Transformers 4: Age of Extinction gets better at a lot of things. Even if it still doesn’t actually get anything completely right. Even if it is still full of mostly the same old shit. Dizzying camera moves, slow motion shots, a downright stupid amount of buildings being crushed and the customary young girl belly button and or ass shot. Yeah, Age has all that and another hour of other unnecessary super crap that could have been cut out of the nearly 3 hour running time.
BUT! We do get to replace the whiny Shia Labeouf with the likeable Mark Wahlberg. Hell, we get a fresh slate with the entire cast. Plug and play characters? Sure! Only this time the fresh crop is way more likeable and sympathetic. We aren’t talking Oscar nominations here or anything but after three movies of the exact same people doing the exact same things (Think Tyrese running around stating the obvious as toughly as he can pretend to be. For THREE mother loving movies.) I’d rather change my name to Witwicky than see any of that nonsense again.
There are still cringe-worthy lines throughout the script but the difference is this cast seems unload the “what the fuck did he just say?” moments as though they are in a stupid and fun blockbuster movie about toys. Offenders from the previous cast would say the same dumb shit while trying to look cool. (See previous Tyrese comment). The jokes land a lot more when you don’t want to throat punch the people saying them on screen. Hence, Extinction is also the funniest Transformer movie yet. It helps that the humor comes from actual written jokes and not just robots pissing on stuff. (see Transformers 2)
Here’s a big deal: the Transformers are way cooler in Age of Extinction. Sure, the people who have been into this since childhood aren’t going to be completely pleased yet and they probably shouldn’t be. But for those “I don’t know shits about Transformers” people like me all that matters is the Autobots looks light-years cooler now than they did in the previous films. In every Michael Bay explosion porn that came before I hated just about every Autobot except Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Here we get a kickass Samarai-bot, a John Goodman bot and some assassin like bad guy Transformers that use big ass guns.
Remember the ghetto bots? (refer again to Transformers 2) I’d rather own Jar-Jar Binks as a pet than ever see those bastards again. In Extinction the bad guys are cooler and the Autobots don’t make you want to jump off a building into a Mortal Kombat like pit full of spikes and skeleton bones. Also, the miniature sesame street looking fuckers are barely in this film thank god. Oh yeah, and another thing? No big deal? Mother fucking DINO BOTS. Optimus Prime with a big-ass sword riding a goddamn Dinosaur Autobot…….AMERICA.
The special effects are by far the best of the series. This thing felt like a total theme park ride at times. (Wait…..you did that on purpose you soulless goon!) Even though it may be for dirty superficial reasons that Bay wants to drop a gargagillion dollars on a single film for this, we can’t really complain considering we have been seeing fit to pay the tab for it all these years. For the love of Nike commercials and gold chains you just have to laugh at the sheer fun stupidity of it all. We ask for too much from these movies. If it’s a fun ride who gives a shit if it doesn’t have anything to say? All that matters in Transformer land is does the fun out-weigh the boring. It passes. Although there is still too much boredom for a movie that is supposed to be this simple.
After nearly three hours Bay’s camera movements become nauseating and so do the so-stupid-I-want-to-kick-my-own-face-with-an-iceskate story lines. Seriously someone PLEASE take the pen and the camera from Bay halfway through production because when you don’t we end up with conversations about robot souls and I swear to god if we EVER cover the “humans don’t like Autobots so they threaten to leave and come back again” thing again I’m gonna tie myself to something heavy and roll off a boat into the middle of the ocean.
Age of Extinction is more of the same, yet the best of the series. We don’t have a great movie, just a fun little ride and that is just fine and dandy. Nearly three hours of mother effin’ ass numbing dandy. 6.5/10 – Mike