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The Movie Review: “Transformers: Age of Extinction”


Friday, July 4th, 2014
Issue 27, Volume 18.
Robert T. Nickerson
Special to the Valley News


How is it that the Transformers franchise has gone from being a popular Japanese toy line into some of the most Americana of movies? I think it’s safe to say that every little boy at one point has played with a Transformers toy.

It’s a winning combination; they get the ability to use the cars and trucks as racing toys while they can turn it into a fighting robot.

But do these kids really follow some sort of story as they play? Not really.

Most of the time, they just pretend that their fighting each other. Smash, boom, the world is saved, they move on to the next toy. Why do I bring this up? This is the formula that Michael Bay follows when making the live action movies.

I never thought that any of the Transformers movies were technically good movies (though the first was at least fun) as they all contain similar lengthy running times, stories that seem to forget logic and loud battles that go on longer then both World Wars!

It’s pretty obvious that we don’t come in to Transformers for an intellectual conversation, but I do expect something that’s at least fun.

"Transformers: Age of Extinction" does not define what a fun blockbuster should be.

Gone are Shia LaBeouf and the military point of view. Instead, we have a robotics inventor Cade Yeager (played by Mark Wahlberg) in Texas who does his best to provide for his teenage daughter Tessa (played by Nicola Peltz).

He purchases a rusty truck that he tries to fix, only to find out that he’s discovered Optimus Prime, the leader of the autobot creatures from the previous movies.

He learns that after the Chicago war of the last movie, the CIA has started to hunt all aliens on earth, regardless if they’re good autobots or evil decepticons.

Speaking of which, CIA agent Harold Attinger (played by Kelsey Grammer) discovers Optimus’ location and goes after Cade and his daughter.

They manage to escape the government forces thanks to Optimus and Tessa’s boyfriend Shane (played by Jack Reynor).

Optimus calls out the few autobots left including Bumblebee and Hound (played by John Goodman) to discuss finding out what’s happened to their robot brothers.

They Advertisement
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make their way over to KSI, a successful robotics corporation, to find that the rest of the autobots have been dismantled so that the company’s head Joshua Joyce (played by Stanley Tucci) can make his own transformers.

This includes a reborn decepticon, Galvitron, who was Megatron in the other movies

I’m gonna stop there, because there’s only so much exposition I can talk about.

I think that I liked this better then two and three, but that’s not saying much. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" manages to make the same mistakes from before. It’s also overlong at nearly three hours and battle scenes never want to end.

The best way to describe all of the Transformers movies is like going to a loud party.

At first, you do get into the over the top attitudes of everyone and their actions, but you eventually want to leave that party to do something else.

Transformers just doesn’t know when to end. Most kids won’t have the patience to sit through a movie that long, even if robot fights are all they came for.

Now are the robot fights good? A lot of them do have some inspired moments of creativity, especially when the dinobots come in. Just seeing Optimus Prime riding a fire breathing metal T-rex was cool.

But as I’ve said, the battles go on and on. They were dragged out for so long I got to the point of nearly nodding off.

Surprisingly, the best moments come not from the action, but from our leading actors. Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer, and Stanley Tucci are fun to watch, bringing plenty of charisma.

They all are in on the film’s goofy nature, and play goofy characters themselves. They even get in some really good laughs. But my consistent question is this, "Why does this movie have to be a whole three hours long?"

I’ll give this one Autobot logo out of five. I can tell just on the tone that Michael Bay is getting sick of these Transformers movies and maybe he should call it quits from this point… or at least shorten his films to an hour and a half in length. That’s all anyone really wanted in the first place.


 

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