Hi everyone, Bryan Here….
I’m not sure why there was an idiotic woman behind me, applauding and yelling “Woooo”, every time an autobot was on screen, but it happened throughout Michael Bay’s fourth installment of his ‘Transformers‘ franchise. Let me assure you, there is absolutely NOTHING to applaud or cheer for in ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction‘. If you weren’t sure if Michael Bay couldn’t get any worse as a filmmaker, think again. He outdoes himself here and tries to throw all of his tricks into one bag, leaving us with a film that can only be described as ‘shit with big explosions’.
The budget on this fourth film was $165 million, and the run time is 165 minutes. If you do the math, that is $1 million per minute. This is by far the longest ‘Transformers‘ film he has done, and if you stay through the credits, it is just at three hours. The film drags from one redundant action scene to the next as our new group of heroes tries to escape the evil CIA and new enemies. ‘Age of Extinction‘ is somewhat of a sequel and more of a reboot of Bay’s own franchise. We do know that Megatron, the leader of Decipticons, was destroyed in the last film and that Chicago, Illinois was basically destroyed in the last one as well during the big battle.
It seems like a lot of years have passed since then, because Chicago looks completely rebuilt, only to be destroyed once again. But Bay has cast a whole new group of characters. He threw out Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox and the others and replaced them with Mark Wahlberg, a couple of no-names, Stanley Tucci, and Kelsey Grammer. So it’s a brand new day in a world where ‘Transformers‘ are being hunted by a secret military operation unbeknownst to the President or anyone else for that matter for the cliche’d reason of money. Without a single shot lasting more than seven seconds (even the slow motion ones), we center on Wahlberg who plays Cade Yeager, a single father, raising a teenage daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), on their Texas farm, as he tries to come up with the next big electrical invention.
His barn is a makeshift lab where he has invented dozens of different robots who have trouble performing the most simple tasks. You would thing that this plot point would come into play later, as he is good at working with metal and robots, but believe me, it doesn’t pay off nor come into play at all. Wahlberg’s right-hand man is Lucas (T.J. Miller), who is the comic relief here, but I guess Bay received so much flack for his lack of of comedic dialogue in the previous films, that he blows up the comedic relief early on the film, leaving the rest of the film at a much darker tone than the three previous movies. When Cade is not telling his 17-year old daughter that she can’t date anyone or have fun, he is purchasing some equipment and comes across a rusted out old 18 wheeler, which turns out to be a beat up Optimus Prime. Cade and Optimus become friends, but the CIA and their new ally Lockdown, a mercenary Transformer who is hell bent on taking out all Autobots in exchange for a seed, or bomb that can destroy a planet in order to create life for more Transformers, is one of our bad guys here.
So for the next two hours, Cade, Tessa, and Tessa’s secret 20-year old race car driving boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor), are on the run from the CIA and Lockdown with Optimus Prime and a few other remaining autobots. We go from Texas to Chicago to Beijing, all of which are mostly destroyed by the ensuing fight scenes which are redundant and the same thing you’ve seen in the previous three movies, with the exception of the Dino-Bots making an appearance in the last few minutes of the movie. If you thought Megatron was dead, think again. CIA head operator Harold Attinger (Grammer) and billionaire inventor Joshua Joyce (Tucci) are in cahoots with each other to take out the autobots by taking the remnants of Megatron and learning how to build their own Transformers from scratch. But little do they know that Megatron is still alive and is now controlling the 50 new Transformers that Joyce built.
So it seems like Cade and his teenage daughter have a lot on their plates to deal with at the moment. Cade turns into an alien-gun wielding action hero while his daughter acts like a cunt for most the movie by yelling at her dad and trying to make out with her older boyfriend in front of him, but gets to jump off a truck and kick a small goofy transformer with jiggly eyes once. Bay just seems to hate women as he has never had a decent female character in any of his movies, but just likes to show them wearing next to nothing through the entire film, which is how Cade’s daughter dresses throughout.
The script is utter crap with cheesy one-liner after cheesy-one liner, spewing from each actor throughout the 165 minutes. I’ve seen better dialogue on day-time soap operas, but I guess that’s what you get when you hire writer Ehren Kruger (‘Scream 3‘). Is there anything good about this movie? Not really, but seeing it in IMAX, was pretty good, and the 3D didn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out. I’d say the best part of the film was Stanley Tucci. His character is the only one that has a solid story arc and is fun to watch on screen. His frantic dialogue and expressions are very funny, but it is all short lived and happens too often.
Whalberg is always likable and it was good to see him here, but there wasn’t really anything his character had other than cliches and bad lines. And Tessa and Reynor could have been played by anyone at anytime, as their performances were forgettable and lazy. At least Bay cast John Goodman as one of the autobots and we got to hear Bumblebee say a John Goodman line from ‘The Big Lebowski‘, but other than that, every thing else was sub-par, even John DiMaggio, yes Bender from ‘Futurama‘ is an autobot in this movie. I’m sure ‘Age of Extinction‘ will make tons of money this summer, but it’s a shame, because it definitely doesn’t deserve it.
This is filmmaking at its worse, with terrible camera work, awful dialogue, idiotic characters, a bad musical score, and enough blatant product placement to make your throw up. Sure, the editors found a way to take Michael Bay’s ridiculous style of filmmaking and turn the action scenes into something tolerable, but it barely works, and with it happening constantly for three hours, it becomes silly and annoying. The IMAX image and sound is amazing, but past that, ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction‘ is just a horrendous mess of a film from top to bottom.
1 out of 5 Stars