Michael Bay did not make good on his promise to quit after three Transformers movie; I know, big surprise! So we have a new movie with a brand new cast (bye bye Shia LaBeouf) and a story so complicated it needed a footnotes character (everyone in Inception was a footnotes character) but Bay is too busy blowing stuff up to care. As a result Transformers: Age of Extinction is more of a pure cinema experience than Inception ever was.
Sure unintentional comedy exists in the form of muscle-bound Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg)–get a load of that name willya?–an inventor who is protective of his barely-clad teenage daughter and insists that theirs is a no dating household. Yeah, right.
And there are more subplots than an afternoon soap opera:
- The giant robot bounty hunter Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan) who is chasing Optimus Prime to bring back to ‘their maker’.
- A secret plot to synthesise Transformers controllable by humans
- Transformers that turn into giant mechanical dinosaurs.
Tessa Yeager (Nicola Peltz) is a way more annoying character than Kim Bauer ever was in the 24 TV series. And the movie is 165 minutes long.
Mr. Bay knows his way around an action set-piece. There is dramatic imagery to spare in Transformers: Age of Extinction with explosions, dramatic angles, collisions, giant robot-on-robot battles, and more carnage and destruction than any natural disaster has ever wrought. It is almost as if Mr. Bay is using this movie to state that Go Big Or Go Home filmmaking is far from extinct as long as he’s still occupying the director’s chair.
The performances by the leads are nothing to write home about and the villainous machinations of characters played by Kelsey Grammer, Titus Welliver and Stanley Tucci are far more engaging to watch than any time Ms. Peltz and Mr. Wahlberg spend on screen.
Final Analysis: This is the definition of the big, loud Action Movie. if you’re in the mood and have the patience to stay put for 165 minutes, you might derive some enjoyment from Transformers: Age of Extinction.