Transformers: Age of Extinction
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, and Kelsey Grammer
By Monte Yazzie
It’s clear that there are plenty of different explosions Michael Bay can generate in 165 minutes. The fourth incarnation, which forgoes the cast from the past three films, introduces a world where the Transformers are hunted as fugitives and are forced into hiding. Bay, synonymous with the summer blockbuster, throws more narrative into the drawn-out continuing story of the battling robots yet “Age of Extinction” feels the most void of substance in the franchise lineup.
Earth has been saved from destruction but at the cost of a devastated Chicago. In the wake of the battle a black ops government group is reshaping the world with intentions of never needing the Transformers again. Betrayed by the humans they came to protect, Optimus Prime and the Autobots are in hiding. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is an inventor living in Texas who finds Optimus’ damaged semi-truck alteration in a rundown theater. The black ops group, organized by a C.I.A. higher-up (Kelsey Grammer) and supported by a tech mogul (Stanley Tucci), is looking for Optimus who is brought back to function by Cade. Optimus and the remaining Autobots must fight for humanity again against an ancient foe and a newly developed weapon.
Bay continues the onslaught of special effects however things seem to be more comprehensive effects wise than the transforming chaos of the past films. Still, the monotony settles in rather quickly as the battle scenes become indistinguishable from each other. Transformers fight, someone retreats, they fight again, repeat. Ehren Kruger, the writer of all but one of the films, adds more narrative developments and side plots than necessary. Characters are introduced quickly, some lost in the mix or simply discarded along the way, though there are noteworthy ones mostly because of the performances from the actors. Stanley Tucci is excellent as an outlandish inventor, supplying the film with humor along with a morality note. Kelsey Grammer demonstrates his intimidation and Titus Welliver barks head shaking tough guy sentiments as the leader of the black ops squad. Wahlberg does his best with the character; amongst numerous issues with the character the most confusing is how to an inventor becomes such a capable combatant.
The Transformers are given numerous foes yet none feel particularly threatening. It’s an issue that flaws many summer popcorn films. Danger is merely a notion without any consequences. There is nothing wrong with simple, easily viewed entertainment. Still, it’s difficult to identify what audience this film is for? It’s too long to hold the attention of young viewers and fans of the franchise won’t find anything different to separate this experience from the past films. If a routine, special effects laden film is what you are looking for and you have the time already set aside, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” might be for you.
2.00 out of 5.00