“More of the same”
It’s no surprise that with each subsequent instalment of the Transformers franchise hitting the billion dollar mark at the worldwide box office, even with an ever declining audience consensus, that we’ve now arrived at film number four, Age Of Extinction. New cast of characters, a new lead, new settings, but can all these influences wipe the slate clean and change the perception of Michael Bay‘s series of robot fights and mass destruction, or are we in for more of the same.
Desperate to support his family, inventor Cade Yeagar (played by Mark Wahlberg) lucks upon an old cheap rusted truck, unknown to him that the heap of scrap metal is in fact autobot leader Optimus Prime in hiding. But when his discovery is leaked, CIA Agent Attinger (Kelsey Grammar) looks to hunt down the exiled Optimus with the help of Joyce (Stanley Tucci), company creator of man-made Transformers, and rid the Earth of the robots once and for all. However, their secret weapon may not go according to plan.
Even with its newly solid cast list and big budget effects, it’s yet again an absolute clunker of a movie. All the problems the previous films suffered are all brought up yet again and the early promise of a new cast injecting life into the series ultimately fails to pay off. With any big action movie of a running time nearing three hours, it commits the deadly sin that even with non-stop explosions and destruction, the film just gets boring. The story mirrors the previous film by having our robotic heroes play a massive part in human history, but then abandons that concept and just gets down to the undisciplined chaos by an ultimately undisciplined director.
It’s dialogue is ill-judged, rubbish acting, no dedication to its plot and the overbearing sense of Michael Bay finding his comfort in action, bad comedy and ensuring his film looks ultra styled rather than getting down and creating any rounded cinema experience. With no coherence in it’s running time, it just resorts to looking like pointless set piece after set piece, trying to make itself hold together but failing miserably. In its defence, in comparison, it’s a better effort than some of the previous instalments in the series, but then again, the task of producing anything remotely better wasn’t much of a challenge to applaud.
It’s just much more of the same, to the point you feel there’s no other formula to making these movies other than throwing every dollar at the screen. Just when you hope Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci, who are usually great, can rejuvenate these movies, even their screen talent can’t save it. Almost to the point that all the supporting cast surrounding them are completely pointless and hollow. With Bay publicly claiming he’s not the slightest bit phased about the opinions of detractors, continuing to churn out morally worthless, clichéd movies such as this means he’ll happily welcome a new wave of negativity.
It’s bigger, louder, longer, everything cranked up and the ever-present faults of the series are either stupidly played on or exaggerated even more so. Yet judging by these movies having an astronomical box office taking, this series is unfortunately nowhere near extinction anytime soon.