“Terrible film-making at its best” Transformers 4 Review


TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION   (UK CERT: 12A)

Director: Michael Bay  

Music: Steve Jablonsky

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer


Michael Bay’s Transformers series has received a huge amount of criticism since the first film was released back in 2007, some of it fair, and some of it not. Now, 7 years on and three films later, Bay returns to the helm of one of the biggest movie franchises of all time with Transformers: Age of Extinction, but can it silence his critics?

The answer here is no, but not because Extinction is poor, it’s simply because there seems to be a chip on the shoulders of reviewers who expect Oscar quality film-making, when all the target audience for these films really want is to see Optimus Prime kick some Decepticon ass.

Extinction is a whole new start for the series with new characters and a five year jump to allow people to put Dark of the Moon at the back of their minds.

Mark Wahlberg heads an entirely new cast as Cade, an inventor who has run out of luck after a string of failed concepts which haven’t taken off. Thankfully he comes across an old truck that promises to change his fortunes – I bet you can guess just who that might be.

Much of the criticism of the previous films was directed squarely at Bay’s choice of female leads, from Megan Fox’s pout to Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s laughable acting performance, it’s safe to say the series hasn’t been the pinnacle of the fairer sex’s characterisations. Mercifully, the introduction of Nicola Peltz as Cade’s daughter Tessa goes some way to dissolve that problem.

Yes, she’s not going to be troubling the Academy Awards any time soon, but she is a damn sight better than those that preceded her, though the poor script stops her from being anything but a whining teen.

Video-Stanley-TransformersA brilliant Stanley Tucci and an ingenious bit of casting in Kelsey Grammer complete the film’s human characters and the two act as the main antagonists.

Of the robot kind, Michael Bay has gone into overdrive, introducing characters left, right and centre and leaving no stone unturned. John Goodman and Ken Watanabe are both excellent as Hound and Drift – two new Autobots joining the resistance. Of course all the Transformers are outshone by the wonderful Peter Cullen who again returns to the series as Optimus, his voice work is absolutely superb, though with his previous experience, you wouldn’t expect any less.

Extinction’s premise is simple, there is a bounty on the heads of Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots, with the humans wanting to get there planet back after the events in Dark of the Moon.

The story is fun if a little incomprehensible at times; it occasionally feels like each plot point is merely there to act as a bridge until the next big set piece, though this never affects your enjoyment of the film itself.

Thankfully the special effects are absolutely stunning and some of the best seen on the big screen. The Transformers are beautifully rendered in seamless CGI and the CGI environments all look great as well.

Bay has also done well to make the battles look more realistic this time around. Previously, it was difficult to know who was fightingTransformers-Age-of-Extinction-Poster-Optimus-and-Grimlock-Crop who, with close ups of mashed metal stopping the audience from seeing exactly what was happening. Here things are much better, but still not perfect.

Unfortunately it isn’t all good news. The heavily marketed Dinobots are only in the film for about 20 minutes towards the finale which is a real shame, as it makes you feel a little cheated. Also, the running time is a real headache; this is the biggest Transformers film yet at just over three hours long and it feels it with numerous plot fillers that can occasionally detract from the rest of the film.

Overall, Bay has probably created the best Transformers film yet with some cracking special effects and dare I say it; decent acting. However, it is far too long with unnecessary sub-plots, especially at the start, which detract from what is pure entertainment.

The Transformers movies aren’t going to win any awards, and Michael Bay knows that, but they are a fine example of terrible film-making at its very best.

Category

Scoring /10

Story/Plot

6

Acting

6

Special Effects/Cinematography

10

Soundtrack

9

Costume/Design

10

Script/Dialogue

6

TOTAL /60

47

Overall: Intriguing characters and good acting make for the best film in the series.

10 thoughts on ““Terrible film-making at its best” Transformers 4 Review

  1. Might give it a go. Really didn’t enjoy the first one, so didn’t bother with two and three, but it sounds like I might enjoy this one.

  2. Had it not been so long to begin with, I probably would have had a much better time. Good review Adam.

  3. I reaaaaally want to see it! Your review is great! 🙂

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