Again, this is a late review, but not so late. Transformers: Age of Extinction, whom I hated the title because it stole the ‘Age’ from Marvel is yet another Transformers movie, and again directed by Michael Bay. After three years, will Bay realize his mistake and make the Tranformers movie everybody- casual viewers, fans AND critics alike, want to see? Find out.
Since this is a late review, most of you know that this film is the worst-reviewed in the franchise by Rotten Tomatoes. And after watching it, I get why the hate on the movie. Before I go on and review the movie let me give you a brief history about me as a fan of Transformers. First off, I’m a casual Tranformers fan. I love the concept and the universe, but I don’t collect the toys. And it is only recently that I’ve begun to watch Transformers Prime, as well as playing War for Cybertron, Fall of Cybertron, and Rise of the Dark Spark. As such, I never watched G1 so this is a review from a fan who is not a particular GEEWUN.
Regarding Bayformers franchise, I have to say I enjoyed the shit out of the first movie because it was something new at the time, and probably the most sinful thing is that I’m 12 during that time, as such watching those explosions makes me excited. And then came Revenge of the Fallen. I was 14, which is Michael Bay’s target audience. And while I do realize that I was confused by who’s fighting who, I don’t care because of THINGS! EXCITEMENT! EXPLOSIONS! MEGAN FOX! I’m not gonna lie, I enjoyed Megan Fox because I was 14, I was dumb, I was going through puberty! And let me tell you this, Michael Bay seeks to make kids in puberty cry in excitement.
And then came Dark of the Moon. By that time I ‘matured’ because I realize how horrible the film, to an extent the franchise. First, I immediately hated on the film when they replaced Megan Fox with the talentless Rosie-Hutington Whitley, but then I realized that Michael Bay jacks off to explosion and with that, when I watched Dark of the Moon, it was one of the worst movies I ever watch. Till this day, even though I’m aware that Revenge of the Fallen is the worse, I still consider Dark of the Moon to take the cake. And so when Age of Extinction trailer came, I am not impressed at all because it looks like it’s going to be the same movie again, but regardless I’m gonna watch it because I’m a reviewer.
With that, let’s talk about the movie. So basically, I hate Bayformers because of the second and third movies, but I have to say, this movie doesn’t deserve the hatred it got. Yes, it is a BAD movie because it’s the same movie, but at the same time I do feel like they are making progress and decides to improvise, even though it’s only 10%, which for a Michael Bay standard, sadly it is much.
Now I’m gonna talk about the pros of the movie first. First, they have learned their lesson and make the Autobots distinctive. We got 5 Autobots minus the Dinobots and they are thank goodness color-coded and each have distinctive design, so we can tell who’s who and we know who is fighting whatsoever that appeared in the screen. And this time, they expanded on the Autobots personalities more, you can see that they are memorable and not forgettable like the previous movies. I mean remember Jolt? You don’t? See, that’s the point!
I love the new design of the autobots, particularly the redesigned Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Optimus looks sleeker than ever with a knight motive, and I can’t help but wanting a Revoltech figure of him! (Because I for some reason didn’t like collecting the transformable toy, and I prefer screen-accurate details and perfect articulation) And the new Autobots, like I said, is very distinctive. Drift looks like a samurai and you can clearly identify who he is, Crosshairs has these unique Irish design, and Hound is just magnificent. But what’s more is that their performances.
Out of all, Crosshairs is probably the least focused Autobot in the movie, because he was just there, kinda like Jazz did. Thankfully he didn’t die, none of them were, which is awesome. Drift, while is a very stereotypical character, is fine, mostly because he’s a goddamn samurai, although I do question why they make him a triple changer. Bumblebee, although still mute (I want Johnny Yong Bosch to voice him goddammit!), is actually utilized better in the movie. His speaks a lot through his radio-voice, which is a great concept and when they used it often it is not as bad as it seems, but still real voice would be better. Also, I LOVE Bumblebee’s design in the movie, his weapons and especially his battle mask. It looks gorgeous, almost insect-like. And then comes Hound. I think Hound is naturally a fan favorite because he’s the one who displays the most personality, as well as the one who has the most speaking lines throughout the movie, even more than Optimus.
Now for Optimus, the thing I wanted to talk about him is that the way he is portrayed in the movies. In this one, Optimus is no longer the optimistic Autobot that believes in humanity, which makes him a Pessimus Prime? Or something like that. Truth to be honest I really liked his role. I mean they had the balls to make a character like Optimus and turn him darker, more realistic personality. But sadly they didn’t really expand on that aspect, particularly because the movie still focused a lot on the humans.
