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9 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Nearly As Fun As The Original Trilogy, June 27, 2014
This review is from: Transformers: Age of Extinction (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) (Blu-ray)
As long as human beings enjoy grabbing a large bucket of popcorn, a soft drink, and settling into their theater seat, there will be a market for "Transformers" movies, as they are the very essence of escapist cinema. What the original "Transformers" trilogy had going for it, though, was the fact that is was also just so much doggone fun! I am often viewed as a somewhat pretentious movie-watcher (liking films that make me think/feel), yet I liked all three previous films in this series while friends who were much more casual viewers fell away. I guess I just liked how much FUN it was to kick back and watch them! With "Age of Extinction", however, the serious tone throughout completely destroys any opportunity for fun. This is all robotics and family issues and government corruption. No time for levity whatsoever.

For a basic plot summary (some spoilers), "Age of Extinction" sees inventor (junk dealer?) Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) find the long-lost Optimus Prime after the Chicago Wars of previous films. By this time, a shadow sect inside the government (led by Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammar)) has partnered with a robotics company/laboratory (led by Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci)) in order to create Transformers...thus rendering Optimus and his original crew obsolete and thus expendable. Predictably, the plan goes haywire and a giant battle ensues...this time featuring Dino-Bots!

There are two main issues with this movie that made it a disappointing experience for me:

1. I still found myself marveling at some of the robot battle scenes, but this time there is no levity whatsoever. A two-and-a-half hour film cannot be whirling robot parts and explosions 24/7 (despite director Michael Bay's probable contrary views!). There needs to be some down time for character development and humor to create a balance. This film had no of that. Whereas the interplay between Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox was so dead-on and relatable to its target audience, this one is stereotyped and about as cardboard as a script can get. The characters never develop, the humor is forced a large portion of the time, and thus this movie is utterly vacant beyond the Transformers themselves.

Also on this note, I think that LaBeouf's absence is the biggest downfall. Say what you want (and one could say plenty) about LaBeouf's personal life these days, but in my mind he MADE the "Transformers" franchise. Without his hyper-kinetic energy, many scenes just fall flat.

2. This movie is WAAAAAAAAY too long. Chop off the last 45 minutes, and I'd probably bump it up a whole star rating. The last segment, though, is just about as bloated and un-inspiring as a film ending can get. I actually began wishing that the movie would just end, but instead was "treated" to battle after battle seemingly without end. As I said earlier, had earlier portions of the film balanced things out a bit better, maybe this type of ending wouldn't have seemed so over-the-top. As it was, though, it just dragged on, and on, and on.

Overall, I have a hard time believing that Steven Spielberg's name is still attached to this iteration of the franchise. He doesn't get involved with too many stinkers, but this is one of them. I can't guarantee that I won't view the inevitable next movie in the franchise, but I can with 100% certainty say this: I will likely never again be "really, really excited" to see a "Transformers" flick. That ship (sadly) has now sailed.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 28, 2014 9:19:03 AM PDT
Mark says:
I TOTALLY agree with you! From a action/visual stand point the movie was amazing, but some of the acting and the story development was just awful. I kinda had to set myself up before going in the movie. After watching the trailers I knew the plot was gonna be totally screwed and that the visual effects and battles were gonna be the only thing that made it watchable. Seems like that's how it turned out. I don't know where Bay lost his talent but this one's just "Okay". But millions of people will still watch it and they'll all make millions again and I'm sure another one will be out in a few years because they have such a large loving audience already. Oh and did you notice all the marketing and branding in the film? Beats, BudLight and Victoria's Secret all paid to be in it because they knew that millions of viewers would watch it. Well I'm done ranting now and I feel the same as you, won't ever be really excited to see another Transformers film.
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