Transformers Age Of Extinction: Australian Review

There's a certain expectation about what you're going to get when you sit down for a Michael Bay blockbuster. You expect that things will explode, character development will be thin and plot will be thinner. In Transformers: Age Of Extinction, however, it's beyond a joke: it's full-blown Michael Bayhem.

Spoiler Alert: There are spoilers beyond this point, but for the love of all things holy, it's a Transformers movie. It doesn't matter.

Usually when we review a film, we first describe to you a brief overview of the plot, talk about the effects, the action and mention the problems as we saw them. With this review, it's hard to even begin, mostly because there are about six different plots going on at once. I'll try my best here.

The film centres around Cade Yeager, played by Mark Wahlberg, and his daughter Tessa Yeager, played by Nicola Peltz. It's worth noting that I had to look up both of their character names: the film makes no effort getting you to remember who they are. It's just Marky Mark and his daughter.

We're also introduced to the excellent T.J Miller early on, who is part of Marky Mark's salvage and repair business, and some Irish guy that plays boyfriend to the daughter character.

Marky Mark and T.J Miller locate an old truck and purchase it in order to strip it down, before discovering that they've happened upon a wounded Optimus Prime. The government seems to hate Transformers these days, so the discovery brings an elite CIA death squad down on Marky Mark's family, leading to the unfortunate death of T.J Miller early on in the piece.

Here's where it starts to go sideways: the CIA death squad is actually in the secret employ of a Transformer bounty-hunter from another world who wants Optimus Prime for his trophy case of kills. In exchange, bounty-hunter Transformer will give the head of the CIA death squad — played by Kelsey Grammer — a Macguffin called "The Seed".

Together with Stanley Tucci's character — an evil Steve Jobs of sorts — Kelsey Grammer will use The Seed to turn organic matter into a metal called Transformium (still with me?) to make new and better transformer robots for the private sector.

Cue the Yaeger family and the creepy boyfriend character getting involved in the massive search for the bounty hunter Transformer and The Seed in order to save the world with the help of the Autobots.

PHEW.

In any other movie, even a bonkers Transformers movie, the CIA death squad hunting the family storyline would be enough to fill one 90-minute movie. Chase, fight, resolve, happily ever after. In Age Of Extinction, it's just one plot in what reads like a script written in one never-ending game of Mad Libs.

I say never-ending because the film goes for THREE. HOURS. The rumoured budget for the film is $165 million, which means that for every minute of running time, $1 million was spent. What a waste.

It's an appalling abuse of your time, your intelligence and your patience for general Michael Bay tropes.

Every 20 minutes you're assaulted with another terrible product placement piece: at one point Marky Mark crashes into a Bud Light truck, before arguing with the driver, cracking one open and drinking it before threatening to assault him. 30 minutes later, a Transformer crashes through a bus bearing a large Victoria's Secret ad. That's two out of about 10 examples we saw.

There are so many problems with Transformers: Age Of Extinction that we can barely cover them all in one review without spontaneously combusting. There's pointless fight after pointless fight and stupid dialogue after stupid dialogue. It got to a point in the middle where if you had asked me to describe the events that had happened half an hour ago in the film, I wouldn't have been able to tell you. That was the point I considered walking out.

The only way I would recommend Tranformers: Age Of Extinction is if you're with a group of your funniest, drunkest friends. It's a B-movie in every possible way, and B-movies require alcohol and laughter to get through.

There has already been a sequel confirmed for 2017, and I can't wait to not see it.

Tranformers: Age Of Extinction opens on 27 June.


Comments

    Why the fuck is this movie 166 mins long?

      Hasbro's advertising department got a bit carried away i guess

        That's why you make a 90 minute movie to get more screenings in per day. Stupid Hasbro should be hiring me for advice.

          Probably could have worked for the Lorax, if they removed those evil corporation and teen dating subplots.

    Terrible product placement, you've got to be kidding me, ALL the Transformers movies and even the original tv series are just one giant ad for the toys.

      Yes, but everybody knew that and the writers (not counting the other movies) knew that they had to make the cartoon interesting to get people interested in buying those toys. That's why people fondly remember the stories and characters. Come on, Prime dies in the original movie and it was the first experience of loss to many children. They didn't cry because their little sister broke their favourite toy, they cried because they lost their favourite hero.

