‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Movie Review – An Abomination
A short 24 hours later (which really seemed like the runtime of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction), and I already have to backtrack on something I thought. Originally, I had thought Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was the epitome of an unnecessary sequel – meaning I found little reason the movie should exist other than for money purposes. It turns out Transformers: Age of Extinction is a better example (and a far worse film) of just how low Hollywood can sink when making movies. The “silver linings” are practically nonexistent making this one of the worst movies to grace thousands of theaters nationwide.
Set some five years after the attack on Chicago (oddly enough, Chicago has been completely rebuilt already), Age of Extinction finds another excuse to dust off the old Autobots and bring them in to help. However, of course the Autobots (and all Transformers for that matter) start off as the enemy because of the past events.
Enter Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a struggling robotics tech and inventor. When Yeager buys an old truck for parts, he soon discovers he is actually in possession of the mightiest Transformer of all, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen). Instead of handing Optimus Prime over, he decides to take his hot daughter (Nicola Peltz) and her hotshot boyfriend (Jack Reynor) to help the Transformers survive.
Okay, so by that description, it can’t be that bad…right? Wrong.
Characters, conflict, and plot seem to go hand-in-hand. Good characters make for a better story. A story needs a conflict and it needs to progress (plot) well to work. Just like the other Transformers films, there is no plot. There’s no story. And there certainly aren’t good characters.
Wahlberg’s character? Unreasonable. Stanley Tucci’s character? Annoying. Kelsey Grammer’s character? Cliche. Peltz’s character? Might as well call her Megan Fox 2.0. Reynor’s character? Stupid.
We’ve seen this before, though. Earlier this year we got the smash-hit Godzilla (that I loved by the way), which featured really weak human characters. They instead relied on the monsters to be the meaty characters.
Transformers, then, needs to rely on the Transformer characters. This is a huge problem because they’re toys. No, seriously, they’re based on a toy franchise for goodness sakes. Optimus Prime has never been a dynamic character. In fact, I’d argue he’s been really, really stupid. He does the exact same thing each and every movie.
The franchise needed to take a more human approach to the Transformers. I find this particularly funny because they try their hardest to make them out to be humans (in this movie they even give one of the Transformers a cigar). The filmmakers make it look like our Transformers breath and bleed, and they even go as far as to suggest they have a soul, but they’re never even close to coming across as human to a moviegoer that has a working brain.
I was hoping Wahlberg could rejuvenate the clearly dragging franchise. However, he’s given a part that lacks in every sense of the word. Wahlberg can’t really be blamed, but surely someone else can be.
I’d point to the studios first because this has to be a cash-grab (joke is on us for all going to see the movie). However, I also have to point a finger at Michael Bay and screenwriter Ehren Kruger.
Fun fact: Kruger has done three of the four Transformers movies. The only one he hasn’t done? The one that was actually good. Kruger also deserves a special reprimand for including the line about unnecessary remakes and sequels. It’s an insult.
Bay is the bane of a cinephile’s existence. It wasn’t until midway through his Transformers quest where he was labelled as the dude that blows everything up. There’s no denying he plays precisely into this stereotype, especially when he ends Dark of the Moon with a numbing hour-long action scene. Age of Extinction isn’t better since it spans 165 minutes (yes, that’s 2 hour and 45 minutes) and not once feels like a legitimate movie with any substance.
There are no arguments I’d even consider when legitimizing Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. It is now the best example I have of an unnecessary sequel. It’s both an abomination and an embarrassment. That is why you should spend your $10+ on something useful instead of doing what I, unfortunately, did and perpetuate the problem.
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