Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Raynor, Titus Welliver
Written by: Ehran Kruger
Running Time: 165 mins
Release date: 5th July 2014
Before I start, I just want to say that, even though I really don’t like the Transformers movies, I still went in with a thought that Michael Bay could turn this around. A complete change of cast, a hole new outlook and this could be the blockbuster that sees the Bay returning to his early days when he made Bad Boys and The Rock. Well after seeing Transformers 4, or Age Of Extinction, all 165 minutes of it, I can honestly say I hate the Transformer movies even more and I am going to write to Michael Bay and ask for my 165 minutes of my life sitting watching this vacuous, noisy mess, back!
After the battle of Chicago (no idea!), the Transformers have become the humans enemy and a special unit of the CIA have been set up, led by politician Harold Attinger, to track down the Autobots and destroy them. Inventor and mechanic Cade Yeager has found an abandoned truck, not realising that it is Optumus Prime. Soon the Autobots are reformed and Yeger, along with his daughter, Tessa and her boyfriend, Shane, have teamed up with the Transformers to stop a new band of Decepticons that have been built by Joshua Joyce, who has discovered the secret metal that make the robots who they are.
Frankly, I could have written anything down as a plot because, if you have followed the previous films, plot is almost secondary to destruction and devastation. The only difference being that this time, the scenes of buildings blowing up, explosions here, there and everywhere have been upped and last longer. A whole lot longer. To the point that almost an hour and a half of this film is nothing but bang, crash, boom!
The excesses of Bay are here in their full glory. So apart from a mass of pyrotechnics, we have leering shots of the female lead, dressed in short, short hot pants to keep those pre-pubescent teenage boys happy. Remember Megan Fox wearing next to nothing, draped over a motorbike in Transformers 2? (Whatever it was subtitled). Well we get long, lingering shots of Nicola Peltz’s legs as the camera slowly moves up. We get Bay’s love of low shots in slow motion (and boy do we get loads of those) and finally, Bay’s love of noise, noise and more noise.
Nothing here makes any sense and Bay doesn’t seem to care. He certainly has no idea of character development or relationships. Mark Wahlberg, playing Yeager, spends most of the time running around with an alien gun or telling his daughter that she’s too young to have a boyfriend. Stanley Tucci, obviously here for comic relief (and so Tucci can do better work in a cheaper independent film) is about the only person worth watching and Kesley Grammer has gone from being all loveable in Fraiser to being all bad here. And can someone tell me exactly why Sophie Myers is here? She pops in at the beginning, pops up in the middle, gets in some peril and then completely disappears by the end. I mean, she disappears. We never see her at all. Did she die? Was she caught up in all the explosions? If you know, could you please contact someone, because I’m concerned we may never see her again!
What about the effects, I hear you ask? Well they haven’t improved since the first film, we just get lots more of it. Believe me, if you thought the final fight between Superman and Zod went on too long in Man Of Steel, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Over an hour of continuous battling and like the other films, you don’t have a clue who is winning and who is losing. Frankly, we don’t care.
Blockbusters can be terrific. Just look at Edge Of Tomorrow, the wrongly underplayed Tom Cruise spectacular. It had everything you wanted from a blockbuster: intelligence, wit, character development, excitement and a relatively short running time (coming in under two hours). Just because you think epic means long, doesn’t make it epic at all. It just means more time to struggle to stay awake.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction is an unholy mess of a film and like the other films in this series, I will probably forget everything about it, apart from how long it is. A perfect example of how Hollywood can make the dumbest films in the world. Transformers 5 is already in the pipeline. Please, can we stop? I don;t want to sit through a four-hour version, which I am sure is Michael Bay’s intention.