        Never forgive, never forget, Hasbro.

    the CIA death squad is actually in the secret employ of a Transformer bounty-hunter from another world who wants Optimus Prime for his trophy case of kills

    Oh... wow. I know the story would have been stupid, but that... that goes beyond all words of just stupid.

    In fact, you know what. The story is retarded. Yes, I know how offensive it is to use that word to describe something, especially the story of a dumb movie. But that's all I can think of. The story in this movie is just retarded. Full on retarded, and you never go full retard.

    The actual cartoon series was never this stupid. I'm actually considering looking up that Hentai Kiss, Transformers comic just to see if the storyline in that is just as bad.

      I disagree. The Gen1 cartoon was a horrible mess of nostalgia and toy placement. Look no further than Carnage in C-Minor to get an idea of just *how* bad it was.

      Can't link to a video because for some bizarre reason YouTube have removed all versions of it. Instead can read all about it here - http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Carnage_in_C-Minor

        Yeah, but it was post the movie. Everything started to go downhill after the movie and they slaughtered half the cast so they could sell new toys.

          You say that, but then "The Girl who loved Powerglide" exists.

          That said, the movie was the absolute pinnacle of Gen1, but it'd be hard pressed not to be given the production values and the voice cast!

    Sounds like how I saw the third one. I actually enjoyed the first and second was okay. Third was painful and confusing and this just sounds worse.

      With you completely, LOVED the first one, 2nd was okay.

      What made the pain of the third much worse was everyone else I spoke to gushing "OMGAWWDD DAT WAS DA BEST SO AWWSUM WOOWWWW"

      O_O

      People will see it, and most people are satisfied with flashing lights and colours for 120minutes.

      It was so obvious that they didn't even *try* and just pumped out a movie as a cash cow, it was insulting! They reused footage from his previous movies and just added cgi robots [highway chase scene was taken from The Island]

      It's just insulting now.

    DIdn't they do the whole secret group paid by Decepticons to bring down Autobots already? Pretty sure it was the useless side plot in Dark of the moon?
    Hopefully Michael Bay will eventually go the way of Paul WS Anderson. Make enough terrible Resident Evil movies that no one will ever offer you work again.

    Last edited 24/06/14 1:58 pm

      You know there's another Resident Evil movie by him due next year and they're insanely profitable? He'll keep getting work, guaranteed.

    Out of curiousity, could Luke give us a rough idea of his opinion on the first 3 Transformers movies, and how this one compares?

      Good question.

      First Transformers was a solid romp. Shooting, 'splosions, Megan Fox.

      Second Transformers was a bit average, and really upped the robots-fighting quotient to the point that it turned into visual noise: you couldn't even see what was going on.

      Third Transformers was actually my favourite of the three. I love a big event movie, and the Battle of Chicago was rad. Really did it for me.

      While I'm here, I want to say one thing about the female protagonists in the Transformers movies.

      It's interesting to chart the laziness of Transformers movies based on what the female protagonist have to do in the film.

      Megan Fox was great as Mikaela, not because of how the character was played but because of what she could contribute.

      She had street smarts and played a vital role in the final battle of the first Transformers film by towing Bumblebee along as a sort of portable cannon. She hotwires cars and safeguards The Cube sliver and that weird leg-humping robot in the second movie.

      Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's character from the third Transformers movie had less to do. She was just the object of affection for Patrick Dempsey's villain, and the connection between the bad guy and the good guy at the beginning of the film to facilitate their meeting.

      The fourth Transformers movie sees the female protagonist literally act as a damsel in distress. She has nothing to do other than get saved.

      Spoilers ahead.

      She's threatened by the Feds in order to advance the plot, she's taken up in an alien spaceship to facilitate the Transformers getting on the giant alien ship in the first place, she's never does a thing to save herself and is always calling for her boyfriend or father to pick her out of a jam, rather than pick up a gun herself and start shooting: something that both female protagonists did in all the previous Transformers films.

