Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark ‘Mahky-Mahk’ Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer
With Transformers: Age of Extinction (Transformers 4) bashing and smashing its way into our shops this week, here’s my review of Michael Bay’s recent instalment in his ‘robots hitting one another’ franchise.
- blockbuster n. A thing of great power or size, in particular a film, book, or other product that is a great commercial success.
The key phrase in that definition is “great commercial success”. What Michael Bay has done is find the perfect formula to make a record-breaking blockbuster: explosions, mindless action, product placement, and good-looking women. Transformers: Age of Extinction has all of those things, as did Transformers 1, 2, and 3, yet it also adds one more money grabbing scheme into the mix, China.
They all broke box office records, but the reason behind Age of Extinction’s earth shattering success is setting parts of the film in China, namely Hong Kong. Commercially, this was a stroke of genius. Yes, Michael Bay may direct films like a 13-year-old, but there’s no denying his genius when it comes to making money and boosting his own ego. In his next film, he may be better off just blowing up his own head! Now that I would go and see in a heartbeat.
This instalment in the franchise finds Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a down-and-out inventor, stumbling upon an old truck. Being an inventor, he discovers that it is in fact the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. Cade, along with his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) and her boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor), have to protect Autobots from a bounty hunter from another world.
Sweety, hand me my alien gun!
That’s about the size of it. The plot (if you can call it a plot) is a complete mess. It jumps from one scene to the next so abruptly that the whole film is incomprehensible. The writing is atrocious, the set pieces make little sense; a car chase will begin in a corn field and suddenly relocate to what is obviously a race track. The less said about the acting the better. Transformers 4 is not just bad, it’s worse than that – it’s dull. Clocking in at 165 minutes, it’s 2 hours and 45 minutes of complete, bum-numbing, boredom!
When describing his film, Bay used the word ‘epic’. He obviously thought that meant make a film which is almost 3 hours long, because heck, everyone knows that epics are all about their length and nothing to do with character development, well written parts, good acting and brilliantly directed set pieces.
But lets give credit where credit’s due, Bay has managed to direct a film which has been almost entirely funded through product placement. He has also directed the year’s most profitable film so far, and the only film this year to break the $1 billion mark, and has smashed records in China, earning a stunning $301 million.
The only people that come out of this film well are Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox – because they aren’t in it! Please, if you care about cinema at at, don’t buy this film! It’s utter rubbish and I’m sure that it’s bad for your health.
Here’s a trailer that puts everything into perspective: