Friday, June 27, 2014
Transformers: Age of Extinction
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, directed by Michael Bay (157 min.)
Here we go again. Michael Bay lives in a world of adolescence, making movies for teenagers, but does that mean he has to make them unwatchable? I am all for popcorn flicks with big action and CGI, they surely have a place in this world. What I am not a fan of is overt sexism, ignorant racism, one-dimensional characters due to pure laziness, action scenes that don't know when to quit, and unnecessary excess upon excess. Transformers: Age of Extinction is more of the same, a lot more, too much more in almost every way. It's all the same stuff we have all seen in the first three Transformers films, only this one clocks in at over two and a half hours, the longest of the series. Despite it being about thirty minutes too long, not that trimming this down would make things better. It would have just made the overall experience less arduous.
The time is five years after the destruction of Chicago in the previous film, and all transformers are being rounded up and wiped out by shady government operatives, led by Kelsey Grammer's stereotypically wicked Harold Attinger. Turns out, however, Attinger is working in concert with the Decepticons, the bad ones, and a bounty hunter transformer we've never seen before. There is an entire subplot involving a big corporation in Chicago led by Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) who is creating his own transformers with their technology, but it doesn't matter.
Cade stumbles upon an old truck that turns out to be Optimus Prime, and one acton scene leads to another, and another, and another, and even one more, but then one more. Then, maybe one or two or ten more, and they're all the same. The bad guys come after the good guys, and one precarious situation unfolds after another. Perhaps they all make sense in the teenage mind of Michael Bay, but the plot points are brushed past at such a rapid pace in order to get to the next loud action sequence, none of it has any real consequence. The action takes us to Chicago which is mildly destroyed now, about $400 million I suppose. Then we go to Beijing, where a bomb is going to be detonated to do some stuff and some things. Who cares?! Let's get to the CGI!
Look, I completely understand what is going on here, and I know what to expect with a Michael Bay film. But does that mean the film itself has to be complete garbage? Remember way back six years ago when the origin Transformers came out, and was an entertaining summer action flick for the most part? We have come a long way from there, and gone way down on the quality scale. Make big loud action films, fine, but at least make them worth seeing. Bay's typical sexism is on display, with every woman used merely as an object. And the racism is in tact as well; the only black character is a big, loud, sassy black woman with attitude. He can get away with making trash movies, but how does Bay get by with such overt sexism and racism time and time again?