Transformers: Age of Extinction Review

So I watched Transformers: Age of Extinction

I, foolishly, walked into this with high hopes. Mark Whalberg, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer were in it, the trailer looked like Michael Bay was going to try to include some story between the explosions. Turns out appearances can be deceiving.

Okay basic plot: Mark Whalberg plays an inventor who finds a damaged and near dead Optimus Prime and sets about fixing him with a bunch of gadgets from the local hardware store. EXPLOSION! His hot daughter is dating some guy. EXPLOSION! The CIA are working with some alien robot who has a gun for a face. EXPLOSION! Stanley Tucci runs a company that needs Transformer DNA to turn My Little Pony Dolls into guns. EXPLOSION! A MILLION NEW faceless, personality-less transformers come out the woodwork. EXPLOSION. Dinosaur transformers. EXPLOSION! Confused? That’s how you’ll feel watching this movie.

Okay let me not be overly dramatic, this movie isn’t all bad though. I really enjoyed the first 45 minutes or so of this movie. You find out that humans are hunting transformers with some alien robot, Mark Whalberg’s story arc as a broke inventor with a teenage daughter in need of college tuition is really entertaining. The movie focuses on just these two elements and it works because you actually know what’s happening and have people to root for.

Unfortunately the movie then does the thing that all Transformers movies do:

  • sets up a bunch of stories in the beginning then forgets about them for like an hour then tries to tie everything together in the last 30 mins.
  • Gives you a million new transformers whose names you won’t even bother learning cause they have no personality and the only thing they contribute to the movie is a target for the bad guys.
  • Inconsistent fighting skills from Optimus. Seriously in the last movie he kicked Megatron and Sentinel’s asses with only one arm but in this movie (because the plot demands it) he loses to everything and anything that throws a punch his way.
  • Has a hot girl in it who contributes nothing to the story but looks great while walking in slow motion away from a explosion
  • Fight scenes where you can’t tell who or what is fighting. Then again you don’t care about the Autobots so who cares if you can see them winning or losing.
  • Oh and of course the ever-present, ever-changing history lesson about how Transformers have actually inhabited Earth for billions of years.

I liked the beginning with the focus being on the human element. By human element I mean not only seeing the humans and their stories but the focus on Optimus and how he feels about the loss of his Autobots. But then near the end a billion new characters come up and there’s more mumbo jumbo about transformers actually creating life on Earth or whatever and this just kills the movie for me.

I feel like Michael Bay never quite gets what he wants these movies to be about. He focuses on the humans in the story but forgets to give the robots any personality then he puts the robots in fights but forgets that since they have no personality we don’t care and the outcome of the fight becomes moot. Look there are cool explosions and when Michael Bay actually focuses the camera the fight scenes are aesthetically pleasing but it’s still lacking coherence and a proper story. Look I’m not saying this movie needs to be Sophie’s Choice or anything, I wanna see giant robots fighting but can they just have a proper backstory? Pretty please.

Oh and can the next Transformers movie not have a hot girl cause I’m tired of close ups of blondes while I’m trying to see 20 foot robots fight.

Overall, this movie is only good for the explosions and occasional fight scenes where you can actually see what’s happening. It takes nothing away from your life if you don’t see it. 5/10.

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