Next is the humans. In particular, Cade Yeager and Joshua Joyce played by Mark Walhberg and Stanley Tucci, respectively. Now, these two are the only two characters that are good in the movie, simply because they are good actors. No offense to Kelsey Grammer but his character is so cliche. Cade, compared to Sam is far more useful, because he aids the Transformers in their fights, using a sword-gun thing unlike Sam who keeps running an screaming for Bumblebee to save him. Joshua, is basically the new John Torturro of the movie, because you can see how the character turned out at the end of the movie. But at the very least even with the shitty dialogue they force Tucci to say, Tucci himself managed to save the character.
Now let’s move on to the cons, because they are so many. First one is that Michael Bay still haven’t learned his lesson that this is a Transformers movie, not a human movie. Yes, the humans are necessary but don’t turn them into the main protagonists of the movie! While the movie did make the Autobots have more personality, Michael Bay just put the humans first in terms of action. An example is where they were in Lockdown’s ship. The action focused on humans more than the Transformers, which is really annoying when you have to deal with annoying characters like Shane.
Speaking of the action, this is another thing that Michael Bay still haven’t learned. Or rather because he won’t get turned on without explosions. My main gripe about the actions is that the camera work focuses on one shot, mostly involving humans at the center at the shot, with Transformers fighting in the background or worse, the side of the shot. I don’t know but Michael Bay doesn’t seem to know how it works. Yeah, filming an empty shot because CGI characters would be added later may feel boring, but that’s what your job is supposed to be! We don’t care about the humans’ survival in that action, we just want to see robot fighting robot! And don’t get me started on the use of explosions.
Next is the characters. I’ll be honest, Shane should’ve just been cut from the movie and replace him with Lucas, Cade’s friend who got killed earlier in the movie. Not only he’s useless, but he’s just there because every movie needs a kissing scene. That’s it. And Nicola Peltz. I’ve read a review from a fellow staff at Herotaku and he praised Peltz’s performance, which makes my brain spinning. I really don’t get why Michael Bay hired her, let alone bitch-ify her. She really is a terrible actress, and still is. I mean just look at the way she delivered her dialogue. It both sloppy and wooden. And speaking about bitches, all of the other bitches, you know, Michael Bay bitches, is really, really pointless to the point that I get disgusted in seeing them instead of getting turned on like what Michael Bay wants me to.
Next, the main criticism of the movie is that it’s way too long. The problem is that the movie is draggy most of the time, and those scenes would rather be cut and put it as a DVD extra or something. For example, they could just skip the whole car chase scene where Shane is driving and Lucas is killed. Yes, that scene is important to show because Lucas is killed, but they could just do it when the villains are holding him at gunpoint and then kill him. The scene was very pointless because they don’t even focus on Optimus VS Lockdown much. Another one is where Li Bingbing’s character tells Joshua to hide at the rooftop. The scene was very stupid, and it makes Joshua’s character even more stupid, and it deserved to be removed. Also, I got really bored when they entered China, because it was already at the 2-hour mark and the movie still doesn’t end. I feel like they could’ve just ended it on Chicago and have it set in China for the next movie or something. I do appreciate the different scenery at China, but it was just too many senseless actions, it serves nothing more than Michael Bay reaching orgasm. Prolonged orgasm. With that, you’ll probably get a 140-minute movie, and it won’t look as draggy as it is.
Last but not the least: the Dinobots. While I’m no hardcore Transformers fan, I think everybody who watch Transformers would immediately consider the Dinobots as their favorite, because they are goddamn dinosaurs! Yet, they are shoved into the movie, and mostly exist because to sell toys. While the Autobots had proper focus, the Dinobots get treated just like the previous Autobots in the 2nd and 3rd movie. This is probably one of the reasons why people bashed the movie, because Dinobots honestly had even less screen time than Godzilla did!
Overall, Transformers is both an improvement and disappointment to the franchise. I could talk about it all day but it would be very long just like the movie. All that I can say that Michael Bay needs to tone down his obsession with explosions and hot girls. I want a really good Transformers movie. We all do. And we know the franchise won’t end yet, especially with this movie acting as the first of a second trilogy. The best thing we can hope is that they hire a new director who’ll hopefully wins the franchise to all kinds of audiences.
In retrospect, Transformers: Age of Extinction is Meh, Could’ve Been Better. I MEAN IT.