Michael Bay’s fourth installment of the “Transformers” franchise is certainly going to split critics, fans, and casual movie goers alike. This mostly comes from the fact that “Age of Extinction” is VERY similar to other films by Michael Bay. And by this I mean extremely loud and extremely abundant explosions, at every possible moment. The funniest part of this is that Bay feels no shame in starting this at about the fifteen minute mark, and it does not stop until the films conclusion.
For all its faults, and this film has a fair number of them, it is the first Transformers film where I actually do not want the humans to get stepped on (purposely or “accidentally”). In truth, I actually liked the humans in this film, and cared about what happened to them. Mark Wahlberg’s role is a generic father type character that has been seen dozens of times throughout the history of cinema. However, it is two large steps forward from Shia LaBeouf and his screaming throughout the entire film; “BEE! BUMBLEBEE! OPTIMUS! AHH!” Alongside Walhberg are Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor. I felt Reynor’s character was sort of bland, and although Peltz is obviously in this film to provide the “hot” female role, she gives a more believable performance than either Megan Fox or the blonde chick from “Dark of the Moon.” The rest of the human characters try do the best they can with the script they are given, and sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. But for the most part, the humans were actually not the weak link in this film.
Sadly, the weak link was actually the special effects. There were times where I was rolling my eyes at the CGI, or cringing at the “Shaky-Cam” that was added to a number of action shots. The robots in this movie sometimes appear far less real than they did in previous films, and this really needs to be touched up in later films.
Of course, as I’m sure most of you can tell, this movie still focuses a bit too much on the humans. That being said, this film finally has every Autobot speaking and doing something on screen. This is very important, as the film series is called TRANSFORMERS. The characters I care about the most in this series are the Autobots, and one in particular; Optimus Prime. “Age of Extinciton” gives a new way of looking at the iconic leader, as his position is not 100% the same that we have seen in other films. Believe me when I say that there are some moments that you, as a movie goer, will be surprised by how characters, both human and Transformer, react to circumstances that surround them.
All in all, “Age of Extinction” is by no means movie of the year, but it is a fun film. The story is muddled, like in previous films, but it is still a bit more cohesive and believable than, say, “Dark of the Moon.” I personally felt that this was the best Transformer’s film to date, but I know some people will disagree. It is a film that has some moments that truly deserve applause, and others that will anger the audience greatly. Nevertheless, this is a fun summer film. I would recommend seeing this film, but do not expect to it to be a picture perfect movie. If you are willing to let certain things go, I believe that most people will be able to find something fun in “Age of Extinction.”
7 out of 10 stars