Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)


A strange part of me missed Shia LaBoots.

After the near-apocalyptic events that transpired in Chicago almost three years ago, the country has been on high alert keeping the lookout for any Transformers whatsoever. If there is a Transformer of any kind to be spotted, they are hunted down, destroyed and made as scrap metal so that the government can build better, stronger and safer ‘bots to better protect their world. But somehow, in Texas of all places, an independent architect by the name of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) somehow stumbles upon a truck that he thinks is just a simple, fuel-driven truck, but comes to realize that it’s a Transformer – better yet, it’s Optimus Prime. The government soon finds out and they are not too happy with this, but neither is Cade with having to give up the Transformers neither, considering he trusts Optimus more than he does some humans. This leads to a bit of a battle between the government and the rest of the Autobots that Prime is able to assemble, but somehow, there’s a new type of Transformer out there and not only are they conspiring with the government to get rid of the rest of the Autobots, but they’re as deadly and lethal as ever.

Even though he said so differently a couple years ago, somehow, some way, Michael Bay decided that it was time for him to bring us back, yet again, another Transformers movie. Now, don’t get me wrong, people – like with any of Bay’s movies, I don’t have total problems with the Transformers movie. Sure, they are incredibly dumb, loud, over-the-top, stupid and insane, but you know what? They’re actually kind of fun and when I go into any movie that has Bay attached to it any way, I always know that’s what I have to expect. Not high art, or even something close to being a “masterpiece” – just fun, fun, fun.

"Brawsh!!!"
BRAWSH!!!

But there’s a difference between a movie being “fun”, and a movie being “too much”. See, with this new Transformers, it isn’t that Bay doesn’t bring on the heavy-set action, explosions, goofs, special-effects, and violence, it’s just that it’s so much, for so damn long, that it’s less of a fun ride, and more like a ride that keeps on going up and down, left and right, without barely any intermissions or time to breath whatsoever. And even if there are some of those moments to be found throughout here, they’re lame, poorly-written moments that are supposed to be dedicated to character-development, but instead, come off as half-assed as you can get with a Michael Bay.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew what to expect when I walked into a Michael Bay movie, but when you’re forced to spend nearly two-and-a-half-hours with these characters, there has to be something keeping us behind them. And casting likable personalities such as Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and T.J. Miller doesn’t cut it; they have to be at least somewhat well-written, with some reasoning behind their motivation to do the things that they do and why exactly they’re necessary to the plot. Am I asking too much from a Michael Bay movie? Better yet, am I asking too much from a Transformers movie? Probably, but I think if you’re going to push your movie into being almost three hours, there has to be something more to it than just big explosions, action-sequences and goofy, unfunny one-liners in the middle of all this tense action spilling out.

That being said, when the movie is fun, it sort of is a blast. However, that’s only because so much action gets built-up, that it’s almost like we’re being strong-armed into at least enjoying ourselves, even in the slightest bit. And that’s not to say everything about this movie, or what Bay does is absolutely godawful; in fact, I’d say that some of this shows Bay being as creative as ever, especially once the story itself gets tossed into China. But by the end, once all of the carnage has been done and about three states have been totally and completely decimated, you sort of have to ask yourself: “Why?”

An even better question would be: “What’s the point?”

Yes, I understand that it is the summer and that, yes, these are the types of movies we’re supposed to waste $20 on seeing, just so that we can get out of the hot air for once, chill out in the air-conditioned theater-lobbies, forget about the world outside, and just enjoy ourselves for the time being. That much I understand, get and absolutely love. To me, there’s nothing more than a summer blockbuster that knows it’s audience, what it’s made for, and doesn’t try to be anything else – just quick, fun, exciting, and engaging for as long as it is up on the screening. “Nothing more, nothing less”, I always like to say, and it’s something that I’d like to think most blockbusters are made with that in mind.

"Say hi to ya mothas for me!!"
“Say hi to ya mothas for me!!”

