Movie Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Titus Welliver, and Peter Weller, Frank Welker, John Goodman, Ken Wantanabe
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo, Running time 165 minutes, Action/Adventure/Sci-fi
Compare to: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Pacific Rim (2013)
When you people to watch your movie, you need The Rock. If The Rock seems too distracting as a main character, then you need Mark Wahlberg. Giant robots that fight each other for universal supremacy aren’t bad either.
Will it make you money? Yes. Will it make your movie good? Not necessarily. But that doesn’t mean you’re wasting your time. That is, if you know what you’re getting into in the first place.
It’s been four years since the all-out Decepticon attack on the world and since then, the American government has been doing everything they can in their undercover power to get rid of all Transformers on planet Earth. But when inventor/junker Cade finds an injured Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots (as if you didn’t know), things get complicated for him and his family, and secrets they uncover could change the world.
Now, I don’t really need to spell it out for you. Look at the title, look at the poster. You’ve got this figured out. There’s nothing I can honestly tell you about this movie that will change your mind one way or the other; you want to see it or you don’t. Many of the issue from the first three films are present, as director Michael Bay has an affinity for dragging out jokes that started out as distracting much less when you stretch them.
With a run time of just under three hours (Just over three if you count trailers), you’re either going to feel like you’ve gotten even more than your money’s worth or this is the biggest scam of all time: “Three hours and twelve bucks? What am I watching? This is the FOURTH one, why am I here?!” Certain plot points matter much more at random intervals than they do in the overall scheme. Subplots are introduced that are difficult to care about and you’ll wonder why you need to see several father/daughter moments fleshed out to the point of agony.
Though Wahlberg and the kids do much more for the franchise than an exasperated Labeouf has wanted to do since 2009’s Revenge of the Fallen. No personal shots need be taken, it was just pretty easy to tell Labeouf had been tired of screaming for Bumblebee. Though to paraphrase Wahlberg’s character to a younger castmate, Wahlberg is older and won’t mind dying as much because he’s lived a good life. Nicely put.
And much like Spider-Man swinging through the streets of New York, Hearing Peter Cullen’s voice as Optimus Prime and the actual transformations of the Autobots and co. really is still as cool as it was in 2007’s first installment to the live action series. Some stuff just doesn’t get old. Fights and chases feel as exciting as they should, and though a bit vague at times, Prime is a great character that adds to the quality of the film without facetiousness. This is coming from a non-fan, by the way.
Positives: The Transformers themselves are still impressive with some new tricks up the creators’ sleeves, Mark Wahlberg makes due with an otherwise boring character, a decent addition (or reboot, whichever). Whatever you liked about the other movies is still here.
Negatives: Long run time with too much subterfuge, Some action runs for so long, some may lose interest. Whatever you didn’t like about the other movies is still here.
Sidenote: Nope, nothing in the end of the credits.