July 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
Note: This review is definitely spoiler-filled for those who haven’t seen the movie so if you haven’t seen it, do yourself and watch it and come back to read the review.
Oh Michael Bay, why did you come back to this franchise? I remember hearing a news where he mentioned that he’s not gonna direct the fourth movie and guess what? He directed the fourth one. I don’t care if it’s because of Pain and Gain or that Steven Spielberg wants him back big time but really, why him on this? Some may like the first one but the other two is so bad that Paramount and Hasbro is either dumb enough to face reality or are just dumb enough to exist and say “yeah money yeah”. There is a better person who can take a franchise because that better person knows it by heart and will put in the big screen properly, right? Michael is not one of them since he once mentioned that he knows not much on the franchise before taking the job even when he once dismiss it as “stupid toy movie”.
So comes Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth entry of the so-called “Baysformers” saga and a sense of reboot that doesn’t include the plagiarised director screaming his ass off, the supermodel actress who plays the hero’s boyfriend and that guy from Las Vegas who’s in the series for some reason. Oh, and no Kevin Dunn and Julie White which is good because we don’t need any annoying parents. I hardly have expectations on this one and prior to seeing it, the only reason to see this is because of Mark Wahlberg’s sense of acting to see if he’s in Boogie Nights mode or The Happening mode. And guess what direction he took?
The fourth movie takes place four years after the events of Dark of the Moon (or one year from now but does the timing even matter) and the government decides to have Autobots be considered “world’s most wanted” so in comes some Harold Attinger (Kelsey Gammer) and a group known as Cemetery Wind (which makes Crimson Jihad in True Lies sound legit by comparison). While some Autobots got killed with the help of Lockdown (Mark Ryan). We then cut to Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) in Texas who went to the theatre with Lucas (TJ Miller) to gather stuff while the owner complains about “remakes and sequels”. I think Ehren Kruger is so meta-confused that he mixed up this script for a Scream sequel.
Cade and Lucas found a truck and brought it before Cade founds out it’s Optimus Prime (obviously thanks to the trailer). Meanwhile, his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) is annoyed by Cade while chats with her boyfriend Shane Dyson (Jack Reynor) who’s an Irish race car driver. Okay, I get that the actor is Irish and all but is his character trait being Irish and being nicknamed “Lucky Charm” by Cade necessary? Oh who am I kidding? It’s an Michael Bay movie, we do need something racially insensitive in there. Back to the movie and Cemetery Drive appears to find Prime and kill him before shit breaks loose and Shane coming out of nowhere to save them. They escaped which sets off an car chase but Lockdown appeared shortly appeared and throws some explosions that turned Lucas into uh, a dead metallic statue?
The three and Prime goes across the country before reunited with Bumblebee, Hound, Drift and Crosshairs. Nothing much happens before they decide to go to KSI headquarters and track down those responsible including Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) who wants to build his own Transformers. The autobots messes around the lab before Joshua decides the go-ahead with his own “creations” Galvatron (Frank Welker) and Stinger and people in Chicago flees before reliving the nightmare that was the last movie. After several minutes of battle, Lockdown appears and captured Prime with Tessa locked in a white car and gone to his ship. So it’s up to Chad and Shane along with the autobots to get two back and well, they succeed doing that.
The humans escaped while Joshua and his business associates retreat to Beijing. Our heroes went there to retrieve the bomb known as The Seed which turns a land into Transformium. And oh boy, more shit breaks loose as we see Autobots (and Dinobots) battling Lockdown, Chad and the others surviving, Joshua hiding The Seed away from Harold and “The Man In Black” from Lost (okay, it’s Titus Welliver but he’s wearing black throughout the movie that I may as well call him by that character’s name) and some random Chinese guy in the elevator beating people up. Yeah, I’m not kidding about the last part. After a long battle, Optimus Prime killed Harold (MIB got killed as well but like that matters) and Lockdown before he along uses the Seed to go to space leaving Chad, Joshua, Tessa, Lucky Charm and autobots behind.
Okay, the way I think of the other three Transformers movies he directed is akin to three baseball strikes. He lost the third one and should be out. And he came back and Age of Extinction may as well be another dumb Baysformers movie but surprisingly it’s also the best one in the bunch. Unlike Dark of the Moon, I was never annoyed and hateful on this movie and both Mark and Stanley gives an absolute performance (the latter being over-the-top). The other actors are okay but not much since while Jack is fine, Nichola’s performance is schizophrenic-like going from party chick type to damsel in distress to risking her life saving her father. TJ Miller’s performance is okay but forgettable. Heck, Sophia Myles is also in it but her motivation is simply “I’m there to team up with Marky Mark and then left the movie for no reason” which I like her but why is she there really?
Oh and Kelsey gives the least favorite performance as an one-dimensional villain and I like the actor but if he’s not pulling the same trick he did when he played Sideshow Bob, he’ll be going along as being forgettable as Patrick Dempsey in the last film. Moving to the story and it’s alright but it’s a long story and some parts are not necessary here like Joshua meeting three female assistants in the building or a speaker of the white house character talking to Harold. The dialogue ranges from funny to why is this in the movie. Other than the “remakes and sequels” part, Ehren is going a bit meta right down to having Chad talking to his daughter about her wearing shorts.
So overall, the movie is better than the other three but best seeing it when you feel like it whether it’s in the big screen or small screen. It is a set up to the new trilogy and I do hope Mark would come back for more and hope Michael would improve more (unless another director comes in and hopefully nobody who made “remakes and sequels” from his Platinum Dunes company). It’s not the greatest Transformers movie ever but it is not the worst either so at least it’s no Dark of the Moon or the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. Uh, I’m very fearful of seeing that possible piece of shit.