Rev. Ron’s More-Than-Meets-The-Eye Review of “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

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Transformers:  Age of Extinction

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What is it?

 

The fourth installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise and a soft reboot of the franchise that sees the story go into a far less LaBeouf-ian direction.

What is it about?

 

After the devastation left by the Autobots and Decepticons in Chicago, a covert operation within the CIA decides that ‘Murica no longer needs robots in disguise and the evil head of the organization (Kelsey Grammar) teams with a Transformers bounty hunter named Lockdown and seeks to kill them all… for reasons far more sinister than the fact they destroyed the Windy City.  Now Optimus Prime must gather up the remaining Autobots and team with a wide-eyed inventor (Marky Mark) and stop the systematic execution of his people.

Who’s in it?

 

Well, no Shia LaBeouf, so no matter who is in it, it’s already an improvement.  But if you must know, it has Marky Mark, Stanley Tucci, Fraiser, some thin girl with an orange tan that isn’t Megan Fox or the girl from the third one (but you really can’t tell), and a voice cast that includes John Goodman, Ken Watanabe and two cool dudes from the original series.

¿Dònde está la bibliotecha?

 

Three blocks up and two to the right.

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The Good

– First off, none, zip, nada, absolutely no Shia LaBeouf.  That alone already makes the film entirely more watchable than the last two.

– Frank Welker, the original Megatron, comes in to provide the voice of Galvatron …and that is just cool!

– The Dinobots arrive… finally.

– Decent action sequences that lack the confusion seen in the previous films and doesn’t look like a Katamari ball of garbage rolling around on screen like in Revenge of the Fallen.

– Comic relief from T.J. Miller and Stanley Tucci that doesn’t involve racist robots, robo-testees, or other juvenile humor that made the other films groan-inducing.

– Even though Bay is a pop culture punching bag, the guy is very good at creating dynamic camera angles and slick sequences.  He really shows that off in this one.

– Finally, the franchise has a human cast that doesn’t look like jabbering monkeys who all deliver their lines like they are auditioning for a pie fight sequence.

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The Bad

– Mark Wahlberg, although a step up from LaBeouf, gives a performance that comes off only marginally better than what he brought in The Happening.  His silly profession in the film doesn’t help things either.

– The film feels like two different scripts forcefully put together and comes away with two major storylines that can’t quite live together or gel in anyway.  When one of the stories is in action, the other goes into hibernation and is forgotten about, and vice versa.

– This movie is way too long and doesn’t have the meat to the story to support its running length.  I guess that’s why what seems like a second script was brought in.

– Michael Bay really needs to get away from his desire to have a fake orange tan skinny girl in his movies that provide nothing but a lifeless character for the men folk to save.  It’s starting to get creepy.  Your fetish is showing, Bay.

– The Dinobots are here…but they are entirely wasted and were clearly used as a marketing gimmick in order to pump up the box office return.

– The Autobots come off as.. well… assholes.  It’s understandable why they would be upset with some humans, but they come off as ethnocentric, even when some humans are going out of their way to help them, they treat the humans poorly and even threaten them with murder on several occasions.  We escape the robot blackface of the 2nd film to endure this?!?

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The Ugly

– The Autobots seem to have a hard-on for murder (I already mentioned how they threaten humans with a shotgun blast to the face with their fancy alien robot guns).  Not only are all humans constantly threatened by the bots that are supposed to be our heroes and literally millions of innocent civilians are killed by their battles, there’s even a scene where Hound (voiced by John Goodman) flat out murders a mysterious alien creature because it spat on him out of fear.  That is the beings we were suppose to cheer on, folks!

– When the Dinobots are introduced, Optimus informs them that they are free and then he immediately enslaves them to fight his war and proceeds to degrade Grimlock by riding him.

While it’s not really surprising that Transformers:  Age of Extinction isn’t good (it has a Rotten Tomatoes percentage under 20%) I am forced to admit that it was easier to watch than the last two films.  The film has its moments with some good action, nice camera work from a clearly insane director, and some genuinely funny moments that didn’t have to rely on sophomoric humor; however, the film still suffers from Bay’s inability to tell a tight story that contains intrigue and action, weak writing from Ehren Kruger who clumsily wrote a story with two main plot lines that barely interact with each other, and a seemingly inability to actually do justice to the property.  However, it does seem like Bay is making some strides in the right direction (For example, elimination of Shia LaBeouf from the cast) but, at this pace, we won’t have an actual solid Transformers film until they get to the ninth sequel.


Rev. Ron is a part-time comedian, a full-time Real Life Hank Hill, an overtime Whovian and a seasonal unicorn wrangler.  You can follow him on Twitter (@RevRonster) for more random insights into a deeply geeky and unhinged mind and you can head to revronmovies.blogspot.com. for more reviews.

  • Chris Piers

    I respectfully found the movie much worse than Rev. Ron did. He hits the same points but certain things bothered me more. Three main things:

    1) The Autobots were total assholes. Threatening humans, causing wanton destruction, murdering an innocent alien in a cage, threatening to kill each other. It was hard to care for them.
    2) Fetishizing Cade’s daughter, and shaming the audience at the same time for being interested in her. There is a protracted sequence explaining that she is underage but that it’s legal for her 20-year old boyfriend to bang her. He has the law on a laminated card he keeps in his wallet. That’s something a pedophile does! Why have that in the movie?
    3) Very long but not really ABOUT anything. There are humans hunting Autobots. There are other humans building Transformers. And there’s some sort of bounty hunter that wants the Autobots dead. But those are just things that happen. There’s no logic around any of it so it’s just things happening. There’s no theme, no character arc. It’s so so so empty.

    Just to elaborate a bit more on that last point: a Black Ops CIA team partners with the bounty hunter to kill the Autobots because these humans hate all Transformers. So why are they teaming up with a Transformer who has a huge spaceship fortress staffed with an army of robot drones? Isn’t that more dangerous than the 5 surviving Autobots?!

  • I haven’t seen AoE but Chris to touch on your first point, as far as the Autobots being complete assholes. At the end of DotM when Prime has Sentinel Prime on the ropes does he show him mercy? As the Prime that I grew up on? Nope he shoots him in the head. Oh and he also slaughters Megatron in beserker fashion. Prime was always the honorable leader even back in the shoddily animated cartoon and the Beast Wars/Machines era.

  • Now I *have* to watch this. I’ll wait until its on Blu Ray 3D and then do a review.

  • Chris Piers

    Doubledumbass, I think you’ll like today’s Transformers Problems comic.