Reviewing Michael Bay’s soft reboot Transformers 4!
By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
I hope you like noise — and explosions… lots and lots of explosions.
Let’s just get this out of the way, this movie exists to sell you stuff. There’s product placement in movies, and there’s this movie, where they don’t bother hiding the product placement, it’s smack dab in the center of the movie and I’m not even talking about selling toy versions of autobots and decepticons.
The most egregious scene highlighting this has Mark Wahlberg’s character Cade Yeager crawl out of an alien spacecraft, after having crashed into a car. The streets are strewed with bottles of Budweiser platinum and the driver of the car yells, “You better have insurance!” Wahlberg’s response is to point out he was in a spaceship, picks up a beer, opens it, downs some of it, and throws it against the ground.
The plot is a mess, and I keep wondering if I missed something, because I’m not entirely sure where the Dinobots came from, or who they are, or where Lockdown came from. We do know where Galvatron comes from, and — SPOILER ALERT! — like the 1986 Transformers: The Movie, he’s rebuilt from the carcass of Megatron, but this time it’s the humans who built him instead of the planet-sized Unicron. Micheael Bay has said that this film will kick off a new trilogy, so I’m assuming that the confusing, unexplained parts are just set up for further down the road.
Here’s the thing, though, as bloated and soulless as the film is, it also feels a bit more mature in some ways. It’s definitely not a mature film by any stretch of the imagination, but Bay has reigned in some of the more cartoonish characteristics among the human cast — they’re still outlandish, but not quite mom-eating-pot-brownies outlandish.
Stanley Tucci should get a bit of recognition here, as well. He definitely plays comic relief, but without it being his only trait, and feels like the most human character in the movie.
The final hour of the film is just wall to wall of explosions and fighting robots, and by the end of the film, I was numb to it all. More is not necessarily better, and when it’s explosion after explosion after explosion, it does get a bit repetitive, and you’d have figured that they would have learned that from the previous three films.
The movie hints that there’s more to the story, as Lockdown says that Optimus Prime was created for a purpose, and he was going against the purposes of the creators. Again, I can’t help but think that they’ll be mining ideas from Transformers: The Movie, and the Generation 2 series which went into more detail about Unicron.
When it comes down to it, Transformers: Age of Extinction isn’t as terrible as Revenge of the Fallen or The Dark of the Moon, and we finally get a villain who isn’t a Prime… but I’m damning it with faint praise.
I give this film 2.5 stars out of 5. Here’s the trailer: