Now Geek This: A Review of Transformers: Age of Exctinction

nowgeekthisTransformers: Age of Extinction is the fourth film in the franchise directed by Michael Bay, and written by Ehren Kruger.  The film stars Mark Walberg as engineer/inventor Cade Yeager, Nicola Peltz as his daughter, Stanley Tucci as businessman Josua Joyce, and Kelsey Grammer as C.I.A operative Harold Attinger.  In addition to the “human” cast, the film also stars the voice talents of Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, John Goodman as Hound, Ken Watanabe as Drift, Mark Ryan as Lockdown, and fan favorite Frank Welker as Galvatron.To begin with, I must honestly say that this is one of the hardest reviews I have ever attempted to write.  The reason for that difficulty is that I feel completely indifferent towards this movie.  As a fan of the Transformers going on thirty years now, you would think I would have some feelings about this movie, but the truth is that I don’t.  There was a time where I felt anger towards Bay for what he did to my beloved Transformers, but that time has long passed.  I knew full well what this movie would be before seeing the first trailer for it, and so I can’t even get angered by it any more.

When the first movie came out, it was not the movie I wanted to see, but I was just so happy to see the Transformers up on the big screen that I was able to accept its many flaws.  When the second movie came out, I expected there to be improvements that would make the film better, which you typically get to see in a sequel.  However, the second film was such a mess that I was actually offended by it and still find it painful to watch to this day.  When the third movie came out, well, to be honest, I barely remember the third movie at all.  I believe it was after watching my third movie that my indifference really took hold.  Now, we have the fourth movie, and there are things in the movie that I should probably be upset about as a Transformers fan, such as the wasted opportunity of the Dinobots, but I find that I just can’t get raise my ire any longer for these movies.

Basically, as I was watching Transformers: Dark of the…….wait, that’s not right.  Is it the Fallen?  No, that’s not the title of this one.  Oh, I remember now.  As I was watching Transformers: Dark Age Of The Fallen, I felt that I was watching a movie I had already seen three times before.  Sure, there is a basic plot, but we all know that the plot of these films don’t really matter as they are just bridges to get us to the next set of explosions.  If you do care, I will give you a quick synopsis.

After the events of the third movie, Dark of the Moon, humans are tired of the war between the Autobots and Decepticons destroying their planet, so they decide to get proactive and hunt down the Transformers.  This brings us to Cade Yeager, Walberg’s character, a junk collector/inventor who finds an old truck cab sitting in an old movie theater, don’t ask how it got in there because it is never explained, and decides to bring it home to use for spare parts or something like that.  Cade begins to work on the truck when he discovers, and I quote, “I think we just found a Transformer!”  That Transformer is, of course, Optimus Prime who is hiding out after being damaged in a battle with the C.I.A. task force hunting the Transformers known as Cemetary Wind.  The C.I.A. come looking for Optimus, a battle/car chase ensues, and Optimus comes out of hiding and gathers his remaining Autobots to his side.

As the movie drags on, and it certainly does drag, we learn that the C.I.A. had made a deal with business tycoon Joshua Joyce in which Joyce gets all of the Transformers tech to study leading to the discovery of the strange metal used to build the Transormers which they dub “Transformium”.  I really wish I were making that up, but there is no way I could ever make up anything that lame.  Joyce uses the Transformium to create his own versions of the Transformers which can be kept under human control.  I’ll bet you can guess what happens after that.

Before I forget, there is also a Transformer bounty hunter named Lockdown who is helping the C.I.A. hunt down his fellow Transformers so that he can capture Optimus Prime and bring him back to the creators.  Don’t ask me who the creators are, because that is never explained.  My guess is that these creators will be the plot point of the fifth movie, so we will have to wait until then to find out.  That is, assuming any of us still care by then.

As with the other films, this film is filled with all sorts of plot holes, bad attempts at humor, and a forced family dynamic between Cade and his teenage daughter who rebels against Cade’s unfair rules, of course.  There is even a wonderfully warm, or painfully embarrassing, moment where Optimus tells Cade he went through the same troubles with Bumblebee.  Was this some sort of attempt to say that Bumblebee was actually Optimus Prime’s son?  I don’t know, and I really don’t care.

That last sentence pretty much sums up my feelings about Transformers: Age of Extinction.  I just don’t care any more.  As I was watching this movie, the term beating a dead horse kept popping into my mind, and I felt as though this movie did not need to exist.  I am ashamed to admit that I got excited when I found out that the Dinobots would be featured in this movie, but I was disappointed to see that they were just tacked on at the end and used as nothing more than an excuse for more destruction and explosions.  Perhaps this film might have been less mind numbingly tedious if it was not also two hours and fourty-five minutes long, but who can say.  I can easily think of at least an hours worth of footage that could have been cut from this movie without damaging the story in any way.

Ultimately, it most likely won’t matter what I say about this movie.  The fifth movie in this franchise is already in the works, and there will be no stopping Michael Bay from churning out another summer blockbuster.  All I can say is this, if you actually enjoy these movies, then you will most likely enjoy this one.  I personally found no enjoyment in Transformers: Age Of Extinction.  I will just have to stick to the IDW Transformers comic book series to get my fix of good Transformer stories.

That’s it for this edition of Now Geek This.  Thanks for reading, and tune in next time for our next exciting adventure.