As soon as the words Directed by Michael Bay came across the screen I turned to my boy and said “I guess”. My boy said that after the first hour and a half, he felt like he was being held hostage. He then went on to describe that the feeling this movie gave him is one where he’s at the beach and in the ocean where waves continue to crash on him again and again.
To be fair, we both went in hoping to mildly enjoy this as we both somewhat enjoyed the previous entry Dark of the Moon. And sadly, nothing in Age of Extinction comes close to being as entertaining as the Battle of Chicago from the previous film, despite having the biggest set pieces of the series so far. But, with that said I was bored and just wanted it to be over. Just so you know this is the longest entry in the series thus far, which is not a good thing as these films are all unnecessarily long clocking somewhere around at 2 and half hours (this one close to 3 hours). My boy asked if I was gonna see it again on IMAX, since the company gave Bay their new 4K digital cameras to shoot 60 minutes of this movie on and I answered with a firm no.
Cade Yeager (played by Mark Wahlberg) is a down on his luck and broke inventor who stumbles across Optimus Prime, who is now bitter that Autobots AND Decepticons are being hunted and used for parts to build new Transformers to be used by the US Army. Leading this operation is Harold Attinger (played by Kelsey Grammar) and his point man James Savoy (played by Titus Welliver). Both men will stop at nothing to get what they want which is the Transformers race wiped out. Soon, Cade, his daughter Tessa (played by Nicola Peltz), and her newly discovered boyfriend Shane Dyson (played by Jack Raydor) find themselves on the run and joining up with the Autobots to stop Attinger and the oncoming Apocalypse.
Yes, that premise is stupid and to be honest this got as intimate as these things can get when we’re on the Yeager estate, bad dialogue and all. We’re even invested a little bit, especially in Optimus Prime, who is bitter and hurt by how humans have treated him, and Cullen gives Optimus a surprising amount of angst and emotion. But then Michael Bay has gotta blow shit up with the low angle shots and shit and that’s when we start going though the same motions.
After the sequence in Chicago, I honestly just wanted this shit to be over. But since China footed half the bill this time around, we have to go to Hong Kong and witness another 50 minutes of destruction including the beloved Dinobots that everyone wanted who are only in the last 30 minutes to serve as a desus ex machina. I found it kinda racist that the one major Chinese character knows kung fu. I found it even more racist that another character randomly helps her out when she becomes overpowered, and knows excellent kung fu as well. Also, in Chicago after being shot out of the sky, our three leads climb out of the spaceship, that fell stories and was banging into shit on the way down, unscathed and unarmed. Tessa is thrown from Optimus and tumbles end upon end and has not a scratch on her and still has perfect makeup. Also, if Optimus had a jetpack in his back why didn’t he use that to escape danger throughout this movie?
The score got on my nerves too integrating the bombastic song Imagine Dragons did for this movie called “Battle Cry”. Seriously I can go the rest of my life without hearing another somber “OOOOOOOHHHHHHOOOOOHHHHHHH”. Not to mention the song is played twice in spots that had me scratching my head as it was jarring that it just come on the soundtrack.
And man this movie gave off a lot of pedophilia vibes from the close up shot Ms. Peltz in her short shorts, to the comments from TJ Miller’s character, to the Romeo and Juliet law which I had to look up and I still can’t believe it’s real. But then again the sexualization of women is one of Bay’s trademarks as we know from Megan Fox in all of the first two and the opening shot of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s ass in the third movie.
The only bright spot in this film besides the spaceship chase in Chicago is Stanley Tucci, who is having so much fun the movie drags down when he’s not on screen.
At this point you know what you’re getting into. If you were smart, you’d go see Edge of Tomorrow 3D. X-Men: Days of Future Past. How to Train Your Dragon 2. The Signal. 22 Jump Street. Or even the small indie film Chef. But I mean, this has to be good to someone as I went on Twitter last night and saw that massive amounts of people liked it. Remember when you give your money to shit, they’ll keep cranking out shit.