Friday, August 1, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extenction (2014) by Michael Bay
No story, bro
Last week, me and my colleagues went on a heavenly sushi binge in Antwerp, followed by Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment in the popular Hasbro franchise. With epic four-time Worst Director nominee Michael Bay at the helm once more, it's pretty much a given what you're going to get: explosions, plot holes, explosions, 'Murica!, explosions, and, of course, the imminent destruction of Earth. Oh wait, I left out the best part: explosions.

Not that I'm a Bay basher. If you want to unwind and watch a mindlessly entertaining movie, Bay's stuff is the cream of the crop. It's his niche and he's terribly succesful at it. Why be high-brow about it?

Five years after the Battle of Chicago (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), humans and Autobots are no longer on friendly terms. Sure, they are granted sanctuary, but people now fear them, causing CIA agent John Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) to create elite unit Cemetery Wind to wipe out all the Transformers behind the President's back. Attinger even teams up with Transformer bounty hunter Lockdown, who wants to catch Optimus Prime. Struggling inventor Cade Yaeger (the bulky Mark Walhberg) becomes involved when he buys and old truck to strip for parts. When he discovers that the truck is in fact Optimus, and Cemetary Wind and Lockdown come knocking soon after, Cade escapes with his daughter Teresa (Nicola Peltz), her boyfriend Shane (Jack Reyner), and his friend Lucas (T.J. Miller).

Naturally, an international goose hunt ensues.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: action movies have become so ridiculously big and loud that ridiculously big and loud is the new normal. That's why if you want to keep our interest, directors have to add at least the hint of a plot. Bay's answer to that? More explosions. And Dinobots. All this quickly becomes so overdone, especially drawn out over 165 minutes, that Age Of Extinction soon transforms into a flat-out borefest, even if the score tries its very hardest to convince you otherwise. The star of the movie? Chameleon Stanley Tucci, who is at least entertaining as Joshua Joyce, an arrogant billionaire who wants to build his own Transformers.

I can only hope that Bay put a little more effort into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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