Cert: 12A Runtime: 165 mins Director: Michael Bay Cast: Mark Whalberg, Nicola Pletz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer
I was expecting a giant car
Michael Bay just why do you continue to make these films? Now we have Dinobots, the 5 year old me was crying inside seeing this movie. Anyway we can see where this is going, what is Transformers 4 all about? Years have passed since the devastating battle of Chicago and humans have turned against the Transformers. Then widowed inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) uncovers a beat-up old truck that turns out to be none other than Optimus Prime. Arrogant government agent Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) promptly arrives with a large military force demanding to know the whereabouts of the reactivated Autobot. Meanwhile, scientist Joshua (Stanley Tucci) isolates the unstable metal from which the Transformers are made. Little does humanity anticipate that this will attract a terrifying new menace!
From a technical/visual standpoint, it’s hard to claim that director Michael Bay doesn’t know what he’s doing. And to say Bay doesn’t know his audience would also be a misnomer. When every sequence contains either a teenage girl in short shorts or an explosion, I would say he knows exactly what his demo (the average male) wants and/or will, at the end of the day, pay to see. That said, even 100 million dollar visuals in the wrong hands, can manifest into something mind-numbingly repetitive, senseless and desensitizing. So much so, that I literally walked out of the movie three-quarters of the way through. And the rule I tend to adhere to is: If I walk out on a movie, even if it wasn’t savagely insulting to my intelligence or exploitative or a Happy Madison production, I feel that giving a one star rating to said movie is completely justified.The premise isn’t awful. It’s the cringe inducing dialogue, lack of plot focus and annoying characters (basically the overall script) which kills it. Allow me to rephrase that. All of these aspects horribly cripple the premise, but it’s Bay’s relentless pot and pan clanking assault on the senses style of direction that finishes off the job. And when Mark Wahlberg begins to act, things just go from bad to worse.
It’s not like Wahlberg is a bad actor, but Bay seems to accentuate every one of his acting flaws, until Mark’s character is reduced to a whiny bag of meat and his performance into one that will have audiences begging for the return of Shia LaBeouf.I don’t want to hear any Age of Extinction apologists who dismiss what I have to say based on some supposition that it was the subject matter (the Transformers themselves) which I had a problem with, and therefore must have gone into this instalment fingers crossed for failure. As I was actually one of the few critics who enjoyed the previous Transformers film, I can assure you that your assumption would be wrong. But if you’re defending this movie, I can probably make an assumption that you’re wrong about a lot of things in life.After about 2 hours of politely watching and re-watching the same slow motion sequence of Mark Wahlberg crashing through a plate glass window as things explode around him, I knew I’d seen all Michael Bay and “Transformers: Age of Extinction” had to offer. And yeah, I got bored. So again, while visually speaking this film wasn’t awful, sometimes a boring movie is far worse than a bad one.