[This review contains spoilers for Transformers 4: Age of Extinction. Read at your own risk.]
Chicago is in ruins and despite their valiant efforts to save mankind from the Decepticons, the Autobots are being hunted by the humans. Transformers 4: Age of Extinction brings all of the explosions and holes in the plot its previous films had, but this one is lacking in something more, originality. With a brand new cast and the potential for a completely new story line, Transformers 4 had the ability to rescue the failing series and break box office records. However, that isn’t quite what happened. The latest Transformers movie isn’t completely horrible, but movie-goers will only tolerate the incessant explosions and dramatic action scenes for so long. Sure, they are exciting while they are happening, but the surge of excitement it brings the audience is gone almost as fast as it comes. We crave a strong plot line, and Transformers doesn’t have it.
As with the previous Transformer films, the movie is far too long, 165 minutes, with a plot line that is painfully dragged out and gaping with holes that need to be filled with information. Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg seem unconcerned about changing anything about the series. Why fix what isn’t broken? The movies are just good enough to bring in the money at the box-office.
Mark Wahlberg plays the over-protective father, Cade Yeager, that is also an inventor. He has a habit of spending the little money that he does have on small machines and other trinkets in hopes of repurposing the parts and selling them for cash. Yeager has a gorgeous daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz), that is severely annoying. Her character could be likable if she wasn’t such an overdeveloped teenager. Tessa drinks, parties, has a boyfriend that sneaks into her house, defies her father, and believes she is an adult that can take care of herself. She is also incredibly whiny. The only part that is likable about her is her looks. She is gorgeous, and director Michael Bay makes sure you know it with his strange camera sequences that shoot close ups on certain parts of her body for no apparent reason.
If you’ve seen the trailers for Transformers 4, then you know that Yeager spends a bit of time in an old abandoned theater. While there, the owner of the theater tells Yeager that in his opinion, movies are “Junk. Sequels and remakes; that kind of crap.” Never have truer words been spoken in a Michael Bay film. This guy summed up Transformers 4 in less than ten words. Yeager is sorting through old cameras, lenses, film, and other trinkets when he spots an old 18-wheeler in the back of the theater that has seen better days. He buys the truck in hopes of selling the parts for some extra cash. Unbeknownst to him, the 18-wheeler is Optimus Prime.
The Autobots are back and some amazing stuff is going to go down, right? Not quite. A good action movie needs a certain element of suspense that isn’t found in this film. The Autobots learn that a company called KSI, founded by Joshua Joyce, has cracked the Autobot genome and is looking to build their own Autobots. So, they fight back against the evil Autobot impostors, and Michael Bay vomits action scenes from here on out. There are so many that I found myself growing tired and trying not to fall asleep or scream the phrase, “Oh my God!” like Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) does when he realizes he’s probably going to die from the apocalypse that he created.
2.5 / 5 stars