Michael Bay IS the modern master of suspense. Forget Hitchcock, this guy can make me believe that this time things will be different between us. Maybe, just maybe this time will be the money. The first “Transformers” in 2007 was average but I can certainly see the appeal. The second movie, “Revenge of the Fallen” I had down as one of the single worst movies I have ever seen. “Dark of the Moon” in 2011 struck somewhere in the middle of those two quality wise, so when I heard that “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was going to be a “soft” reboot of the franchise I was almost excited. Michael Bay has kicked me in the teeth once again with a movie that is not only jarringly similar to the three previous “Transformer” films but is actually worse than the abomination that is “Revenge of Fallen”.
Oh my where do I begin. Once again I find myself struggling to remember the horrific story that is obligatorily woven around these explosions and walking scrapyards. Mark Wahlberg has stepped up to replace Shia LaBouef as the main protagonist. Rejoice! We have managed to escape the lunacy of the stuttering teenager who spent three movies falling from buildings and taking the credit for it! No. I don’t care what you’ve heard, but Mark Wahlberg is not better than Shia LaBouef. As a character he is completely emotionless whereas I can appreciate that LaBouef added at least some semblance of comic relief, despite it being mostly awful Bay racist garbage. I just couldn’t care less about Cade Yaeger in any respect, and while it is true that he does technically contribute more to the Autobots in battle, I don’t care about the battles anyway. It’s like replacing a wrongly coloured LEGO brick with a brick that doesn’t even fit. Do with that what you will.
Anyway, Cade is an inventor. He spends his days in his barn inventing stupid inventions that don’t work and is attempting to keep possession of his house with his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz). Can I just say that Tessa is 17 in this movie? Now I won’t lie, I’m 17 so It isn’t especially weird for me, but the idea that someone like Michael Bay and a bunch of middle aged producers put this movie together that shows close ups of the back of a supposedly 17 year old girls short-shorts is disgusting. They have to actually have a scene dedicated to the fact that they need to explain how it’s OK that Tessa has a 20 year old boyfriend (Jack Reynor) by quoting some shady Romeo and Juliet laws that are apparently valid in some states of America. Great, so it’s fine for them, but that doesn’t make it fine for us?
I could talk all day about how horrible this film is but I really don’t want to, so on with the plot I suppose. Cade finds an old abandoned truck and fixes it all up and then it turns out to be (surprise) Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen). The presence of the Autobot leads the FBI to Cade’s home as the events in the last film have caused humanity to hate the Transformers. So they escape and meet up with the rest of the Autobots, who again are all basically nameless because I couldn’t name them, but in fairness I did know visually which was which. John Goodman plays a fat one, Ken Watanabe plays one that is modeled after a Shogun and even John DiMaggio lends his voice to one of the metal creatures. Production values are high once again, though quality has stumbled off in the opposite direction.
There is no point in trying to detail this for you. All you need to know is that the world is ending once again and it is up to Optimus Prime to get beaten up and then make a comeback for the final battle. The only thing worthy of mentioning is that Lockdown (Mark Ryan) serves as the baddie for the movie and Megatron returns as Galvatron (Frank Welker). He’s a different robot but has Megatron’s personality in him or something, I don’t know, who cares.
It becomes clear half way through this movie — which is around 90 minutes in by the way — that there is nothing worthy of note here. Oh, I can say one thing. The colours are brighter, there you go, there’s your improvement. the final half of the film is so hard to concentrate in because there is nothing worth concentrating on. Stanley Tucci runs around trying to be funny, there is some material that can transform into anything which sucks and eventually everything moves to Honk Kong? I never thought I could truly be so disinterested by a movie. The amount of money “Age of Extinction” made is honestly depressing.
“I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars, do not come to planet Earth. All that awaits are explosions and despair”
And they make a lot of money.