Transformers: Age of Extinction Review

Even though the term “blockbuster” appeared for the first time back in the 70s around the phenomenal success of Spielberg‘s Jaws, the word seems to suit no other director better than Michael Bay. Give the man a budget of 200 million and he’ll make it back on the first 3 days of release. Although, if after Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight trilogy, you’re expecting something other than just a visual spectacle unfortunately you won’t find it with Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Optimus Still #1 (Optimus on his knees).jpgWhat’s it about? Five years have passed since the so-called Battle Of Chicago. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a struggling inventor buys an old truck to strip it for parts and sells it to put Cade’s daughter, Tessa, through college. He soon discovers that the truck is none other than Optimus Prime, leader of the Transformers. Meanwhile, a paranoid Government official (Kelsey Grammer) is hunting down the last members of the Decepticons and Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), the arrogant head of KSI, is trying to build his own Transformers. When the Government finds out about Optimus Prime, James Savoy (Titus Welliver) goes on a mission to track down Cade, Tessa and Optimus Prime aided by evil bounty hunter called Lockdown (Mark Ryan). A huge battle ensues in which the new dinobots make a triumphant appearance.

Verdict: Let’s be honest. The whole Transformers franchise has always been very successful but hasn’t yet delivered a good film in an artistic and cinematographic sense. Yes, the first one was a cute, visually stunning and entertaining blockbuster, but that’s about it.

Nothing from Age Of Extinction gets under your skin or sticks with you after leaving the theater. But let’s be honest, if you go to watch a Michael Bay movie you’re not going to listen to deep, meaningful dialogue, but just some tongue-in-cheek one liners. You’re not expecting powerful performances with original characters, instead, you know you’ll get hot girls, model-like guys and stereotyped characters. Actually, who cares about the story as long as it takes you to exotic locations where there’s stuff blowing up and the protagonists run in super-slow motion?

Optimus still #2 (Sword pointing)

This new Transformers movie lacks character development but delivers on the promise of awesome action set pieces.  From the prologue that makes you long for the new Jurassic Park film to the moment in which boats, cars and all sorts of vehicles rain over the protagonists, the whole movie goes from one set piece to the next displaying some of the coolest, jaw-dropping visual effects you’ll see this year. Yes, it is awesome. The problem is that after almost three hours of stuff blowing up, once you’re out of the cinema every scene gets mixed up in your mind and it’s hard to remember which one actually stands out. The visual effects are so high all the way through the film that when the actual end of the movie arrives, the audience is so visually exhausted that there’s no real sense of closure or ending.

Final words: An IMAX 3D celebration. It doesn’t feel as though you’re watching a movie; it’s more like stepping into the longest, most insanely awesome yet brainless roller-coaster. If you can answer with a “no”  to the following question, this is your movie: do you care about the screenplay when there are giant robots riding dinosaurs and fighting other huge robots?