Movie review: Transformers Age of Extinction


OptimusPrimeBumblebeeBank

Title – Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Director – Michael Bay (Transformers: Dark of the Moon)

Cast – Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, Titus Welliver, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li, T.J Miller

Plot – Are you kidding? Plot in Transformers. just a lot of Robots, fighting, more robots, Mark Whalberg, comic relief, robots, product placement, eye candy in the form of a young hot female (definitely not an actress), robots, Frasier and explosions. Don’t forget the explosions!

“Sweetie, get my alien gun!”

With 3 films well and truly done and dusted and with this 4threleasing this year, there is no question that by now everyone knows that what Transformers movie is all about and it totally depends on the viewer if he likes the way these movies take place or not.

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It has been four years since the destructive battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons in Chicago, leaving over a thousand civilians dead in the process.  Humans have since cut their alliance with the Autobots, and instead are hunting down and destroying them one by one with the help of Lockdown; a Transformer bounty hunter .  Optimus Prime has decided to go into hiding in Texas, where he is discovered by inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his co-worker Lucas (TJ Miller) as an old, worn-out truck.  The Government- led by Kelsey Grammar & Titus Welliver’s CIA characters- realizes Yeager is in possession of an Autobot, and threatens him and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), only before Optimus helps them escape.

One thing the movie does that is interesting though is it greatly reduces the groups in play. Optimus and the humans soon recruit the last few Autobots still surviving by hiding out; Bumblebee, Crosshairs, Hound and Drift. Acting as a rogue group with their backs against the wall gives them an edge that the previous movies lacked. It was hinted at in “Dark of the Moon” when Optimus proclaims that they will kill all Decepticons once and for all but here, he’s completely lost his faith after losing countless friends protecting humans that ultimately betrayed them.

Unfortunately, for every large action scene/set piece, there’s also weird establishing shots and largely unnecessary moments that drag down an already overstuffed 165 minutes of run time. The script is just as flimsy as ever and introduces tons of new ideas and attempts to add to the lore while largely ignoring everything from the previous films that isn’t the battle of Chicago. Shane, the boyfriend character, is awful and underdeveloped and at times, him and Tessa both just seem like whiny brats.

Which leads to the elephant in the room; Sam Witwicky, Shia LaBeouf’s hero from the first three films is not mentioned once. Nowhere, nothing. It’s hard to believe because not only did he go to robot heaven and find out it’s his destiny to help the Autobots, but given how hard Bumblee and Optimus fought to protect him, watch him and honestly just liked him, they don’t once ask for him to come help or that he’s safe and ok and that’s a move that becomes more and more glaring as the Tessa/Shane relationship feels more and more shoe-horned in, with Shane even dressing almost exactly like Sam from “Dark of the Moon” in the climax.

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The plot presents several questions to you, such as the origin of the Transformers, which look like they will be resolved by the end of the movie. They’re not. In fact, by the end of the movie it’s apparent that these are mysteries that will fuel future sequels. But until you reach the end, you’ll get this lingering sense that you missed something in the movie.

Chances are if you are going to see Transformers: Age of Extinction then you know what you’re getting yourself into. You’re prepared for the plot holes, the sub-par acting, and the plethora of explosions. If you just want to see more giant robots fighting the movie certainly delivers that, and we can actually tell which robot is which when they are duking it out. I just think the formula is getting old, but Bay apparently doesn’t think so as the movie sets up yet another sequel to come. If you didn’t enjoy any of the previous movies, you aren’t going to like this one. But for those of you who can’t get enough Transformer action, this installment offers more of the same.

My Score: 6 out of 10

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