However, when you do have a movie like this fourth Transformers flick, it comes down to whether or not you yourself are willing to spend up to nearly $20 (popcorn and soda included) just for a nearly three-hour-movie in which there are two-dimensional characters, in a plot that doesn’t really matter so long as it includes big-ass robots, fighting other big-ass robots, while everything and everyone around them gets utterly and completely destroyed? If you’re totally all for that, then hey, go for it. I won’t try to tell you otherwise because clearly, your mind is already made up and ready to throw your ass in that front-row seat.

But for the others that may want a bit “more” bang (or in this case, “less) for their buck, then this may not be the perfect ticket for you. Because yes, it is a very fun movie, at times. However, at other times, it can be incredibly excessive, long, over-the-top, and destructive that by the end, rather than wanting jump out of your seat, wanting to fist-pump the air, as well as everyone else around you, go home, take a shower, lay down in your bed, and smile with a huge smile on your face going from cheek-to-cheek, you’ll just want to get out the theater as soon as possible, get in your car, drive home 5 mph under the speed-limit, get the hottest/longest shower you’ve ever had in your life, lay down, and just go right the hell to sleep, while feeling all safe and cozy that you’re in your own little comfort-zone.

Sounds extreme, I know, but with a Michael Bay movie: Anything bad or unhealthy for you, can and just might possibly happen to you by the end of one of his long, coke-winded adventures.

Consensus: Loud, abrasive, over-long and full of non-stop destruction, Transformers: Age of Extinction is the kind of movie you expect to see, not just from this franchise, but from Michael Bay himself, which may ultimately decide whether or not you want to spend three-hours in a movie theater watching his latest piece of “art”.

5 / 10 = Rental!!

 

Yeah, totally not real. Lame.
Yeah, totally not a real dinosaur. Lame.

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBAceShowbiz

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66 comments

  1. I just saw the Chicago Transformer film on TV tonight – or maybe it was just the last hour.But I was worn out from the CGI in about 20 minutes. It’s as much mind-numbing as it is mind-boggling. Kudos to the technical people but I’ll have to pass until next summer when this new one shows up on TV. Good review.

  2. I was honestly hoping this movie was going to be a turn around for the Transformers series. Since I’ve watched the last three installments in the franchise, I’ll probably get around to watching this one too. I think the occasional brainless action film is good for the brain. Great review Dan.

  3. I love a good big fun action movie but these Transformers films aren’t actually fun. The second one is one of the worst films i’ve ever seen. Bay doesn’t know how to hold back action. He just throws it all out there and you just get overloaded by quickly edited CGI. It ends up a total mess. And why do the films have to be so damn long?

    I know i’m going to hate Transformers 4 already, i just wish it would flop so someone else can give Transformers a go other than Bay

    • I wish so, too. I think Bay is talented, however, he just loves his messes so much, that it takes away from what could have been a very good franchise. Maybe it’s time for him to sit back, relax, do coke, have sex with hookers, and just let somebody else take over before it’s too late.

  4. I haven’t seen it yet but I already think 5/10 is generous.

    I am such as HUGE….HUGE! fan of Transformers G1. G1…not Armada…not Beast Wars…not Animated…G frickin’ 1. Marvel G1, written by Simon Furman. Why Furman hasn’t been asked to be involved with these films boggles my mind. He’s the guy who best understands the characters…and yes Transformers is about characters! The good/evil conflict of Scorponok…the insanity and fury of Galvatron…Prowl’s impatience and lack of leadership ability…Grimlock’s hard-headed stubborness to do what HE thinks is right, now what somebody else thinks…

    All this is gone in the Bay-verse. Suck my energon, Michael Bay!

  5. I’m an outcast in my house because I hate these movies (except the first) and my family all eats them up. So at some point, I will see this. Are we really up near three hours, again? Ugh. I understand Michael Bay wants to make sure every bit of his ginormous budget is on the screen, but almost three hours, really?

