Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) – Review

1 1/2 Stars

The fourth installment in the tired Transformers franchise, is a lumbering unwieldy mess. The bloated running time serves as an invitation for elongated CGI sequences that are as visually confused as the script is simple. Losing the original cast and softly rebooting the series is to no avail, this movie peaks early and is then a steady march through the well-established routines set up by three previous pictures. Knockoffs like Hasbro’s own Battleship, are starting to look good-by comparison, a sure sign that the producers should stop now.

As humanity recovers from the destruction that concluded Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have gone into hiding. Now, the metallic beings are targets for a covert government agency intent on wrangling all foreign invaders.

Meanwhile, garage inventor/scientist Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) has unknowingly bought Optimus Prime from a scrap yard. After some tinkering the broken down truck transformers itself into the four-story tall fighting machine known as Optimus Prime. However, a powerful, ambitious businessman (Stanley Tucci) and scientists attempt to gain knowledge from the past invasions and stumble onto an alien technology that quickly spirals out of their control.

The first forty minutes of this nearly 3 hour action film is the strongest. Wahlberg is surely the most physically fit home-inventor in movie history, while his teenage daughter (Nicola Peltz) dresses like she is right out of Maxim magazine. Comedic sidekick T. J. Miller is killed off too soon leaving the charisma-free Jack Reynor to substitute.

I throughly enjoyed the previous Transformers films. The first and best was on my Top 10 list for that year. Revenge of the Fallen was a let-down of a sequel but contained some fine set-pieces and comedy. The third entry Dark of the Moon was a righting of the franchise ship and re-established the heart and awe-inspiring moments from the original movie. Age of Extinction is an overblown self-important ordeal. A movie like this should prove a thrill ride for the audience, this ride induces more boredom than excitement. This time around something went wrong at the factory.

Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer

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