Transformers: Age of Extinction Review: You’ll Hope it Lives Up to its Title

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Are you ready for round four of giant robot battles, blatant misogyny, and slight racism? Well Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay are ready for another prime paycheck, so here we are.

You would at least think with this type of cash cow that the studio wouldn’t want to spend the extra dough to make an over two and a half hour movie, but no. Age of Extinction is, in a word, long. By the time the much-advertised Dinobots come roaring into the action, I might as well have fossilized in my chair.

To fill this runtime, we are given a new lead in the form of Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg), a hard-nosed single father who actually pales in comparison to the zany free-for-all of a character that Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) was in the first three films. Cade is protective of his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), who is clearly just a replacement for Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and, you guessed it, the source of the infamous Michael Bay misogyny this time around.

They stumble on a Transformer that happens to be Autobot leader Optimus Prime (once again voiced by Peter Cullen) in hiding. Soon, they are forced into a conflict that will decide the fate of the planet and blah, blah, blah.

But hey, Stanley Tucci is in it! And then there are giant robot dinosaurs!

Look, this is the fourth Transformers movie. You know what you’re getting into. If you’re willing to overlook the only Asian robot in the universe dawning samurai armor, then by all means, go enjoy the explosions. If you want a blockbuster that at least doesn’t seem like it’s trying to offend anyone, let alone actually doing it, X-Men: Days of Future Past came out over a month ago.

Honestly, it would be easier to forgive if any one of the actions scenes had any inventiveness. Michael Bay is good at blowing things up, but the manner in which he does it is getting old. There are only so many slow-mo shots of people running from fire before it just isn’t that interesting. Could Bay be as bored behind the scenes as we are watching this gargantuan film? Based on the lack of energy in every action scene that doesn’t have dinosaurs in it (so every one aside from ten minutes at the very end), I’d say our esteemed director may want this to be an extinction as well.

Age of Extinction is bad even by Transformers standards. It’s hard to tell if this film or 2009’s Revenge of the Fallen takes the cake as the worst of the series. But there are more important things to debate. Like whether Stanley Tucci really needed this payday after the success of the far superior Hunger Games franchise. Grade: D+

By Matt Dougherty


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