Movie Review: [Transformers: Age of Extinction](movie:206531)
Directed By: Michael Bay.
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammar.
A mechanic and his family join the Autobots as they are targeted by a bounty hunter from another world.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction is the fourth installment in the money making machine that is the 'Transformers' franchise. Yes....there are now four of these. It is once again directed by Michael Bay who has directed all four movies now, but the entire cast of the movie is new.
Shia LaBeouf has been swapped out for Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor) who plays 'Cade Yeager'. He is a struggling inventor who just wants to earn enough money to send his daughter to college. His daughter is played by Nicola Peltz (Last Airbender). Shamefully in this movie she has become yet another one of Michael Bay's Barbie dolls. She has long bleach blonde hair, bright pink lips and really short shorts (Michael Bay's interpretation of the perfect woman).
After the battle of Chicago that occurred in "Dark Of The Moon", humans are hunting down Transformers, both Autobot and Decepticon. Cade finds Optimus and tries to repair him and they both get thrust into yet another big alien battle.
So I'm going to give you guys a little big of background of me and the Transformers franchise. I admittedly really like the first three movies, they are guilty pleasures of mine, I saw the first one when I was around 10 years old and it remains one of my favorite films. So I wasn't really nervous going into "Age Of Extinction", I thought it was going to be bad but I also thought I was going to have a lot of fun", I was half right.
Trans4mers which I will now call it is one of the worst big blockbuster movies I have seen in quite a while.
For the first half hour to an hour of this movie, I genuinely thought Michael Bay might have learned something from the critics. He toned down the stupid humor, the racial stereotypes etc but when the plot really starts to kick in, the movie goes in a ridiculous direction.
A lot of us thought that because we had a new cast, we'd be getting a different movie and we were completely wrong. This is still a Michael Bay 'Transformers' movie with the over the top explosions, terrible storytelling and boring characters.
I was actually a big fan of the cast in the first three movies, I thought Shia LaBeouf brought a lot of charm to the movies and I think that's obvious now because this movie has no charm whatsoever, its completely dull.
We have the same setup once again in this movie. Our main protagonist is struggling wit his life, he's not happy at all, he then gets thrust into a battle filled with government conspiracy and then the last hour of the movie is straight up explosions.
I actually really did like Mark Wahlberg in the lead, despite him being completely unbelievable as an inventor and a Texan, I thought his character was good, he was a good father and he got involved in the battles. His daughter Tessa, although she had been turned into a Barbie doll, was actually okay in the movie and she has been the best female character in any four of the movies yet.
I really did not like the character of Shane. He was Tessa's boyfriend and not only was his performance quite bad, the character was just annoying.
This movie is 165 minutes long, that's 2 hours and 45 minutes. I have no problem watching long movies, I loved The Wolf Of Wall Street last year and that was 3 hours long but there simply is not enough story in this movie to warrant a 165 minute run time. It simply is not needed, this movie should have been two hours and it might have been more bearable. Michael Bay genuinely believes he is making art with these films, he makes them longer because he thinks if he makes an almost three hour Transformers movie, it will then be classed as an epic.
I love big summer blockbusters, I love going to the movies to have fun and the three previous Transformers movies have done that for me, they entertained me. But I could not wait for Trans4mers to finish.
Transformers is a stupid franchise, even the cartoons, they are silly and dumb. So I have no problem with the movies being silly. The problem with this film is that its just very poorly constructed.
Transformers needs a simple story, some likable characters and fun action. But the stories always get way too complicated so that Michael Bay just gets confused on how to put it together, he makes his characters all stereotypes and goes over the top with his action. By the time the Dinobot's appear in this movie, which is towards the end, you are exhausted.
The movie does boast some incredible CGI and character design, the film really does look beautiful and Bay knows how to shoot CGI creatures but that's about it for this film. Industrial Light & Magic did a remarkable job with the effects.
Another thing Michael Bay is infamous for is his product placement, he will try and shove as many products in his movies to make money. But he really does go over the top in this film. He creates scenes just to promote a brand. There is a scene where Mark Wahlberg is in a spaceship and it crashes into a 'Bud Light' truck, he then gets out of the ship, picks up a Bud Light and drinks it.....that was the only point of that entire scene. There's also one bit of product placement that made me laugh out loud, and it involves a Dr Dre Beats Pill, I wont ruin it but it is hilarious. And every time a Transformers transformed into a car, he would slowly pan around the vehicle, displaying it to the audience.
I have defended Michael Bay for years on social media, saying he can direct fun movies etc but after Trans4mers I am done....this movie was just terrible.
In film there are things called Motivated and Unmotivated camera movements. A motivated camera movement is when the camera will show you something that is necessary to the plot or it shows something about the characters etc. I don't think Michael Bay understands these because he will just use the camera to lengthen the films run time. Low Angle shots are some of Bay's favorite shots, he uses them constantly when characters get out of vehicles. Low Angle shots are supposed to be used to show a character being heroic, to make them seem bigger. But Bay uses a Low Angle shot on Mark Wahlberg at the very beginning of the movie when he hasn't done anything at all, never mind heroic.
Trans4mers has great visual effects, a couple of funny scenes, a few entertaining action sequences and Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci are good in the movie but the rest is a jumble of explosions, pretty girls and poor storytelling.
Steve Jablonsky once again blew me away with his musical score as he always does with these films. It really is a shame that his quite emotional score isn't backed up with any such emotion in the film. Imagine Dragons have done the movie's song, replacing Linkin Park we have a somber but bombastic piece of music that is awkwardly inserted throughout the film. The song is actually very good and makes for a good end credit song. I did miss Linkin Park's music though which I always felt added a lot to the movies, that may just be me being nostalgic because the first Transformers is what introduced me to the band.
Of course the ending of this movie sets it up for a Transformers 5 which we will inevitably get, and we all go and see it because its a Transformers movie. I'm not telling you to stay away from Trans4mers, go see it and judge it for your self and make sure to tell me what you think of it in the comments but I really did hate this film.
There are some good aspects to it but in the big picture this is an awful piece of cinema. I really hope we get a new director for Transformers 5 and a new screenwriter. I'm going to give this movie a D+.
If you enjoyed this review please head to my Facebook page at - www.facebook.com/jamesmoviereviews - make sure to check out my other articles and share with your friends, thanks guys!