Published on July 7th, 2014 | by Anthony Price0
Transformers: Age of Extinction Review.
There are some things in life you can always rely on to remain the same; the British weather being bad, the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, or the days turning to night. And then there’s Michael Bay, a man who despite years of criticism, refuses to change his format one little bit. Transformers: Age of Extinction is, by far, no exception. Now don’t get me wrong, the Transformer films, for me, are a guilty pleasure, something you can watch and completely switch off any form of intelligent thought. It’s good hangover material. However, that doesn’t make them good and they certainly aren’t the kind of films you can sink your teeth in to. Transformers: Age of Extinction, as a film, is probably the worst of a bad bunch. Check out the trailer below.
So the story this time goes that four years after the devastating Battle of Chicago in the previous film between the Autobots and Decepticons, humanity is left picking up the pieces and the Autobots have gone in to hiding. Meanwhile, a shadowy group hunting down remaining Transformers, reveals itself in an attempt to control the direction of history…While an ancient, powerful new menace sets Earth in its crosshairs. With help from a new cast of humans (led by Mark Wahlberg), Optimus Prime and the Autobots (also new) rise to meet their most fearsome challenge yet. In an incredible adventure, they are swept up in a war of good and evil, ultimately leading to a climactic battle across the world. As you can see it’s pretty standard Transfomer’s fair and for the most part it’s okay to watch. The plot is far less contrived than previous efforts, making it easier to follow and the new cast, particularly Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci, do a good enough job to earn their paychecks. Another positive is the fact that, despite the character of Drift, Michael Bay manages to keep the racial stereotyping to a minimum; gone are the hip hop heavy duo of Skids and Mudflap from Revenge of The Fallen. Sadly, that’s where the positives end.
The major sticking point is the length. At 166 minutes long, Mr Bay has clearly forgotten his promise to keep this one shorter. It’s just far too long and definitely feels more like a drag than a romp along the plot thread; when your main plot device (In this case The Seed!) doesn’t show up until nearly two thirds of the way through, you know that you have pacing issues. It feels like all the “story” parts are only there to link set piece after set piece, something of which there is a lot of. They’re good set pieces, but they’re nothing that we haven’t seen before with previous examples of the “Bayhem”. Also, despite the cast being good at delivering the plot, that’s about all they do. The human characters in this film have little or no effect on the plot and its outcomes and often seem pointless. The lecherous camera also makes a return to an extent, with several shots of Nicola Peltz’s rear end. In fact, Peltz is quickly pushed aside in the narrative; female characters in general come out of Age Of Extinction poorly. Li Bingbing, though seemingly a strong female character, also has little to do except look pretty in a cougar kind of way, and it’s even worse for Sophia Myles, who starts with a seemingly important role and then disappears for two hours. When she returns, her only role is to be physically present. Like the rest of the film, she could’ve been so much more.
To sum up then, this film is pretty pointless from top to bottom. It’s nothing new and sticks to the tried and tested box office eating method. The cast are pointless, the Dinobots are barely in it (despite heavy Dinobot marketing!), and the plot barely holds the set pieces together. In essence, the extent as to how much you’ll like or loathe this particular Transformer outing, will hinge on personal taste. Those that like mindless, action driven films will probably enjoy it. Michael Bay excels in his ability to blow things up. For those of you that like a bit more substance, you’ll probably want to skip this one and go and see The Fault In Our Stars instead. This doesn’t give me much hope for another of my childhood memories, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is also about to be destroyed by Michael Bay.
Until next time…Keep consuming.