Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformer - Age Of ExtinctionYes… I’m posting a review of a movie that was released nearly a year ago. When I first started reviewing flicks here on the blog I had more time, less kids and generally less going on in my life. These days, the only stuff I review is stuff I see in the theater that’s NOT a horror flick. Horror reviews are reserved for (head on over if you’re a horror buff). I don’t see many movies in the theater these days for a variety of reasons, but I realized that I’m 3 flicks behind and I want to do them in the order that I saw them. So, before I can review Avengers: Age of Ultron and Tomorrowland I’ve got to do Transformers: Age of Extinction. Here goes…

I’ve found that there’s generally two schools of thought amongst Transformers fans when it comes to the Michael Bay Transformers flicks (commonly known as Bayformers):

  1. Those that enjoy them while recognizing their faults.
  2. Those that hate them and want bad things to happen to Michael Bay for ever knowing what a Transformer is.

I’m firmly in the camp of those that enjoy these flicks. Yes, they’ve got issues. Yes some of the plots are so full of holes that Optimus Prime could drive through them. Yes they’ve got smoking hot chicks who may or may not be able to act. If you can go into these movies and sort of turn your brain off for a couple of hours they are SUPER enjoyable. After all… these are robots that talk and blow shit up. Popcorn movie if I’ve ever seen it.

If you’re interested in my thoughts on the previous Bayformer flicks you can find them here:

The Humans

Stanley Tucci Age Of ExtinctionFor the first time in this Transformers universe Shia LaBeouf has been replaced as lead by none other than Marky Mark, Mark Wahlberg. I wasn’t a Shia hater as I tended to enjoy what he brought to the fast talking, slightly neurotic character of Sam Witwicky. I’m generally a Mark Wahlberg fan but I’ve got to say he was probably one of the weaker parts of this flick. He’s got the Wahlberg-ian accent that he just can’t shake and it’s especially noticeable here because he’s trying to play a Texan. That said, He’s not so bad that he really gets in the way.

The “hot chick” in this entry of the franchise is played by Nicola Peltz who plays Wahlberg’s daughter Tessa. She’s totally fine what what little she has to do here. The problem (as is pointed out in the story) is that she’s just too damn young. The piece of ass character is always present in Bay’s flicks and sadly here she’s just too young for it not to be creepy.

Kelsey Grammer does an outstanding job here as the main human bad guy as does Stanley Tucci in a roll that is too reminicent of Steve Jobs to be inspired by anything else.

The Transformers

Galvatron Age Of ExtinctionI’m not quite sure WHY they do it, but just as with previous episodes in the series we get an entirely new batch of robots this time around. Actually scratch that, I do know why they do it… merchandising. If you kill off characters in every movie an introduce new ones there’s a steady flow of new toys that can be produced. OK fine.

New Autobots include Hound (my personal favorite of this batch), Drift, Crosshairs and VERY late in the film, the Dinobots (Grimlock, Strafe, Slug & Scorn). This franchise continues to do a horrible job of putting names with faces. Other than Hound, Drift and Grimlock I had to go to the web to find what these guys are called. And now that I think about it, I don’t think the Dinobots are ever called by name in the film. For a flick called Age Of Extinction that features the Dinobots prominently in much of the marketing material I was bummed it took so long for them to be brought into the flick.

New Decepticons include Galvatron, the re-born Megatron in a new body, Stinger, Junkheap, Traxes and Lockdown, the main villian here who techically isn’t a Decepticon, but I’ll lump him in here cause he’s a bad guy. Lockdown is pure bad ass and I was sad to see him killed off. Oh… spoilers. (Don’t get pissed, the movie’s been out for a year).

Thoughts & Recommendation

I’m not going to bother with a plot summary of a movie that’s been out for a year. If you want one go to Wikipedia or IMDB. What I will say is this… After mulitple viewings now (my kids have found and love this movie) the plot is actually pretty tight. Other than the issues I mentioned before with Wahlberg and Peltz I’ve got nothing bad to say about the acting here. Michael Bay has created an incredibly expansive Transformers universe. Because of that, his flicks tend to be too long and this one is no exception clocking in at nearly 3 hours long.

I LOVED Lockdown here and even though he’s nothing close to the cartoon version Galvatron is pretty outstanding as well. The fact that Galvatron really isn’t in this flick much tells me that we’ll be seeing quite a bit of him in the next entry into the franchise which whether you like it or not is coming to a theater near you. Transformers: Age Of Extinction, for all the haters and poor reviews made a ton of money… like a shit ton. With a $210 million budget it took in over $1.104 BILLION at the box office. With those kinds of dollars you can bet your ass you’ll be seeing more robot action in the future.

And why not… these are fun movies. Rotten Tomatoes says, “Fans of loud, effects-driven action will find satisfaction, and all others need not apply.”  Well, consider me one of those fans, because I’ll be back for another installment whenever it hits the big screen. Sure, if you’re a Transformers purest you may not like this version of your favorite franchise, but realize this… you’re complaining about how one version of talking robots is better than another version of talking robots. If you’re going to turn your brain off, turn it all the way off, buy a tub of popcorn and enjoy.

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