but the story is what “drove it longer.”
“The spectacle drove it longer. I mean, Avatar was three hours, wasn’t it? Sometimes, the story just makes it long, and it’s not like we didn’t all struggle to make it shorter, frankly.”
The Transformers producer clarified by saying that everyone involved tried to make Age of Extinction shorter, but he felt it would lead to some key scenes getting dropped completely or certain elements of the plot would be missing.
“So, I think all of us are sympathetic to anyone who says his movie is too long. It’s the length of the story, and, sometimes, that’s just what happens.”
The Transformers producer said he has made “all different kinds of movies” over the years, and he looks at each one “in a different way.”
“I don’t understand why [critics] don’t.”
Bonaventura mentioned that he once felt that film criticism “was a really valuable part of the arsenal of making film better.” He even brought up some names like Pauline Kael and Vincent Canby and said that even if they didn’t like something, they would “embrace what was good about it.”
“And now, it’s either thumbs up or thumbs down, and as soon as you do that to almost anything, it’s never going to work.”
Bay’s films are usually trashed by reviewers, and the Transformers producer believes that they are “holding him to things he said when he was 20 or 25 years old.”
“He’s matured; he’s a different guy, and they seem to look at him as though he’s the same guy they reviewed 20, 25 years ago, when Bad Boys came out.”
And the critics are making it “personal,” when it comes to trashing something directed by Bay, Bonaventura said.
“He’s clearly working hard; he’s clearly doing whatever he thinks is right. OK, you don’t like it. Why are you making it personal?”