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Movie Review Transformers Age of Extinction (2014)

Movie Review Transformers Age of Extinction (2014)

The fourth installment stalls.

 

Transformers Age of Extinction Poster

Not the smoothest roll-out

The rub: A disjointed disappointment that delights in destruction, adores the droids, but is devoid of details.

 

Maybe it’s fitting that the Dinobots are the saviors since this franchise is suddenly feeling long in the transforming tooth. Let’s jump right to the obvious. Shia LeBeouf is out and Marky Mark is in. The Autobots are out and the world is in peril again. It’s not so much that I dislike Shia [he was awesome in Nymphomaniac] , but it’s the horny-American teen cliché that I was tired of seeing. Well, this time it’s the overly protective father who is ultra-paranoid over his daughter’s…sexual awareness….um…sexuality… I mean, she’s supposed to be this underage, innocent teenie-bopper that just so happens to dress like she’s much older – also to the point that she is the barely-legal eye candy meant to replace the hormonal homerun hit in Meagan Fox.

 

We also have the camera-carrying douchebag from Cloverfield back in action as actor T.J. Miller is tapped to play the most annoying character possible. Which is actually hard to do after casting Stanley Tucci as the idiot scientist with an overly-generous number of unfunny punch lines and post action quips. These kind of portrayals have always been my problem with the modern Transformer movies. Are they for adults or kiddies? We have plot points that move along very childish lines, but then we have a high human death toll and cursing. We have Marines/Black Ops that are bad-ass, coupled with sophomoric humor, bits of slapstick and goofy caricatures. The mix doesn’t work for me, but we did get an awesome performance from Kelsey Grammer.

 

From flight to Knight...

From flight to Knight…

The card returns with stereotypes

 

Revenge of the Fallen brought us the bumbling, buck-toothed, non-reading ice-cream truck twins. Age of Extinction features a slang-speakin–swag-spankin-mini-sellout. We also get to see that every Chinese person knows enough Kung Fu to beat up special agents and a Samurai Autobot that…well, whatever. There’s a lot of the familiar plot holes and numerous chase scenes that seem to be happening for no good reason. We have evil agents shooting to kill from across the room, but later getting the drop on our heroes and choosing bad-bad guy banter instead of just blasting away. The main action stars are also indestructible as they tumble, fall, crash and smash through walls and windows and get nary a scratch. I’m not sure if it’s the result of the 3-D format, but some of the effects looked off and some of the laws of physics seem totally ignored.

 

Souls without Spark

There’s a scene where Optimus Prime is engaged in combat and says that his opponent has no soul. It’s a fitting statement because it summarizes my entire feeling about this franchise. The original Transformers were all autonomous …cybernetic…sentient…beings. They had personalities that went well beyond gross characterizations. The identities were matched with what they transformed into and the bots had relationships with each other. Starscream was always plotting and scheming, but Soundwave had Megatron’s back and was his loyal top lieutenant. Now we are only left with slick-evil racers and ready to kick-much ass bravado. Character development is focused squarely on the human side of things and frankly, nobody cares to see that. Let’s see more of the Transformers world. How about the evil leader tell us his plan as he thinks of it, as opposed to some big reveal or weird recounting of the overall plan- right at the point that the writers think we might get lost. I go to these movies to see Transformers. They sold me on the Dinobots and then held them back for the final fight. For a movie that clocks in at 2 hours and 45 minutes, it’s a long time to wait.

 

Director Michael Bay is doing fine with the sprawling fight scenes, chaos and destruction. It’s up to writer Ehren Kruger (Dark of the Moon, Revenge of the fallen, the ring, Scream 3) to craft a story that weaves around the robots and fully develops them into characters we care about. The Transformers Age of Extinction is by no means a bad movie, it’s just not as good as it should have been. Before this movie series truly does go extinct, there better be some evolving.  I’m not a movie critic, I’m just critiquing a movie.

 

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  1. July 1, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Reblogged this on Rapper's Delite.

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