Transformers: Age of Extinction Brings the FUN Back to Theaters

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I always say that it is ok for Critics to have a bias when we walk into a theater, a good movie will be good regardless of your initial opinion, a truly great movie has the ability to turn you into a fan and change your mood. To make glad you dragged yourself out to the theater. Yeah, I know people are whining and complaining about Transformers, but are people complaining about the movie or just projecting their irrational hatred and jealousy of Michael Bay onto the film? He knows his audience and delivers everything a fan of this franchise could want and more.

As someone who thinks Michael Bay gets unfairly slammed by critics I’m fairly ambivalent about his Transformers series. I was always more into GI: Joe than Hasbro’s weird robot franchise. I never understood it’s popularity and after three movies still can’t tell much of a difference between the Robots, Autobots, and Decepticons. When I heard Transformers: Age of Extinction was a gasp worth 165 mins, I’ll admit, I had zero desire to see it. Imagine my surprise when I walked out absolutely loving the hell out of this movie!

One of my concerns walking into the film was that it had the smell of complete reboot written all over it. When you destroy a major city, there should be some form of repercussion.  In the first GI Joe film, Cobra destroyed a large chunk of England, but it wasn’t even mentioned or touched on in the sequel. I love that Transformers film doesn’t ignore the events that happened at the end of the last one and that the war and destruction of Chicago is the catalyst for everything that happens in this movie. I kind of hope Batman Vs. Superman goes this route.

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Taking place five years after the last film, the Government has had enough of Aliens of all stripes and has declared “war” on all Transformers. The CIA has a special taskforce assigned to track down any rogue Autobots and Decepticons. The lead black ops guy James Savoy (Titus Welliver) is in the game because his sister was killed in the battle of Chicago. He has zero tolerance for the Transformers and even less for humans like Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) that helps them.

Savoy’s boss is CIA mystery man Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) whose ace in the hole is a Alien bounty hunter who was hired by some unseen creator to capture Optimus Prime. Savoy has no allegiance, his grand scheme is to capture Optimus so the bounty hunter will give him “the seed” that he can then sell to businessman scientist Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci). Joyce’s goal is to use the seed to build his own army of Transformers.

The story works, but even at over 2 ½ hours, it felt like certain plot threads were dropped, namely everything having to do with the Dinobots – these giant prehistoric Transformers that are shaped like Dinosaurs, and it clumsily tried to layer in seeds for the inevitable trilogy by telling us that the Autobots were created for another purpose and rebelled against some mysterious maker.

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I know many people complained about the human element in the previous Transformer films, but I actually liked Shia and the gang a lot more than the Robots. Here I think the length of the film gives the audience and the human characters a chance to breath. Yeah they are cardboard cutouts, but for the most part they work pretty well within the context of this movie.

As expected with any Bay film, this one is beautifully shot and gives you big sense of scale and all the action did have a sense of weightiness to it. This thing is stunning on a big iMax screen and probably one of the most immersive 3D experiences I’ve had at a theater in a long time. The other films sacrificed character for action, this one almost goes in the opposite direction sacrificing action for character work.

I liked the humans in the first three films and I liked them again here. This time out I thought bay did a better job with giving the Autobots a bit more of a personality and I still think Optimus comes across as a preachy douchebag. But I loved that this time out the Autobots weren’t blindly following the humans, they felt duty bound to help Yeager, his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) and her boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor). Many will gripe about how Tessa was portrayed, but I think Nicola did a nice job with the material given.

Apparently these days all movies have to be dark, grim, joyless, and not allowed to be fun just  for the sake of entertaining an audience.  I loved every moment of this big, dumb, over the top extravaganza. Transformers: Age of Extinction is the type of film that brings back that sense of awe inspiring wonder and is why we go to the movies.

Final Grade A

15 thoughts on “Transformers: Age of Extinction Brings the FUN Back to Theaters”

  1. you have the worst opinions ever! i can not believe you have a job!!!!!! this review, your x-men review, the lego movie review, and a million ways to die in the west are absolutely preposterous! please consider getting into a new line of work.

