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Transformers: Age of Extinction
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor,
Stanley Tucci, and Kelsey Grammer
2.00 out of 5.00
Movie Review — “Edge of Tomorrow”
MONTE YAZZIE ~ THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS~ 7/9/2014
It was clear that there were plenty of different explosions Michael Bay could generate in 165 minutes. The fourth incarnation, which forwent the cast from the past three films, introduced a world where the Transformers were hunted as fugitives and were forced into hiding. Bay, synonymous with the summer blockbuster, threw more narrative into the drawn-out continuing story of the battling robots, yet “Age of Extinction” felt the most void of substance in the franchise lineup.
Earth has been saved from destruction, but at the cost of a devastated Chicago. In the wake of the battle, a black ops government group is reshaping the world with intentions of never needing the Transformers again. Betrayed by the humans they came to protect, Optimus Prime and the Autobots are in hiding. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is an inventor living in Texas who finds Optimus’ damaged semi-truck alteration in a rundown theater. The black ops group, organized by a C.I.A. higher-up (Kelsey Grammer) and supported by a tech mogul (Stanley Tucci), is looking for Optimus, who is brought back to function by Cade. Optimus and the remaining Autobots must fight for humanity again against an ancient foe and a newly developed weapon.
Bay continued the onslaught of special effects; however, things seemed to be more comprehensive effects-wise than the transforming chaos of the past films. Still, the monotony settled in rather quickly as the battle scenes became indistinguishable from each other. Transformers fight, someone retreated, they fight again, repeat. Ehren Kruger, the writer of all but one of the films, added more narrative developments and side plots than necessary.
Characters were introduced quickly, some lost in the mix or simply discarded along the way, though there were noteworthy ones mostly because of the performances from the actors. Stanley Tucci was excellent as an outlandish inventor, supplying the film with humor, along with a morality note. Kelsey Grammer demonstrated his intimidation, and Titus Welliver barked head-shaking tough guy sentiments as the leader of the black ops squad. Wahlberg did his best with the character; amongst numerous issues, the most confusing was how an inventor becomes such a capable combatant.
The Transformers were given numerous foes, yet none felt particularly threatening. It was an issue that flawed many summer popcorn films. Danger was merely a notion without any consequences. There is nothing wrong with simple, easily viewed entertainment. Still, it was difficult to identify what audience this film was for? It’s too long to hold the attention of young viewers, and fans of the franchise won’t find anything different to separate this experience from the past films. If a routine, special-effects laden film is what you are looking for and you have the time already set aside, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” might be for you.