Nothing wrong with simple, overblown, action entertainment but it's not the '80's anymore. You can't get away with just about everything, just in the name of entertainment.

You at least must have some substance and story in your movie, in order to feel involved with anyone who's in it and anything that is happening. Or, when you just have no good or original idea of your own; keep things as simplistic and straightforward as possible. Don't over complicate things by adding a whole bunch of different characters, we don't ever get to know and just make clear who the main villain is, what it is that he wants and make clear who the heroes are and what their motivation is. This movie does both things wrong with its story; it's lacking any sort of substance, with both its story and characters and at the same time it's also still over complicating stuff, by throwing in a whole bunch of unnecessary characters and pointless plot lines, that don't add anything to the real main story of the movie. It makes the movie a mostly messy and unpleasant one to watch.

It feels all over the place with its story and of course nothing is ever really making any sense in it. Sure, it's based on a cartoon and toy-line, for little kids, so of course I wasn't expecting a hyper-realistic type of action flick but it just bothered me how little the movie actually cared to explain and how silly it got at times. It come across as some lazy film-making to me, instead of something that adds to the fun of the overall movie, which probably was the approach the film-makers were going for with it.

This all mostly becomes apparent with the movie its villains and their villainous plot. Here is the problem with it; there just is no good villainous plan. OK, sure, so Cobra is trying to take over the world again but why? I mean what's the point of it all? What are they going to do once the world is theirs? And isn't controlling the world kind of overrated anyway? Sounds like a far too complicated and hard thing to do and it doesn't sound like any fun at all. It's only going to look good on your resume -leader of the world- but that's it really.

Thing with the villains that also bothered me was that I still don't really know who was supposed to be the main villain. I guess Cobra commander would be the answer but he barely is in the movie and he is given very little interesting things to do. At times I actually even also had a hard time figuring out who were supposed to be with the villains and who were supposed to be with the heroes in this movie. This confused me, especially at the beginning of the movie but continued to confuse me, also since characters for some reason change alliances in this movie.

But most of these things can also be said for the good guys of the movie, which just shows you how messily and ineffectively this movie is constructed and told. And was there a good reason for Bruce Willis to be in this? Was it necessary for Channing Tatum to return? All of this can be answered with a big fat no. There are too many new and old characters in this that just don't add enough and only add to the confusion and messy aspects of the movie.

But lets focus on some of the good things as well. It's not a bad looking movie and I was fond of its visual style, though the camera-work and editing was definitely still lacking at parts. At least most of the special effects and action are quite good and make it apparent this was a pretty costly movie to make. The budget shows on screen, which is always a good thing.

I also still liked some of the actors in this. It's good to see Jonathan Pryce having some fun with his role and hamming it up a bit, which was something this movie really needed. I also have to say that Dwayne Johnson is a pretty good lead for this movie. I have always been fond of him but not every part is right for him and his acting definitely is also still lacking in certain movies. Not in this one though. He's perfectly cast as Roadblock and even his acting is pretty good, all throughout.

Still the messy and poorly written script is keeping this movie down far too much and prevents the movie from ever becoming the big, fun, action spectacle that it clearly wanted to be.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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