Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Movie Review

Transformers: Age of Extinction is a movie directed by Michael Bay that continues the adventures of the Autobots and Decepticons in their eternal struggle for control of the galaxy. The movie features an all new cast including Mark Wahlberg Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Raynor, Titus Welliver, and Bingbing Li. Voice talent provided by Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, John Goodman, Ken Watanebe, and Mark Ryan.

Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) is a struggling robotics expert who manages to scrape together a living for him and his teenage daughter Tessa (Peltz) by taking on all manner of repair and reclamation projects. Shortly after realizing his latest project, an old rusted out semi truck, might be more than meets the eye, a squad of government agents show up on his doorstep looking for what they believe to be Optimus Prime (Cullen), the one and only leader of the Autobots.

From there, things get a little crazy as a new war takes shape between a covert CIA group called Cemetery Wind, led by Harold Attinger (Grammer), and pretty much any Transformer they can find. Decepticons and Autobots alike have been hunted down and captured with impressive ease although it is soon revealed that they are receiving assistance from an interstellar bounty hunter named Lockdown (Ryan). As the stakes escalate, Prime realizes he may have to call on an ancient ally for help in defeating these new enemies who will stop at nothing to eradicate any and all Transformers from the face of the Earth.

Like I said before, this is a Transformers movie directed by Michael Bay. If you are expecting anything more than gigantic robot action and "hero shot" camera work threaded together by what could almost be called a coherent story, then you are officially doing it wrong. What Bay does with these movies is take the audience on a trip back to our collective childhood where we all created amazing adventures in our back yards on a scale usually in the range of 3 and 3/4 inches. Comic books and cartoons were the inspiration for these small scale adventures and were limited only by what our imaginations could produce. What Transformers: Age of Extinction does is take all of that and applies a 200 million budget for exponentially epic results.

The special effects wizards at Industrial Light and Magic again outdo themselves by raising the bar on what can digitally be put on a movie screen using many...many, very powerful computers. Even given the material, every bit of CGI work looks clean and photo realistic. Just like its predecessors, this movie demands multiple viewings just so you can take in all the high flying, non stop action that fills just about every inch of the screen. Sure, there's excessive product placement and equally excessive shots of Nicola's Peltz's legs, but who cares...there's giant robots fighting other giant robots!!

Click photo to make it bigger!
Okay, so here's the part where I discuss the nuances of the acting performances as well as the subtleties and intricate details of the story.

There's giant robot dinosaurs fighting other giant robots!!

Before I wrap up this review I absolutely have to note that there is not one mention or sighting of Shia LaBouf's character at any point during the movie. The incredibly annoying Sam Witwicky is long gone and completely forgotten. This simple fact raises the level of my enjoyment exponentially. Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand, does a good job of being Mark Wahlberg for the entire movie and Nicola Peltz is extremely and appropriately hot for the entire movie just like her predecessors Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Basically, this movie is a big piece of summer popcorn fluff...and I loved a lot of it! The 165 minute run time actually felt more like half that amount of time as everything moves along nicely without getting too bogged down in its own silliness. Haters with their unrealistic expectations and lack of an ability to just kick back and have a good time will most likely disagree with every word of this review. All I can say is that I personally had a great time watching this movie and I really don't care what anyone else thinks. Transformers: Age of Extinction will be a huge success around the globe and I can't wait to see what Paramount Pictures, Hasbro, and Michael Bay have in store for us next.


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