Well I went to see the latest Transformers movie the other week…
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) – Rated PG-13
“A mechanic and his family join the Autobots as they are targeted by a bounty hunter from another world.”
One Line Review: Blatantly moronic and somewhat offensive, should definitely go extinct.
I am so confused. I have rarely seen a more blog-provoking film than Transformers: Age of Extinction. I could write an entire week’s worth of blogs on this one movie BUT, in order to do that, I would have to sit through this awful mess once or twice more to get all the salient points down. I am a glutton for punishment but I have to draw the line somewhere.
It is hard to believe that this is the fourth of these monstrosities in seven years. Harder still is that there are two more already set. I enjoyed the trashiness of the first film in a Mortal Kombat kind of way but it had pretty much exhausted the premise by the end of the first film. I saw the next two films but found them to be even more brain dead than the initial feature.
Age of Extinction marks the start of a new trilogy. Jettisoned is the fetishization of Megan Fox, the not famous Shia LaBeouf, the unbearably bad comedy stylings of the otherwise reliable John Turturro (go watch Miller’s Crossing to see him in a good role), and the entire Witwicky saga.
Mark Wahlberg is Cade Yeager, a robotics tinkerer, mechanic, and inventor whose farm is being foreclosed on. While I like Wahlberg, his character is the least convincing scientist/engineer/mechanic since Denise Richards played Dr. Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough. Director Michael Bay and writer Ehren Kruger try to simultaneously portray him as brilliant (he knows every piece of equipment and how to use it, from old cinema pieces to modern weaponry) and yet goofy (his inventions don’t work, he maintains a perfect physique while not remembering to eat).
I’ll refrain from commenting on the various female characters as the rampant misogyny in this film definitely deserves its own post. At any rate, while there are half a dozen or so female characters, none of them really rate.
Stanley Tucci plays tech billionaire Joshua Joyce, an odd mix of comic relief and Basil Exposition. His is the only complex character in the film. This is clearly Kelsey Grammer’s summer. He is the human villain here, appeared in Think Like a Man Too, and also cameos as Beast in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Next month, he appears as one of The Expendables 3.
Early in the film, there is a scene set in an abandoned, dilapidated movie theater. This scene is ridiculously awkward. I think it is Bay or Kruger’s ode to cinema a la Scorsese’s Hugo or The Artist but it just comes across as sad. Apparently, in addition to the vintage movie equipment, the theater contains a football (?) and the remains of a tractor trailer cab. Clunky, ham-fisted? You betcha. Effective? Not in the least.
The biggest laugh was the worst product placement I have seen since Mystic River’s blocked and faced home pantry. We have some vehicular mayhem during which a lot of Bud Light aluminum is prominently jettisoned on to the road. While I did laugh at that, mere moments later Cade (Wahlberg) actually picks one up, properly facing the label to the camera, and drinks it. Why the obviously shook up carbonated beverage didn’t explode in his face is a question for you, dear reader.
For the twelve-year-old boys: Yes, this movie is LOUD and BLOWS STUFF UP real good. The Dinobots featured in the previews don’t show up until near the end of the movie.
For the rest of you: The movie is interminably long – about two hours and forty minutes but is so LOUD that you will not be able to nap through it. You have been warned.
Oh well at least I got another of those nice plastic cups for the movie room.