Movie Review – Transformers: Age of Extinction

     So, on a whim, I decided to go see Transformers: Age of Extinction. I mean, I saw the first three films so I might as well see the newest installment. Nearly three hours later, I knew two things: 1) This movie would make a lot of money because of it’s a big budget Michael Bay film; and 2) Michael Bay’s storytelling has not gotten any better and this movie suffers from his need to have big explosions. 

     First, I’m not a Michael Bay hater. I enjoy his films and, out of this whole film series, the first was the absolute best because of an excellent story combined with Michael Bay’s directing. The first film had a way of bringing out your inner child and showing why the Transformers franchise has such a huge following. Then, in typical Bay fashion, Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon had to go bigger but not better. This film follows the same trend. 
     Transformers: Age of Extinction picks up five years after The Battle of Chicago in Dark of the Moon. The Autobots and Decepticons remaining on Earth have been forced into hiding for survival due to humans hunting them. Struggling inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) buys a truck in hope of earning some money for his daughter (Nicola Peltz) to go to college. When Cade discovers the truck is an injured Optimus Prime, he steps into the re-ignited Transformers War.
     The way the film starts millions of years ago, the same way Revenge of the Fallen began. This time it was during the age of the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are just roaming until alien spaceships hover overhead and use a probe to bring them to extinction. All that is left are fossilized remains, which are uncovered by a scientist in the Arctic in the present time. This all becomes important later on but I’m not going to spoil that if you are adamant on seeing the movie. As the film goes on, we learn that the government has created an elite unit led by its creator, CIA agent Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammar), to hunt the remaining transformers on Earth but unable to capture Optimus Prime. When Yeager revives the Autobot leader, it puts him and his family on the run from their home in Texas, then Chicago, and finally in Hong Kong.
     Stanley Tucci plays Joshua Joyce, Attinger’s partner, who looks to capitalize on the hunt for the Transformers by creating tech from their remains. Tucci does a good job with his arrogant, weasel-like character before he grows a conscience. Typical, I know. Micheal Bay also introduces an unknown actress in Peltz, playing Yeager’s daughter. Bay has a way of having his movies make stars out of actresses looking for their big break. We’ll see if that trend continues because I was not impressed at all by her. While Mark Wahlberg is good in an action film adding in his own comedic value and charm to the movie, it was a little hard to take him seriously in this film. I’ll say this; he is a sizable upgrade from previous Transformers lead actor, Shia LaBeouf.
     Of course, it wouldn’t be a Transformers film without the robots getting into the action. Yes, there are a few robot battles, especially with Transformer bounty hunter helping the government. Robots fight, cities are destroyed, and crap blows up. Oh, it does blow up. What really cripples Bay’s film is the time length. The first hour was impressive but as time went on, I just felt numb and exhausted with the film, wondering when the final battle would arrive. Ultimately, Age of Extinction could be considered one of the weakest of the series. Michael Bay has said that this film would be the start of a new trilogy of Transformers films and the way it ended, I think he’s right. If he is, it’s not starting off well. 
     If you have seen the previous films in the series and liked them, want to see a summer popcorn flick, or just to get out of the house, I would recommend this movie. But just check your brain at the door. 

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