  6. I’ve never been interested in this because it’s the forth film in a Michael Bay action film series that’s nearly three hours long and a film series that should have ended after the third. Great review Dan as always, I think I’ll give this one a miss

  7. Great review as always. Yes, I’m dreading this one. Though I’m sure I will see it. I’m a child of the 80s, and my transformers on screen were primary colors and clearly delineated and a little stiff. So when I watch these movies, all I see is a blur of gears and wires and metal and CGI.

    >

  8. Great review. I’ll take your advice on this went and wait for it to come out on DVD. I saw the other 3 in theaters, but I’m not overly excited about this one.

  9. Your reviews are terrific Dan! Keep it up! I saw this last night and thought it was pretty bad and I defintiely agree with you on a lot of points. I too miss Shia Laboots.

  10. I’ve got to agree, man; terrific review. I also think that just because it’s the summer, we shouldn’t automatically be expected to sit idly by while crap like this gets a pass on the big screen.

  11. By the way, man, I’ve got to say that out of all of the review blogs I’ve found searching WordPress, yours is definitely one of my favorites. You’re a fantastic writer, you have sound opinions that you don’t allow to get too over-the-top in either direction, and you do a great job of expressing them. I look forward to the rest of your reviews this summer!

  12. Good review Dan. I look forward to going into this movie like a child looks forward to going into the German dentist’s office. (I basically dread it.) A 5/10 from you though gives me a little hope. Maybe there’s something to cling to here in the ocean of CGI and non-stop action that’s sure to come my way

  13. I’m seeing this today with with my brother and sis in law. We opted against seeing it in 3D because of the length 😀 They’re showing this everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE now (all of the cinemas in Manila, I kid you not) Thanks for this great review Dan, I’ll check in with mine a bit later. 😀

  14. Just got back from the cinema after seeing this…. thing. Not happy. What a waste of three hours, and I actually didn’t mind Revenge Of The Fallen initially. Look for my own review on Wednesday, but let’s call this a turd and be done with it.

  15. As a fan of Mark Wahlberg, I am tempted even if the Transformers franchise doesn’t interest me all tat much after the first sequel. Nice review though.

  16. Michael Bay needs to be stopped. As you say so well in your review; he has no idea how to do anything else but explosions and shaky-cam action scenes where you have no idea what the hell is going on! He can’t write a decent character to save his life and that’s a problem when you’re supposed to get emotionally attached enough to care.

    I really wanted the Transformers franchise to be good and the first one was, but the rest have been disappointing and this one looks no better… I’m not even gonna touch on the fact that the trailer for the Turtles movie looks like much of the same. People need to stop going to see his movies so Hollywood stops funding his insanity!

    • I just want him to leave this franchise and do whatever else he’s got on his mind. Because this franchise does have some promise. It’s just a shame that it was given to him and never, ever taken away.

  17. I think this really calmly explains what is wrong with this movie, which at this point no one is surprised about anymore. Cheers!

  18. Nice review Dan 🙂 5 is certainly more than I would give it, but I think the movie wasn’t the worst we’ve seen in the series. Certainly glad that ‘Shia LaBoots’ has moved on though…

  19. Did Transformers need a reboot or a simple removal from public consciousness. That they’ve tried to re-start this series and failed yet again should suggest they need to completely re-think these movies. Get someone else in to produce, direct, write them… Good review Dan!

  20. your review is ten times easier on the eyes than that over-bloated and seizure inducing trailer. totally avoiding this unless I need a big, loud CGI fix, which wont be happening soon. good review, like always, Dan. nice work, bro.

  21. You pointed out the truth greatly in this one! I’m all down for a bad movie that is very fun every now and then. TOO MUCH though is the problem. As you said, the movie had nothing else to it!

  22. Buddy, you definitely took the cinematic bullet on this one! Like you said I know what to expect from a Bay movie and with that said, I wanted no parts of it! Glad to hear I didn’t miss anything 🙂

  23. I have never been able to make it through a single one of these. I intensely doubt that this will change anything, so will be skipping it. Nice review!

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