Here we go again. So humans and Autobots no longer see eye to eye. Things take a turn for the worse when some nefarious corporation decides to start manufacturing their own giant transforming robots. There’s something about Mark Wahlberg not wanting this older guy putting it in his daughter, I don’t know, it’s a Transformers movie, it doesn’t really matter. Let me get this clear from the beginning: I do not like these movies, and probably never will. I watch them for the same reason that I watch everything: so as to be able to offer commentary (yes, I’ve also seen all five Twilight movies as well, so I witness both ends of the spectrum). I’ve actively disliked this entire series, but there was a tiny part of my brain that thought this could be marginally better due to the fact that Michael Bay, in my opinion, had just knocked it out of the park with Pain & Gain. It seemed as if he learned a lesson in humility, took a look back at his career and made a joke at his own expense. Just in the same way that you were mistaken that Adam Sandler turned a corner with Funny People, Michael Bay is back to doing the exact same thing he was doing before.
Firstly, even if you haven’t seen this, you’ve likely seen the trailer. Everything that the trailer takes two and a half minutes to get through takes 45 minutes here, without adding any additional depth. When your movie is approaching 3 hours for no reason, I’m going to deduct points when you waste more of my time than what is absolutely necessary. With every passing movie, the runtime gets more and more bloated, and it takes so excruciatingly long to get from point A to point B. Now I can’t remember any of the previous storylines, but haven’t the Autobots been saying that they’re done with humans for the last two movies? Not that anyone can keep up with the dozens of subplots that they keep drifting in and out of. There is no mention of the previous characters, as Shia LaBeouf got dropped like a bad habit. I suppose I do prefer Wahlberg to LaBeouf; at least he doesn’t run around, yelling “nononononono”, but he is still playing the broadest of broad stereotypes along with everybody else. Brass tacks, let me get into what’s wrong with Trans4mers. While this is marginally better shot than the others, it’s still difficult to deduce what is happening in the thick of the action, as it is still a bunch of metal clashing together.
I took an unofficial poll, and the main reason people were excited about this? Optimus Prime riding a T-Rex. This takes up such a small percentage of the movie, and even when you see it, it still looks like the inside of a car accident.
One thing that you are probably not expecting is the amount of 9/11 metaphors that are featured here, and it’s the opposite of subtle; you’re getting bashed over the head with it at every turn, and you’re just ready to scream, “We get it!” at the screen. The sense of humor isn’t as offensive as 2, but it is nowhere near as edgy or as biting as Pain & Gain, so it fails to leave an impression. I don’t understand the people that say that they just watch these movies to turn their brains off and watch things blow up; at every detonation and every robot punch, I always felt like I was looking at a special effect, so it lost any possibility at a sense of wonderment. This is an action series for the lowest common denominator, and it is sure to exhaust you and wear you down with numbing explosions.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) *
– Critic for Hire