The Transformers are back for their fourth installment in the franchise, and they’re more interchangeable than ever. Perhaps the fact that none of the original cast have any involvement in this movie should cause people to question the quality of this film. Though, I doubt it will. Maybe Shia LeBouf was busy with a paper bag over his head making art somewhere. Whatever the reason, Transformers is back with an all new cast of replaceable humans in an impossibly long montage of explosions, cool robots, bad writing, and ‘Merica!
When Transformers first came out seven years ago (man I’m old) I was on board. I grew up watching the Autobots fight the Decepticons; what more could a young lad ask for than huge robots fighting? Not much. As the series continued the quality began to plummet, the battle scenes became more confusing, and the Michael CliBay’s (Michael Bay film Cliches) became less quirky, and fun, and more eye-rolling and uninteresting. Sadly, I can’t say Age of Extinction is any better.
Age of Extinction takes place four years after a huge battle between Autobots and Decepticons leveled Chicago and killed thousands of Americans. Because of this, the government and popular opinion turned against all Transformers forcing them into hiding. Meanwhile, the CIA began hunting down Autobots and Decepticons alike with the help of transformer bounty hunter Lockdown. Let that sink in: we hate all Transformers so we’ll use a Transformer to capture Transformers. Yo dog, I heard you like Transformers so I gave you a Transformer to get more Transformers… Just sayin…
It is in the middle of all this that we meet Cade Yeager (Perhaps a Pacific Rim Jaeger reference) played by Mark Wahlberg and his “we get it Michael Clibay she’s cute” daughter Tessa played by Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender). Yeager is a down-on-his-luck inventor from Paris, Texas, minus any hint of Texas in his voice. While scrapping, Yeager stumbles upon the Autobot Optimus Prime, and with his “extensive knowledge of alien metal architecture and alloys” begins to fix him. Within the span of not even a full day, Optimus Prime, who is now skeptical of all humans, sees good in Yeager and creates a somewhat unhealthy bond with him that stretches throughout the movie. It’s at this point that the government comes in and the main “plot” and by that I mean the extended car commercial begins. Age of Extinction wastes some other good actors talents as well such as Kelsey Grammar (Cheers, Frasier) and Stanley Tucci (Hunger Games), casting them as one dimensional villains / comedy relief.
To save time let me sum up the plot of Age of Extinction in a tweet: “Boom! Hands off my daughter! Boom! Product Placement. Silly CIA.. Merica! Optimus riding Grimlock! Boom! Racial Stereotypes. Boom!” That about sums it up.
In fairness, there were a lot of the people in the theater that laughed at the right moments and enjoyed this film. I recognize that this film was not made for me. Not that I don’t love sweet action sci-fi films; I do, just not this movie.
If you’ve seen the other Transformers movies, you have seen this one. If you enjoyed the other Transformers movies, you will likely enjoy this one. I will readily admit some of the banter from Mark Wahlberg had me laughing; he was easily the best part of this movie, but in a movie about awesome alien robots, that is not high praise. There will be times in this movie you will be entertained, though around the hour forty-five minute mark you will have likely had your fill of explosions and robot battles. Make sure to go to an early showing because at two hours and forty-five minutes this isn’t a movie to lose sleep over, trust me.
Review in a Tweet
“[PG13] Boom! Replaceable cast, poor writing, way to long. Should live up to it’s name and just die. #christcorenet http://bit.ly/1oaaadc”
Are you going to see Transformers: Age of Extinction? Was I too hard on the film? Let me know your thoughts below!