Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) – A Movie Review

This is the fourth installment of the movie series about transforming robots coming to Earth and complicating life to humans. Based on the popular cartoon from Hasbro, here comes yet another infamous adaptation of Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, Pain & Gain), a director renown to transform cinema into mud.

Shame, shame, shame on me!

As the old saying goes “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. However, what is my excuse? This is the fourth Transformer's movie that I got “tricked” into watching. What impious devices Michael Bay crafted that made me go in there again?, what sorcery casted him upon me? Oh why Lord? Why!

Well, there is really no excuse for me. And Michael Bay isn't an evil sorcerer, a cunning wizard, nor even a respected magician. He is more like a petty illusionist with a high profile, someone you will see in a reality show these days, but on the big screen this time: As you begin hearing that he will be in charge of this kind of movies, you think to yourself that everything is gonna be OK, he will deliver something worthy you say, nothing will go bad you say. Wrong! He made us think that everything was going to be good this time, that the movie was going to be a blast, and all of a sudden your juvenile fears about your childhood being destroyed by a marketing specialist just became real in front of your sorrowful eyes. Who cares about my long lost childhood anyway? That's right, as you just thought, no one but me, but hey, this is my opinion about the movie, so, why don't we just move on, in order to continue with my rant.

That said, in my defense I have to admit that I was expecting much more after the really gloomy experience of the last Transformers one. Why? That's easy, when I watched Pain & Gain (2013) I was gladly surprised about that movie. At first, I didn't know it was a Michael Bay's movie, and when I realized that it was his, I felt wary about it. But at the end, I really enjoyed it. I don't care it was not one hundred percent faithful to the real life story, or the cartoony traits in some or most of the characters, after all, that's a common trait in most Bay's movies. I can live with that. I even thought, “wow! finally Michael Bay learned how to make cinema!”. Wrong again! Deceived! Pain & Gain is unfortunately something that you see once in a Blue Moon in his resume.

More than meets the eye, but at the end it's just rubbish

The story deviates from the usual character of Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia, Nymphomaniac) following Optimus Prime and company around the world, and fighting the evil Decepticons. This time, is Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, Pain & Gain) who is following the Autobots and helping them to fight another new… errr same evil in different parts of the globe. For some reason when the movie was announced around two years ago some media1) was calling 2) this 3) a “reboot” 4) when it clearly wasn't. The movie only changed the main human characters, and continued where the last storyline left: The few Autobots who stayed on Earth are now being hunted around, as some CIA authorities disguise the hunting as a fight against the remaining Decepticons. This is when Cade Yeager, played by Wahlberg, a garage inventor and town's favorite handyman discovers that a severely injured Optimus Prime was hiding as a junk truck in an abandoned movie theater. This is when the brisk non-stop action begins, showing us scene after scene of robotic fights against the bad guys. Well, that sounds too good to be true, but in fact I grew tired of it quickly. And to add insult to injury, the movie was excessively long, you can think that everything with that kind of script can be solved under 90 minutes right? Well, this baby lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes. Yes, you read well, almost three tiresome hours of the same monotonous thing and stupid jests.

Additionally, the Michael Bay's well-known tradition to introduce cartoonish characters as a comedic gimmick is frankly getting bored and predictable. His direction makes Wahlberg look in this movie really bad, specially after the great work he made with him in Pain & Gain. This isn't the same good Wahlberg from Boogie Nights (1997), this is the Marky Mark from Planet of the Apes (2001). On the other hand, we have Stanley Tucci (Monkey Shines, The Devil Wears Prada) and Kelsey Grammer (A Christmas Carol, X-Men: Days of Future Past), the first depicting an eccentric entrepreneur with a self-important attitude that makes him look flat and lifeless on screen, and the second, a greedy CIA agent, whose mission is to search and destroy the Autobots on Earth, and to make some profit of it if possible. In here, Grammer did a better job, but unfortunately he couldn't save the movie, or make it look any better. At times, Grammer himself looked bad too, but it wasn't his fault. And the other actors? I prefer not to talk about them, it's so tragic, so frustrating that I will let the audience to judge that by themselves. But I will only add that they are not more than a collection of bayish characters doing what they were told to do.

The special effects are good, and they look high-budgeted, but again, there isn't enough money to execute effects that fulfill the lack of story, harder explosions to cover the void in the Ehren Kruger's (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Scream 4) script, or cooler cars to distract us from the absence of an effective direction that at the end, the writer tries to amend with prevalent gags as the main drive for the actors with very unidimensional characters. Fortunately, this time there weren't fart or body-parts jokes as the previous Transformers films, but sadly Paramount doesn't learn the lesson and still insisted in Bay and his minions as some kind of “King Midas” that magically will transform everything he touches into gold, except the film itself of course. Hasbro should take a step forward and stop him defiling their franchise once again. He did it four times for God's sake! Do we need to witness a fifth one too? “The Transformers” really needs a fresh reboot.

upload.wikimedia.org_wikipedia_commons_a_a7_transformers_costume_characters_at_universal_studios_hollywood.jpg
These guys are in the movie again. Picture by prayitno CC-BY-2.0 5)

In Conclusion

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) is a clown parade that doesn't transform and rollout; it transforms into trash and it is finally rolled over. Don't waste three precious hours of your life in the theater with this movie as I did, unless you get caught by Michael Bay's hypnotic super powers just like me. In that case, there's nothing you can do about it. He was… so convincing at the time… I must… resist… When the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie comes out again?

Disclaimer

Categorization

References:
1)
Kendrick, Ben (2012). “Michael Bay Will Direct ‘Transformers 4′; Reboot of the Same Storyline” Screen rant.com. Available On-line in http://screenrant.com/michael-bay-direct-transformers-4-reboot-storyline-benk-154761/
2)
Buchanan, Kyle (June 6th 2012) “Michael Bay Will Reboot Transformers 'For the Next Guy'”. Vulture. Available On-line in http://www.vulture.com/2012/06/michael-bay-transformers-4-basically-a-reboot.html
3)
Silver Optimus (January 1st 2013). “Mark Wahlberg Says They Are Completely Rebooting Transformers Live Action Movies”. Transformers World 2005 (TFW2005.com). Available On-line in http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/transformers-movie-just-movie-31/mark-wahlberg-says-they-are-completely-rebooting-transformers-live-action-movies-176683/
4)
Loinaz, Alexis L. (Tuesday, 14th February 2012). “Robot Reboot! Overhauled Transformers 4 Set to Storm Theaters in 2014”. E! Online. Available On-line in http://www.eonline.com/news/294188/robot-reboot-overhauled-transformers-4-set-to-storm-theaters-in-2014
5)
Prayitno (May 20th 2012). Transformers costume characters at Universal Studios Hollywood, California. (Uploaded by themeparkgc) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], undefined. Picture Available On-line in http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Transformers_costume_characters_at_Universal_Studios_Hollywood.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Transformers_costume_characters_at_Universal_Studios_Hollywood.jpg

QR Code
QR Code transformers_age_of_extinction_2014_movie_review (generated for current page)