Wednesday 2 July 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction Movie Review!!!

Age of Extinction or more like Extinction of Original Cinema??? Read our review to find out!!!

All aboard the crazy train, Michael Bay is back with Transformers: Age of Extinction!!!

Wow!!! Amazing! Outstanding! These are some of the words I would not use to describe this movie.  Think of it as more like white noise for your eyeballs, like a form of stereotactic torture, perhaps one day usable to force confessions out of the Taliban.

A shame really… Despite all their shortcomings, Bay’s first Transformers movie still stands out as a landmark moment in my memory of movies.  It was the first time that I can recall seeing special effects in a movie that really looked real!  The Transformers that I had grown to love in my childhood were there on the big screen, in front of my eyes and they looked REAL!!!  By the beard of Astaroth, how on earth did the travesty known as The Golden Compass take the special effects Oscar with their phony polar bears when the far superior Transformers was there??

Sadly, the potential that we glimpsed in the first movie was never realized.  With each subsequent sequel, we’ve received poorer and poorer stories and witnessed the characters we love being turned into clowns.

Age of Extinction continues this trend.

Set some years after Dark of the Moon, the Autobots are no longer needed.  Mankind can take care of themselves and we can see this as a special US military task force travels around the world picking off the last Transformers.  We know something isn’t right when we realize that one of the robots they’re killing is in fact an Autobot.  Lead by the sinister Kelsey Grammer, it seems as if this US task force has ulterior motives and they seem to have assistance from a mysterious robot that is neither Autobot nor Decepticon.

The movie isn’t a complete disaster.  Stanley Tucci is pretty cool as the shady scientist / businessman.  Not innately bad, more misguided, he has the only human character arc in the movie that is worth taking note of. 

It’s also once again refreshing seeing the action going down in Hong Kong rather than the usual New York battle scene ending (obviously done to draw in Asian audiences as Chinese cinema goers are now the largest paying movie audience in the world, exceeding even the USA).  It doesn’t quite reach the spectacle of Pacific Rim’s Hong Kong action sequences but are pretty good nonetheless.

Special effects are great as can be expected but there isn’t really anything here that we haven’t seen before bigger and better.

Shia LaBeouf is gone and in his place steps in tough guy Mark Wahlberg.  What should be a welcome breath of fresh air actually makes for some really mundane viewing.  Wahlberg does his best opposite disrespectful daughter played by someone who’s not Megan Fox (Nicola Peltz) and her useless boyfriend.

Li Bingbing also adds nothing other than to make all westerners think that Chinese actresses are all called Bingbing (a la X-Men: Days of Future Past).

Bay makes attempts to draw in fans of the cartoons by introducing a villain that we are supposed to be familiar with as well as of course the Dinobots, which were fan favourites back in the day.  The movie incarnations are, however, mere shadows of the great original cartoon characters.

Unfortunately, the film just fails to engage and about half way through I found myself wondering how much more of the movie was left.   The over emphasis on the forgettable human characters comes at the expense of getting a Transformers story line that we can care about.  The film is also overly long, clocking in at a run time of around 3000 hours.

At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what I think.  With the highest weekend opening gross of any movie this year, it seems like pretty much everyone on the planet has already seen it.  It’s just one of those franchises that people will go to see regardless of what others say.  It’s pretty much a cert that we’ll be getting more of these mindless eyeball melting extended special effects showcases.  Reports are that this flick marks the start of a new trilogy of Transformers movies starring Wahlberg.

If you want to experience a hallucinogenic mind blitzing state for a few hours without doing drugs then go and check this out.

If you want a good Transformers movie, then nothing comes close to the 1986 animated movie!!!  It still rocks hard and if you look hard enough you can even watch the whole thing online.

I’m still adamant that Transformers as characters are amazing!  And in homage to the memory of my childhood, I strangely find myself recommending you catch this so that I can look forward to seeing another Transformers movie a few years down the line and then complain about it all over again.  Oh well, que sera sera.

Rating 2.5 out of 5


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