      Obviously, if you're talking about sexism in Transformers you'll be here all day. Bay seems to care little for the empowerment of women, instead choosing to use them as sex objects littered throughout his world of Bayhem, but I digress. This was just one observation of how women are written in Transformers. To stress: there are bigger problems with the representation of women in Michael Bay films than what has been written here.
      In the age of female empowerment in which we live where movies like Frozen have completely flipped the script for what a female protagonist can and can't do in a film, I thought that was particularly weird.

      /rant

        God Frozen was boring....

          Let it g-- No! No, I'm not going to be that kind of arsehole who gets Disney songs stuck in peoples' heads for shits and gigs like a certain Scot who is in the employ of this site.

        The best thing my friend and I had to say about the third one (which we actually did like in context) was "well, it was less racist and sexist than the second one!" which is now the standard by which we judge all Bayformers movies.

        I would like to go ahead and add my take on the earlier films, being a big Trannie fan from the 80s.

        Bay1 - Liked it a lot, felt like a new spin on things. Still holding a grudge about Welker being discarded though.

        Bay2 - Hated it with a passion. First off, Prime (and by extension the Autobots) are not executioners. Never resorted to killing. "Robots in disguise" applied here to the Decpticons in hiding from their oppressor Autobot executioners. Almost like Bay didn't even read the story. So many robots that just looked like they were the results of "will it blend" (google it) - hell Bumblebee tears out Ravages spine, Mortal Kombat style. Good thing they're robots huh otherwise lets see that rating go up a notch. Prime dies and in the next breath he's revived. The twins? This is bad comedy. Also the perfect example of gestalts done wrong. Then Jetfire has a goddamned walking stick as part of his transformation. Thought there could be redemption in Optimal Optimus, but then Jetfire's carcass just gets discarded when he was done with it after 20 seconds. This abortion should never have left the bucket.

        Bay3 - Liked this one a hell of a lot more than 2, though the ending sucked hard. As with Bay2, Prime is not an executioner. He would never have killed Sentinel and Megatron so brutally. Completely out of character and left a bad taste. Still on the fence about Urotsukidoji Shockwave (google it, maybe not at work).

    I could have told you this movie was terrible before you went and watched, and saved you 3 hours of your life.

    Bayformers suck. I don't understand why they can't make movies in the same vein as the High Moon Cybertron games or Transformers: Prime.
    At least they are TF done right and focus on the proper characters.

    So i can get drunk and look at the special effects and the fights without needing to worry about what is actually going on. Sweet.

    What amazes me is how anyone of sane mind could possibly think this would have been any different. Mr Bay only needs to add cash explosions erupting from Megan Fox's cleavage and the circle will be complete.

    I have a soft spot for marky mark. This is disappointing.

    This review doesn't dissuade me at all from seeing it. I know it is going to be horrible crap and I am going to soak in every glorious bad minute in.

    Looking forward to Teenage Mutant Michael Bay Turtles!

    I think I saw snow explode in one of the trailers!

    Yes, but does Marky Mark sing the credits song.

      I believe the lack of a song contribution from Will Smith was the greatest cause of the problems with "After Earth".... and everything else about the movie.

    And this will happen to TNMT too. It will be 4 movies, each progressively shit!

    I just moved in with my girlfriend. She's the most amazing women I've ever met. She's smart, wise, nerdy, insanely beautiful, she's in love with my two sons like they're her own, buying them clothes and stuff all the time, we're ridiculously compatible in the bedroom, it's actually nothing short of a Disney fairy tale.

    The only thing is ... she likes the Transformers movies =[

    I just don't get it. She's got taste, she hates the Star Wars prequels. But for some reason she loves watching Bay's horrendous movies. We've discussed it, she knows they're bad movies, she gets why they're almost universally panned, but she has a self confessed enjoyment of the films.

    It's not going to be easy to accept, it's something we've got to work on. But I'm just going to be as understanding and supportive as I can. This Thursday I'm about to defile my standards and buy two tickets for this no doubt, shitty movie. The things we do for love ...

    Wish me luck, guys.

      She also thinks Sarah Palmer is well written and interesting.

        Now THAT would really strain the relationship. I don't know what I'd do.

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