FilmReview

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” Breathes New Life into Fading Franchise, Still a Stinker

Griffin Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

To look at Transformers: Age of Extinction as a serious film would be a disservice to what it actually is. It is a mess, a film composed of awful one-liners and long, explosive CGI-filled battle sequences that runs for a disgusting one hundred and sixty-five minutes. It isn’t a film. It’s hardly a movie. But that doesn’t mean it is bad for what it is. As far as Transformers films go, this is a strong one. Less disjointed than the third and just overall stronger than the second, Extinction is a fresh look for the franchise.

The film takes place four years after the events of the previous installment. The government is on high alert, and a task force led by Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) is hunting down Transformers; Autobots and Decepticons alike. When Texan inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) finds a damaged Optimus Prime and rebuilds him, he and his family are dragged into the next big adventure, replacing Shia LaBeouf and his one-dimensional love interests.

Hound, Bingbing Li, Stanley Tucci, Bumblebee, Jack Reynor, Mark Wahlberg, Optimus Prime, Drift, and Crosshairs in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
Hound, Bingbing Li, Stanley Tucci, Bumblebee, Jack Reynor, Mark Wahlberg, Optimus Prime, Drift, and Crosshairs in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The film also features dinosaur/robot hybrids for the first time, much more humanoid-looking Transformers, American made Transformers that when transforming look like a giant pile of Rubik’s Cubes flying through the air, and hyena robots. Michael Bay continues with the aesthetic of the last Transformers film and Pain & Gain, with hyper vibrant colors, heavy use of slow motion shots, and odd low angle shots. This is a man just toying with weird and wacky ideas and getting carte blanche because it will make a billion dollars regardless.

The dialogue in the film is absolutely atrocious. Often laughably bad, Ehren Kruger’s script is bogged down, sprinkled with awful one-liners and “jokes” that seem to replace any noble attempts at character development. It’s hard to see how an industry professional could write this, and how others would sign off on it. The actors are rarely given good content to work with.

Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.
Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Ironically, however, the cast is probably the strongest of the four films in the franchise. Wahlberg trumps LaBeouf anytime. Nicola Peltz is absolutely gorgeous and is a definite upgrade over the previous installment’s Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Jack Reynor, who plays her boyfriend, is a name to keep an eye on. And minor roles by TJ Miller and the always great Stanley Tucci are perhaps the two biggest highlights of the movie. Though they aren’t given much quality screen time, they do the absolute best with what they are given.

The good news? We are only 2 years away from finding out what the next story will be for this cast. The bad news? We are only 2 years away from yet another Transformers film. As long as these films keep pushing a billion, Paramount will keep making them. Fortunately, this film is better than the last 2 installments, but this doesn’t mean it was good. Fun? Sure. Quality film? Not in the slightest.

Overall Grade: C-

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