People love to hate Michael Bay, everything about him they rip apart from his use of explosions, lens flares, lengthy action, apparent "porno" shots and bad humour. Over his lengthy career he has created giant action flicks from The Rock, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys to The Island, all of which are so distinctive in style you know it's a Bay flick immediately. This man isn't changing his ways.
People see his films, they make a ton of money. The first Transformers opened to mixed reviews yet it raked in just under $500,000,000. The second film was critically panned, yet that took in short of $900,000,000, and by this time people really hated Bay. Then came Dark Of The Moon, the third film that took in a whopping $1.1 billion, sounds crazy right? You can see where I'm going.
Age Of Extinction is the biggest box office film in 2014. This fourth instalment is the longest and has been the worst reviewed; yet the box office numbers are outstanding.
Michael Bay you are a legend! Transformers Age Of Extinction is perfection in blockbusting entertainment, simply put it's 165 minutes of awesome. In Age Of Extinction, the Transformers are being hunted after the destruction of Chicago, and now humans have developed Transformers of their own using "Transformium" in order to take them down, as well as making a deal with Lockdown, a bounty hunter who will stop at nothing to get the job done. When struggling inventor Cade Yeager unknowingly stumbles upon Optimus Prime in hiding, Yeager, his daughter Tessa and her boyfriend Shane become fugitives when they decide to harbour Optimus, setting off a string of events that could lead up to our extinction.
New characters, new threats, a darker tone and an even bigger scope, I never thought Bay could top Dark Of The Moon. It's great seeing humans taking sides with evil robotic forces, there's a sense of uncertainty surrounding trust, any sides could turn on one another, and watching the humans control an unstable metal of which the Transformers are made of sets up some exciting scenes. I was ecstatic that the story took us back to Chicago five years after the attack, seeing the city back to normal was cool, and also a set-up for more chaos to reign down on the city. I particularly enjoyed all the scenes revolving around Cade and Tessa Yeager, it's a highly believable Father Daughter relationship, and throwing a boyfriend into the mix for Tessa ignites some fun tension and conflict.
Mark Wahlberg once again proves himself to be a top action movie star, he has a ton of energy as Cade, dashing around the screen and taking a stand in action scenes as he gets hold of a alien weapon. Wahlberg handles emotion and intensity superbly and shows his comedy chops throughout, some of his one liners are awesome "Sweetie, hand me my alien gun!" Nicola Peltz is excellent, you can tell she's having real fun playing Tessa Yeager. As well as Wahlberg her ability to make you laugh and feel terror leaves an impression. Jack Reynor is awesome, bringing Irish charm as racer Shane and Tessa's secret boyfriend. Reynor speeds into the movie about forty minutes in and he already boasts presence. Stanley Tucci is outstanding, playful and suitably menacing, and his "Oh my God!" scream is the best I've heard in a movie, and Kelsey Grammar is marvellous as the evil opposition for the protagonists, plus Titus Welliver is a kick-ass operative, he's a severely underrated actor of huge talent.
T.J. Miller, Li BingBing and Sophia Myles are superb welcome additions to the cast, bringing wit, style and big laughs to this massive international cast.
Michael Bay's direction is truly stupendous, his camera-work is getting better and better with more prolonged shots that allow you to take in the sprawling landscape. His slow motion continues to amaze to the point of complete and utter awe, and he gives his characters such dominating authority with the use of his low angles. He handles the comedy so much smoother this time; the laughs are consistent and well fitted even amongst chaotic action. Also no one does explosions better than Bay. He ensures you get your money's worth. Industrial Light & Magic have yet again outdone themselves, the magic that goes on in this film pays off tremendously.
Words cannot describe the might, enormity and power of the action sequences that take place here. I need to emphasise how eerie and blood pumping it is to hear the build up of Imagine Dragons "Battle Cry" work its way into the early action scenes before unfolding the full song in the final fight between Optimus and Lockdown. The assault on Cade's farmhouse in Texas was explosive, followed by the car chase that ends with one of the best explosions in film in which Shane, Tessa and Cade run as Lockdown's bomb detonates all in beautiful slow motion. It doesn't end there, follow that with car chases, a standoff on Lockdown's ship and a high-rise scene where heights have never been scarier. Leap to China and there's even more action.
The Dino-bots roll in, how can someone not enjoy watching Optimus Prime leap onto Grimlock taking charge with a sword riding into battle alongside three other Dino- bots? I don't think I've ever been this enthralled by action, and the 3D is the best, the depth is monumental and when Bumblebee takes flight on an enemy gunship in Chicago the effect becomes heightened and just crazy.
Transformers Age Of Extinction has to be seen on the big screen in 3D, it is a whopping experience, and it's the fresh revamp I was expecting taking a new direction and totally knocking my expectations out the water. There's new that Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg will be returning, I do hope so as this new trilogy has kicked off in style!