By Eddie Burton (New Jersey)
transformers-age-of-extinction

 

What Michael Bay does in Transformers 4, is what he manages to do in every one of his movies, which is make a long movie seem like an eternity. Transformers as a movie series has been best known for being overly long and unnecessarily complex. The same can be said with this installment of the Transformers series, but does that make it bad? Well, you can’t talk about a sequel without talking about its predecessors. Unlike a lot of people, I don’t hate any of the movies. I understand that it’s the “in” thing to hate on Michael Bay films, Transformers 2 in particular, but with all the Transformers films, I always found something to enjoy.

The first Transformers was an ok start to the series, but surprisingly enough, is one of my least favorite of the franchise. Transformers 2 was the movie that really sucked me into the world, characters, and story. Ironically, Transformers 2 is considered by almost all fans of Transformers, the worst out of all the movies. For me personally, it’s my second favorite of the franchise. Is the film perfect? No, not by any means. But was it entertaining? That it was.

Transformers 3 on the other hand was flat out boring, and had far too much going on at one time. To the point where you got lost in the shuffle of all the sub plots in the movie. Again though, I don’t hate any of the movies, and with Transformers 3, I thought the dramatic moments were done superbly, and fit right in with the overall plot. Now were at Transformers 4, and I didn’t go into this film very enthusiastic. Namely because I wasn’t too happy with the turnout of Transformers 3, Michael Bay was back in the directors seat, and Mark Wahlberg was cast in the lead role. It’s pointless to say I’m not a Mark Wahlberg fan, but…I’m not a Mark Wahlberg fan. He seems like a nice enough guy, but as an actor, he reminds me of Leonardo DiCaprio, in that I don’t see him as the character he portrays on the screen. When Mark Wahlberg is on screen, I only see Mark Wahlberg, not the character. Which can be very distracting. With Transformers 4 on the other hand, he plays the character so believably, I was ready to cry. Simply because I finally saw Wahlberg delivering a “great” performance, and in a Transformers movie no less. Which is shocking in itself.

The whole cast does a superb job in their respective roles. Stanley Tucci (no surprise) does fantastic, but the real surprise was Kelsey Grammar as main human antagonist Harold Attinger. Every time I see Grammar on screen, I immediately think of Frasier Crane. It’s very hard for that image and name to get out of my brain when I see him in any role. This role however was the exception. Kelsey Grammar as Harold Attinger was as close to “perfect casting” as you can get. He completely sucked himself into the character it seemed, and played it with all sincerity. Not kooky or over the top. Legitimately menacing, despite the characters motivations in the movie being very murky, and not making much sense.

The only roles that I wish were cast differently would be Shane Dyson’s. I don’t know, just something about the execution of performance by actor Jack Reynor didn’t exactly sit right with me. Not to say he was terrible, but his performance was the most flawed, and with a cast that were all at their best, the flawed of ones performances are much more noticeable. Other than him though, the cast was as perfect as it could’ve been.

The action in Transformers: Age of Extinction was stellar. Smooth to the touch, and with such chaos in the scene, you really got a good sense of what was going on. In simple terms, you could follow the action very well. Complaints coming out of this movie were that the action was loud and to “in your face.” Well, to be fair, its Transformers. How did you not expect that? Optimus Prime does ride a robotic dinosaur by the way, and yes, it is as bad ass as it sounds. As I alluded to earlier, the main villain’s motives are very questionable. Without giving away too much, Attinger’s main goal is to rid the earth of all autobots and Decepticons. How does he go about doing it? By working with Decepticons. Sort of counterproductive when the people you’re working with are the same people you plan on getting rid of. With that said, a lot of the issues in this movie can be summed up in one word. Repetitive.

A lot of what happens in this film happened in the last one. Humans fight against the autobots and want to see them gone. Happened in the third. Main female star taken against her will and main male star spends half the movie trying to save her. Happened in…all the films. So yeah, it can be a bit frustrating when you say to yourself “I’ve seen this before” on a continuous basis throughout the entire length of the movie.

Another fault with the film is the running time. A two hour and forty five minute Michael Bay movie is way too long for anyone to sit through. The movie could’ve been forty five minutes shorter and been fine. But Bays egotistical ways got the best of him and he crammed as much as he could so he could not only meet his budget, but exceed it. Then again, maybe without the 2 hour 45 minute running time, we wouldn’t have gotten the character development we got. Throughout the movie, you really grow to love and relate to certain characters, and grow to hate others. But you love and relate to the characters that you’re supposed to love and relate to, and hate the characters you’re supposed to hate.

As a movie overall, this film was definitely the highlight of the franchise and really gave me hope for the next one. Transformers 4 can be compared to X-Men: Days of Futures Past. Both movies had a poor third film, yet both made an impactful comeback, and gave their fans hope again. As well as high hopes for the next movie. Transformers 4 is a fun ride with a talented cast, spectacular visuals, exciting action sequences, and a very captivating story.

Rating: 8/10

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