It’s official: the first glimpse worldwide audiences will get of the newest instalment of the “Transformers” film series will come during Super Bowl XLVIII. And spending four million dollars to run a thirty second commercial previewing this film fits right in with these films: the last one, titled “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” had a reported budget of $195 million bucks (and yes, its name does sound like a Pink Floyd album).
A lot is riding on this film, so a lot is riding on its first preview. This spot will give tens of millions of potential moviegoers the chance to be drawn into the fantastical world of the Transformers and commit to seeing the flick as soon as it releases in late June, or else it will give them 30 critical seconds in which to grab more chips and dip.
The film, like all the other recent “Transformer” projects, is being produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Michael Bay. Bay seems hellbent on this movie being taken more seriously than some of the past films from the series, which many critics (accurately) accused of veering off into the realm of overblown goofiness. In fact, Bay himself has been quoted saying he intends this film to be “less goofy.”
Here’s the thing, though, about that: the movie not only features Dinobots – which, yes, are dinosaur robot transformers – but it is named “Age of Extinction,” for crying out loud. Listen closely: that’s a goofy name! We don’t want to seem like we’re being overly critical here, but it seems to us that Bay and his producers should just own up to things a bit more and admit that making films about giant fighting robots is the arena of the goofy, and that that’s OK.
Are we excited about this Super Bowl film preview? Not really, honestly. The Super Bowl commercial is in its ideal form when each spot is a brilliant and self-contained little project in and of itself, in our humble opinion. Boiling down footage from a two hour summer blockbuster into a 30 second spot may promote some awareness of the “Transformers” and their Dinobot plight, but a great Super Bowl commercial it will likely not make.
Here’s an image from the set taken during the shooting of an action sequence, in our backyard in Hong Kong: