Transformers: Age of Extinction Movie Review
Michael Bay, you did it. You made your new worst movie. It's pretty impressive that you managed to sink to a new low, but Transformers: Age of Extinction proves that yes, even movies about giant robots fighting other giant robots need a screenwriter capable of writing at a second grade level or higher.
Gone is the cast we've grown to love and despise, replaced by Mark Wahlberg and Replacable Sexy Blonde Girl. Set five years after the last one, where Chicago was laid to waste, Transformers have been outlawed and are hunted for parts. Wahlberg plays a nutty inventor who happens upon Optimus Prime, who in turn is being pursued by a Transformer bounty hunter. Or something.
The plot isn't actually half bad, and somewhat surprisingly the story is "smaller" than what was presented in the last movie. The problem is that everything else about Transformers: Age of Extinction also feels like a lesser version of what you've come to expect, which is basically giant robots battling other giant robots with inconsequential humans making bad jokes and arguing a lot and stuff.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a painful two hours and 45 minutes long, a criminally unjustified length for a movie that is about robots fighting other robots. Not so coincidentally, Michael Bay spends about 45 minutes too long throwing bad jokes and pathetic family drama at the audience.
Oh, and some of the most dreadful dialogue you'll hear this side of the Mississippi.
Seriously, the dialogue is so bad I'm not sure whether the skull-crushing IMAX 3D glasses or the writing was to blame for the searing headache I currently have.
Stupid critic, you might say. Dialogue doesn't matter for a movie like this, you might say. Wrong. I actually enjoy the first Transformers. I liked Transformers: Dark of the Moon. And while it's been a long while since I've seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I'm pretty certain this one is worse.
The dialogue is terrible, but the entire film feels like Michael Bay just gave up after realizing he'll make the same amount of money no matter how dreadful the movie is. The action is less exciting, interesting and original, and there are long stretches where the Transformers aren't even on screen. The movie is still marginally entertaining and the less discerning of fans won't completely hate it, but you'll be hard pressed to find too many people who think two hours and 45 minutes of crap dialogue and forgettable action is worth the price of admission.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is not without its positives, but Michael Bay has managed to assemble a remarkably unremarkable action movie, and a long one at that. I'm going to go drink myself to sleep now.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.