    1. then don’t read my reviews, no one is forcing you to. I won’t cry if you go away. I bet you probably didn’t even see the films you are whining about.

      1. I understand if a person doesn’t like something, may mention it once and leave. It is the very definition of insanity expecting something else after coming back to the same site time and again -_-

  2. Well I loved this review AND every movie ‘guy’ said 🙂 doing my own review 4/5

  3. Anyone who expected anything less from the film was the fool. It was ridiculous, over the top, practically made fun of itself and people miss that point. I enjoyed it. A bit long, but I was thoroughly entertained the whole movie.

    There are times for classic and timeless theatre releases, and then there is pure mindless entertainment for the fun of it. Thanks for the review and being honest about it instead of jumping on the “serious can’t enjoy a genuine summer blockbuster wagon.”

    1. I honestly expected to hate it, and I was in a bad mood all day, but it ended up being the highlight of my crappy day 🙂 Pure escapism, which is what some movies should be.

  4. Don’t know why people need to insult to come through with their opinions, I remembered Michelle hated the first Transformers and I loved it, then suddenly she likes the other Transformers even I liked them didn’t loved them but that’s no reason for insult. Take it easy! I loved movies like The Dark Knight, Inception, etc. I thought the last X-men was the best because is not just simple. But sometimes a little corny, cheese, popcorn film like T4 will not kill anybody, I had fun watching it and enjoy my coke and hot dog! Michael Bay know his public and he will proved it again when this movie make a lot of money. It’s not masterpiece but people will watch it!

    1. I know I’m in the minority here, but I’ve always liked the human characters in Transformers, it was the robots and fight choreography that I didn’t like. In this one I think Bay finally got the action scenes right – I could actually tell what was going on and who the different robots were.

  5. It’s a Transformers movie, four films into this franchise, WTH did you expect? You are the idiot if you paid money to see something that, judging from your irrational rant, you already hated. If you didn’t see it, then WTF are you bitching about? Either way your post is utterly pointless.

  6. Nothing on Earth will ever satisfy your inner Transformers geek more than witnessing the utter, complete and total redemption of Michael Bay. With one glorious fell swoop this evidently slow-to-warm-up-but-eventually-wizard-like filmmaker has expunged all his previous crimes against the Transformers fan base and finally delivered them to their deservedly blissful state of Cybertronian nirvana.

    Like a twenty first century Jesus armed with $200 million dollars, Bay has redeemed even the gravest of the sins of our childhood. Not only has he risen phoenix-like, still burning yet majestic, from the putrid black ashes that remained from the burning of our childhood dreams and his own reputation. Incredibly, he has somehow also redeemed the once unforgivable abomination that was the ascension of Rodimus Prime. In one two and half hour expedition to the pinnacle of awesomeness he has made whole the millions of innocent hearts so
    cynically and selfishly broken all those years ago.

    Suddenly the pain and confusion that was so cruelly and needlessly inflicted upon us can be forgotten. Even the fresher scars, the proverbial salt in the wound that is the memory of the first three piles of turd rubbed onto celluloid that Bay tried to pass off as Transformers films, have been forever healed. Like faithful, stubborn and persistent visitors to a highly priced and extremely talented plastic surgeon, we have had our scars forever erased.

    All those that have ever nestled into the sometimes prickly and often disappointing bosom of the Transformers geekdom, go forth like pilgrims to thine local cinema. Flock now so that you all can finally revel in your long overdue but much deserved cinematic birthright: a truly epic journey into the elusive and sublime joys of well thought-out and skilfully delivered Transformers ‘fan service’.

    This movie isn’t for the hordes. It isn’t for the unfortunate souls that
    weren’t brought up living and breathing robots from Cybertron. It’s not for the critics. It’s an expensive, much belated and exclusive gift made especially just for you. An epic, royally triumphant and completely kick-ass Transformers movie that respects the fan base while also creating a new folklore that not only doesn’t make you want to stab yourself in the face with a rusty nail while having your eyeballs lacerated by a million paper cuts, it is actually pretty awesome in its own right.

    A true fan will find it almost impossible not to love this film. It is
    simply that good.

