So I finally saw this film last night and I was very disappointed with a lot of things but also still a bit satisfied as I got my fill of robots fighting robots which always seems to be a hit for me. But there were so many things wrong with this film that I literally don't even know where to start.
Well first I'll give you a bit of background if you don't already know yet, Transformers: Age of Extinction is the sci-fi, action film based on the Transformers franchise directed by Michael Bay and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. This fourth instalment had an all new cast unlike those prior and its leading man was surprisingly (or was that just me?) Mark Wahlberg. It takes place after the attack in Chicago five years earlier in Transformers: Dark of the Moon which leaves the humans picking up the pieces. A group of controlling, inventive scientists and businessmen attempt to rid the world of all Transformers, both Autobots and Decepticons, by using their new technology as well as pushing the boundaries on their new creations which are soon out of their control.
The film came out on the 27th of June this year and its reception wasn't the best it has had with its other films apparently. Of course there was the usual admiration for the stunning visual effects and the tremendous action scenes which involved huge robots fighting other huge robots which is pretty much everyone's cup of tea. But it was a very a plot heavy film which soon became tedious and far too long with its run time ending at 165 minutes - even longer than the previous films.
Mark Wahlberg's character is a Texan inventor called Cade Yeager (yeah, I know.) who is always looking to find junk that he can mould into other things. He finds an old truck which soon seems to be more than a vehicle. To be honest, Cade is probably the only character you just about care for. He is instantly likeable, probably because it is Mark Wahlberg after all, I haven't seen a bad film from him yet. He's portrayed as this underdog who just wants what's best for his daughter who's unbelievably annoying, grating and whiny. As well as her, there was her patronizing and incredibly smug boyfriend played by Jack Reynor. Both of them are so pointless and unnecessary in this film because all the daughter, Tessa, does is whine, scream for help and defy her father and all the boyfriend does is act cocky and push the fact he's dating Tessa and that she's all grown up now in Cade's face while apparently being the only one who can drive really, really well (this will make more sense if you go and see it).
Both of them could have been easily cut out of the film and no one would have missed them. Speaking of characters being cut out, when one of the Autobot favourites Bumblebee comes flying into the screen there is literally no mention of his friend Sam Witwicky who he has been protecting so fiercely for the past three films. Now I don't know if this is because Shia Lebouf has gone all weird recently and you certainly don't miss him in this film but you find yourself wanting an explanation, as it's only been five years in the storyline between the two films, as to why it feels like they're just acting as if the last three films never happened.
While we're on the subject of story-lines, this film was simply stuffed with them. So stuffed that you become confused as to what is actually central to the film and who is being really targeted. They all desperately try to link up somehow and fail to do so, leaving things unclear and not easy to follow. It starts off with the story of Optimus Prime and his crew fighting against the human-hating Transformers seemingly at the centre of the film then it turns to Cade's constant unnecessary battle with his petulant, insufferable teenage daughter and her swaggering boyfriend which had so many pointless scenes, including an ACTUAL scene where they discussed statutory rape laws. Utterly ridiculous. Not only that they then switched to some plot of Transformer hunting for homeland security to then a more bigger, not-introduced-until-the-last-hour-or-so undeveloped plot of Optimus Prime's mysterious beginning and where he came from.
But there was one thing all the way through the film that really got on my nerves and it was Michael Bay's leering camera shots that trailed up and down Nicola Peltz's (Tessa) long legs in those bloody short shorts. Now I don't know if this is just the feminist within me but seriously, it is 2014 people! Why are women still being sexualized in these types of films? Literally ALL of the female characters in this movie were sexually objectified and wore tight, revealing clothes. No women in this, especially the daughter, were of any help and literally ran around screaming and making things worse.
I could rant about women being constantly sexualized but that's another post.. another problem I had was how they used Stanley Tucci's character. Seriously, I love this actor and he completely shines every time in any film but in this he was so annoying and massively unfunny. I don't believe this is his fault but it is of the screenwriter Ehren Kruger. There was just a constant flow of crap jokes and scenes that could've have been easily removed thus shortening the film's length of time!
Not only that, when the fight takes place in Hong Kong (I won't spoil the reasons why they're there) there seems to be a racial stereotype in place. It's suddenly implied that all Chinese people are magically amazing at martial arts. For example, a certain elevator scene with Stanley Tucci and a chinese woman, a bystander in the elevator has no significance but suddenly becomes involved when Tucci and the lady are attacked. Out of nowhere, he seems to be a sudden expert in martial arts and takes out a few of the attackers for no reason at all when it's nothing to do with him. It just seems like a lazy and clichéd plot device which served no purpose at all.
I could go on more about the mistakes in the film but in the end, I just sort of tuned out and just waited for the action scenes. In the end it just becomes a big blur of robots where you can't even make out who's fighting who, falling buildings/bridges and crushed cars. I heard there was supposedly a surprise ending but I certainly wasn't surprised, just disappointed and things were left unclear and it was just a shambles at the end really. Basically if you're a fan of loud, robot fighting action scenes full of effects and nothing else then this is for you.
To tell you the truth, I'm usually a big fan of big action movies and Transformers has always been right up my street and while the fighting scenes were great as always, it wasn't enough to overpower the jam-packed storyline, the annoying characters and the laughable dialogue ("my face is my warrant" "I knew you had a conscious because you're an inventor like me!" seriously???).
I'm sorry if this review seems long to you but I can only be honest and I just felt like I was cheated with this film as I was pretty excited to see it.
So yeah go and see it for the usual fantastic, effects-driven robot fighting but don't be expected to be blown away by anything else.
Thankyou for reading.