In an age over-saturated with zombie movies, this could’ve been the best of ’em. I mean it. Everything about it was a perfect fit for one: a few brave, buff white guys toting heavy guns in a boxed up stronghold versing wave after wave of seemingly infinite, poorly equipped enemies that scramble over rocks and rubble to kill their targets. The tone of the movie is excellently done and honestly, if Bay would’ve just swapped “Benghazi” with “Zombieland”, we could’ve had one of the best movies of the year on our hands.
I’m not kidding, there’s one shot, an aerial overview of a pasture area littered with bed sheets filled by terrorists scurrying through at break-neck pace, that I bet lots could easily mistake for a zombie scene if they saw that clip isolated by itself without context. It would’ve been awesome.
ACTUAL REVIEW OF THE NON-ZOMBIE MOVIE WE GOT: Michael Bay didn’t fuck it up.
Bay reminds us that Transformers is just his personal pissing ground and not what he wants to be remembered for, so instead he gives us this solid war movie to remind us he can be pretty good at his job when he wants to be.
Camera angles are tight and tense, soundtrack is pumping and suitably high-tech, acting is solid across the board, tonal tension is off the wall and it’s just an all-around good time, if you manage to forget that you’re glorifying entertainment actively making light of an actual conflict that happened three years ago.
Issues are small but noticeable: some really, really shitty tension-defusing dialogue crops up every now and then. It’s not the fact the dialogue is there that bothers me, but that it’s SO shit. Had the writers just put better one-liners in these spaces, I’d be happy. And my other issue is the obsession over showing that these soldiers have families. We get it, chief has a kid or seven at home along with a wife and a dog and who the fuck cares. There’s an entire montage dedicated to them calling their families back home. Ugh.
Overall, I’m hopeful this helped get Bay’s wet military dreams out of his system so he can do Transformers 5 right, but we know that won’t happen. In conclusion, see this if you don’t want to bother with The Revenant for whatever reason.
P.S. This movie honestly doesn’t paint all the Libyans as villains. A lot of liberal outposts are shouting that and honestly, I just don’t see it. Of course we’re supposed to support the American characters above all else, but really, if you go into the movie with your brain turned on it’s not hard to see that we think we’re doing right by invading their homeland and they think they’re doing right by repelling what they consider to be an infection.