Transformers Age of Extinction
Written by Steven Panzarella(@ProCreateSteve)
The Short- Transformers Age of Extinction Proves that Michael Bay can blow stuff up but he is incapable of telling an actual story worth watching. Age of Extinction is nearly 3 hours long and not at any moment does it make sense, It is poorly written, poorly directed and is the worst movie of 2014 so far. Age of Extinction is going to make a fortune at the box office but that doesn’t take away from just how bad it is.
Where do you start with a movie like Transformers Age of Extinction? I have no idea how to address this movie because it had no idea what story it was trying to tell. Age of Extinction is the fourth in the series of Transformers movies. Movies that have banked at the box office but a franchise that has gotten worse as it progressed. It is a loud, poorly written action flick that never makes much sense and shows just how little Michael Bay now cares about storytelling.
Age of Extinction takes place 5 years after Transformers Dark of The Moon, it follows self-proclaimed inventor Cade Yeager(Yes his name is Cade…Yeager) a broke, overprotective father and inventor who after buying a rusty truck that is for some reason sitting in the middle of a broken down movie theater discovers it to be autobot leader Optimus Prime. A secret CIA operations group has taken the task of hunting the autobots and decepticons that are left, stripping them for their metal and throwing the rest away. The CIA group is led by mysterious Harold Attinger (A villainous Kelsey Grammer) the operations director who has a hidden agenda and a deal with a deadly unknown Transformer.
Age of Extinction is a convoluted mess, Bay’s attempt to make us care about Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) falls desperately short and fails to make you care about anyone or anything in this film besides his special effects and strangely overuse of low camera angles. Bay’s main attraction are those special effects which are weirdly inconsistent, there is so much CGI in Age of Extinction that at times actors and extras react seconds after it seems like they should and some shots were grainy or inconsistent moment to moment. Bay brought in a brand new cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, TJ Miller, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci and Titus Welliver, which explains why Bay tries to get in 2 movies worth of background in the movies first hour and tries to make up for it in the movies action packed second and nearly third hour. Transformers Age of Extinction feels less like a summer tent pole action movie and more like an attempt to see how many things he could unimpressively blow up in 3 hours. You can only destroy Chicago so many times before even the audience says “enough is enough”. I love long movies, especially when they tell a story I am excited to hear, movies like The Dark Knight, Zodiac, The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, and The Hobbit among others. The problem is that this is a movie that would be no different at 2 hours then it would be at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Why not instead of making a sequel with a new cast, find a more creative way to tell a new story in the same or similar universe as this one? I’ll get to that later.
The only 2 saving graces of Transformers Age of Extinction are Stanley Tucci who is the only memorable character and 2 scenes with comedian and cameo legend Thomas Lennon. Tucci makes due with Ehren Kruger’s abominable script as the head of a company trying to use the transformer metal to make better transformers and Lennon is funny as the US president’s brand new, scared shitless chief of staff. Neither saves the movie from its fate but both are memorable and fun. While we are on the topic of Ehren Kruger let’s just mention that the script of Age of Extinction seems like it was written during and after 2 nights where the writer did nothing but drink a 6 pack of red bull. A unimaginative mess of a script that makes Mark Wahlberg look very bad, the Oscar nominated actor gets lines like at one point exclaiming “I’M AN INVENTOR” which would be fine if I believed it and continually calls his daughter’s boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor) “lucky charms” because of his somewhat noticeable Irish accent and because there are no other insults he can hurl at the guy who has been secretly dating his daughter. The dialogue is dreadfully bad, the story is nonexistent and somehow Cade Yeager, an unimaginative inventor turns into a soldier with perfect aim because well it’s an action movie and he is played by Mark Wahlberg and the good guys always win blah, blah, blah.
Before I posed the question “Why not instead of making a sequel with a new cast, find a more creative way to tell a new story in the same or similar universe as this one? “ well it’s because Transformers Age of Extinction is a heartless, gutless, cash grab that will make a billion dollars and make plenty of studio executives very rich so don’t be surprised to see Transformers 5 coming down the pike for a 2016 release. Michael Bay is no better than any of the bad action directors we have seen over the years, the only difference is his massive budget, and his signature style that hasn’t changed in 15 years. My experience watching Transformers Age of Extinction did give me one thing, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to get punched in the face repeatedly for 2 hours and 45 minutes and now I know, so that’s nice.