    Michael Bay I never thought I would ever say this but, thank you. Even the $600 million odd dollars and approximately seven and a half hours of my life you wasted setting up the story line of this movie with those first three abominations now seems like time and money well spent.

    For after nearly thirty long years of shattered hopes and unfulfilled
    expectations, finally our inner 6 year olds can live the dream. Finally we can stand on the apex of the Mount Everest of 1980’s nostalgia – and wholeheartedly and enthusiastically enjoy a Transformers movie for the first time – all the while being snugly wrapped in a delightful bubble of restored faith, emancipation from loss and total satisfaction.

    Do not take heed of reviews written by people that have never transformed a toy from a robot to a car in their lives. Do not be distracted by accounts of gratuitous product placement. Worry not about a repeat of previously indecipherable shot composition and editing. Cleanse yourself of the horrible memory that is Shia LeBeouf.

    This film delivers much more in the way of fan service than any of the
    previous films. Some of it is subtle, some quite overt (Galvatron transforming into a cannon and Optimus spending some time looking much like his G1 alter ego in truck form are notable examples). The movie is peppered with a lot of little touches that would probably be lost on people new to Transformers, but that had me clapping the screen at stages. Some people actually applauded the movie when
    it ended.

    It’s like they finally aimed it at the fan base, rather than take it for
    granted that the fan base would go anyway and trying to make it work for everyone else. And I for one appreciated those touches as they have been sorely missing from the franchise. But regardless of whether that stuff resonates with you or not it still has a much better plot than any of the other films and importantly it’s a grand spectacle – almost without a doubt bigger and more outrageous than any other movie in history, period. It is simply EPIC.

    Anyone that is a true Transformers fan obviously wants to and tries to like these movies. Three times previous to this I have failed in this task more or less and pretty much became a card carrying member of the &@#% You Michael Bay You Killed My Childhood club. Yet this time when they take it in yet another direction that is completely incongruous with the beloved and sacred G1 mythology – I totally went with them instead of fighting it. And actually, it is pretty damn cool. I didn’t have to try to like this movie. As a Transformers mega-geek Age of Extinction was simply just inherently enjoyable to me in nearly every way. Plus as I said it has a lot of delicious little morsels for the old school fans that just become the cherry on top of a very sweet sundae.

    I am honestly and truly sorry for anyone that thinks they are a Transformers fan but that doesn’t absolutely love this movie. I think it is just a horrible defect in their personality. They will never be happy unless watching the movie is a mere carbon copy of their experiences watching the G1 cartoon. Yes Michael didn’t go in the direction we wanted him to at first. But where he has ended up should allow us to forgive if not forget and appreciate the unique and incredible nature of this motion picture.

    When we thought all hope was lost, Michael Bay has given us what we have been wanting all these years. But for some their own cynicism will not allow them to celebrate the occasion. To them I say let the 6 year old inside you finally let go of all the pain and rip up your Bay Haters membership card.

    All the Transformers aficionados that are brow beaten, dejected and void of all hope should rest assured that finally Michael Bay has miraculously managed to not completely &@#% up a Transformers film.

    The jaded, dejected and resentful among the once wide-eyed and awestruck Transformer mega-geeks: rejoice! For you are the chosen ones. You are the chosen few for whom Transformers: Age of Extinction won’t be a loud and obnoxious destruction of two and a half perfectly good hours of your life. It will be an exhilarating, deeply satisfying and ultimately spiritual experience.

  7. Other than a propensity for bad language, you don’t seem to have much going for you. I don’t remember who said it, but I was always in agreement with the person who wrote that ‘foul language was the last resort of the weak mind to express itself forcefully.’
    Your mama has my sympathy.

      1. Not at all. Coming from such an anserine individual such as yourself, it’s practically a compliment.
        And you have no idea. I would gladly swap my current state of lack of good health for your lack of loquacity in the proverbial heartbeat.
        On the other hand, you don’t seem to be hiding your linguistic ineptitude behind an idiotic pseudonym, so points to you for not being an anonymous heap of fetid dingoes’ kidneys..

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