Monday, December 22, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction Review

Transformers: Age of Extinction, yet another Transformers movie, and now it follows a new character, Cade Yeager, played by Mark Wahlberg.

In the aftermath of the previous movie, Age of Extinction takes place five years later with the Transformers, including Autobots, being hunted down by the government. What follows is the typical Michael Bay plot of explosions and action sequences.

By now, you should know exactly what to expect from a Transformers movie. Even though most critics hate the Transformers movies, it still manages to make a billion dollars worldwide. Why does a movie like this keep making so much money? For one, it is mostly from outside of North America, but the main reason is that the masses know what to expect: dumb action and explosions. I have never seen a Transformers movie in theaters, because they are just not good enough to spend that much money on, but for a rental, it is worth it. What confuses me is that why do people that hated the previous movies still go watch it in the theaters? Why contribute to something that you dislike so much, and something that you know that you will hate? It is a wide spread case masochism!?

Directed by: Michael Bay
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi,
Release Date: June 27, 2014
Running Time: 165 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: EXPLOSIONS!, Fun action sequences, Mostly entertaining, Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci is mostly funny, 

The Bad: So many dumb moments, Plot holes, One annoying character in the beginning, Nameless new Autobots, Overly long (in the theater),

Plot: 3.1/10- As with most Transformers movie plots, there isn't much of one, and the one that is there is full of holes and incomprehensible at times. In Transformers movies, the plot is almost not necessary, so you basically have to turn off your brain to enjoy it. All things considered, a few of the plot twists are not bad. 
The one problem that is cited in almost every review is that the movie is too long, and that is true to a certain degree. Yes, the movie is 165 minutes and not all of that time is necessary. However, when watching it at home, where you can take a break, get something to eat, ect. the length is not as noticeable, but if you did watch it in the theaters, then it probably felt like an eternity at times.

Characterization: 4.5/10- Cade Yeager is actually not a bad character. Making a Mark Wahlberg play a relatively smart inventor, which is somewhat against type, worked out for the best. The character’s best aspect comes from him being a father, and some of the family dynamic with his daughter, Tessa, work surprisingly well. Unfortunately, Tessa can be very annoying at times, particularly the scenes with her boyfriend, Shane, who is mostly a throwaway character.  
A character introduced later in the movie, Joshua Joyce, is surprisingly entertaining to watch, and he even has some form of development. 
As for the Autobots and other Transformers, they are forgettable in name, even if the designs are cool. Aside from the main two, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, the rest of the Autobots look cool and have fun personality traits, but their names are so rarely mentioned, if at all, it is frustrating! 
The main antagonist, Lockdown, is a typical villain doing villainy things for villainy reasons. He had some cool moments though.
Lastly, the Dinobots, and as expected, they are basically an afterthought to cash in on the nostalgia of the viewers.

Action: 8.0/10- The action is Transformers main draw, and while not exceptional, it is exactly what you come to expect: explosions! All of the set pieces are big and over-the-top with quite a bit of slow motion. Nothing in the action direction is original, but it is not bad either.

Acting: 5.4/10- Mark Wahlberg does a surprisingly good job with the material that he was given. He has a natural likability about him that made his character likable enough. Even though Stanley Tucci is given some terrible dialogue at times, he manages to make his role entertaining to watch. Kelsey Grammer goes full clich├ęd government bad guy as he phones in the role. The rest of the cast ranges from forgettable to occasionally annoying, like Nicola Peltz.

Special effects: 7.5/10- At times, particularly the opening scenes, the special effects seemed to be lacking, while other times they looked fine. Considering the money this franchise makes, you would think that the special effects would be the best of the best, but I suppose it would make money regardless of what Bay does.

Soundtrack: 5.0/10- Steve Jablonsky's score is the type of soundtrack that neither adds nor detracts from the movie, hence my rating, because it is entirely forgettable.

Humor: 7.6/10- As with most Michael Bay movies, his humor is hit or miss, which is heavily dependent on your taste in humor. For me, it made me laugh, even if the humor was not clever at all.

Entertainment Value: 7.9/10- Entertainment is what Transformers delivers on best, and that is what is delivers yet again. It is utterly stupid throughout, but it is still entertaining, providing you did not pay more than a couple of dollars to watch it. One notable negative is that the movie does drag in places.

Overall: 6.3/10- Full of explosions, action, and plot holes, Transformers: Age of Extinction is everything that you have come to expect in a Transformers movie. If you did not like the previous ones, then why the heck would you watch this one? 

Closing comments: What baffles me about the Transformers movie is that people pay to see them, knowing full well what to expect after the first two, and yet they are still angry about paying to see it when they end up hating it. 

Recommended for: If you liked the previous Transformers movies,

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  1. We watched the film, and I wasn't entirely too impressed by it. For one it was so long! Second of all, after a while watching explosion after explosion gets boring and repetitive after awhile (and this is from a girl who loves explosions in films/games). It was funny every once in a while, but I think for me, the best non-Marvel film of the year so far has been TMNT. I guess this movie just isn't my cup of tea, but it probably is for others. Excellent review, James!

    1. Yeah, there really is not much to this movie aside from the action and explosions. I need to see TMNT soon, and my favorite non-Marvel movie is Edge of Tomorrow, well, at least until I watch the new Hobbit!


  2. I just don't understand why these movies make so much money. They are terrible, the action isn't even that great, a ton of other movies feature far greater action and excitement. Drives me crazy

    1. Me neither! I know it made a ton of cash in China, but I am not sure about the rest of the world. It does not make much sense.


  3. My kids love them. Cars turn into robots - when it that not cool? I agree that they'll noisy, stupid and endless but I did like this one more than some of the others. Wahlberg was an improvement on Shia and Stanley Tucci was good value.

    1. Yep, that is the best way to describe these Transformers movies.


  4. Because we did watch them and I happen to be a huge fan of Transformers! Why not consider these movies as guility pleasures and start reviewing the first and the second.

    1. Maybe I will, although I have not seen the second one in years, so I am not sure if I could review that one.


  5. Glad to see you enjoyed this, I actually liked this more than most. I know you mentioned the Autobot characters were under developed but I actually thought they actually put more effort into them than in previous films. Also thought Lockdown was a far more interesting villain Megatron in the previous films....

  6. I don't really want to see this (although I'm slightly tempted because of Tucci--I enjoy seeing him in different roles.) As soon as I found out Shia's character (and his parents, who were hysterical,) were not going to be in this film, I pretty much lost interest. The transformers are okay, but their seriousness is most enjoyable when balanced by the comedy provided by "your every-day-kid" Sam. Good review, though, and I agree, I'm kinda mad the film made so much money. >:(



  7. Have watched the blu-ray movie several days ago and it is really amazing by Aurora blu-ray player. Love it.


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