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Transformers: Age of Extinction

Coming Soon

[hero heading=”TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION” tagline=”Michael Bay’s latest robot war movie is not quite as appalling as Revenge of the Fallen, but still so shockingly repulsive, you’ll wish a giant meteor had come down and sent this franchise into extinction.”]The Autobots are in hiding, thanks to the events that unfolded in Chicago some 5 years earlier. A CIA shadow team led by Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) is acting above the government and hunting all alien life form taking refuge on Earth, including the Autobot leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen). Prime – who’s been heavily damaged since the Chicago incident – is repaired by an overly optimistic, overly protective inventor named Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), an event that quickly captures the attention of Attinger’s crew. Yeager’s family is thrust into crisis as they attempt to uncover why they have become targets of the CIA and a mysterious alien race.

The end result is a barrage of spectacle. My 6 year old son relished in the experience. And it is an experience. Bay splatters this destruction-porn canvas with an orgy of new robots, bigger and flashier explosions, and a slew of slow-motion pans and lens flare. The audio track will wreck your eardrums. If that’s your thing or you’re 6 years old, then Merry Christmas.

Although, the more discerning movie-goer will struggle to get around the narrative, a conflict so full of holes, it might as well have been Hound’s bitch. He’s the Autobot weapons expert…see what I did there?

The problem is Bay and his writers attempt to inject too many plot lines, which end up colliding with one another. There’s also zero originality, as the film amalgamates all three previous chapters. It’s a convoluted mess made worse by uninteresting human characters with terrible material to read from.

There are, however, some redeeming factors worth discussing. It’s nice not having Shia LaBeouf running around screaming and face-twitching at the camera for two hours. Mark Wahlberg is less annoying, but his character sucks. The Yeager dilemma – an outdated father’s plight of protecting his daughter – doesn’t work in the grand scheme of the Transformers. We want robot-on-robot carnage for 90 minutes, but we’re served 165 minutes of humans getting in the way. My point being, why is Jack Reynor in this movie?

Stanley Tucci, despite his character’s misanthropic behavior, deserves recognition for a jaunty performance.

Recruiting recognizable celebrities to voice the Autobots is a very welcome addition. This simple detail makes robot conversations and climatic battle scenes less confusing. John Goodman shines in his role as Hound.

There’s also that little detail of the Dinobots. But I wouldn’t go getting all nostalgic, you might be slightly disappointed. Grimlock is a prisoner beaten into servitude, he then runs around shooting flames out of his mouth. He might actually be a dragon, I’m not sure. Either way, it’s not at all how I imagined the final battle, though it does look pretty cool.

Look, I enjoy a brainless popcorn flick as much as the next guy, but 165 minutes is excruciating. But to be fair, kids are going to lose their minds and that’s what you should stake your movie-going plans on this weekend.


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Transformers: Age of Extinction is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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