This is not a film. What on Earth does that mean? Of course Age of Extinction is a film. A whole two hours and forty-five minutes of a film. Mark Wahlberg’s in it, and there’s lots of CGI so it should be a film, right?
Transformers isn’t a film. You might now be expecting me to call it an advertisement, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Painfully obvious Bud Light product placements certainly make it come close to one. But it’s not really a full one of those either. It’s just some product. It’s what happens when someone goes on Dragon’s Den but without an idea. Like when someone offers to be team captain on The Apprentice and proceeds to have no idea what’s going on. In both disastrous, publicly embarrassingly cases there is a product at the end of it all, but what it is barely classifies as what it’s supposed to be. And that’s why Age of Extinction isn’t a movie, so much as a means of making money in a way that might be comparable to it being a movie.
Movies generally have characters. They generally have a story. Even mindless dumb movies pack an umph. Some of the worst movies I’ve reviewed on this blog – movies I think are worse than Age of Extinction – have these things. And perhaps that’s what I hate most about Age of Extinction; that it’s not even the worst film I’ve seen and yet it feels as though it should be. That and the fact my go to word to describe the film would be to call it worthless, and yet it’s clearly not because it made so much money.
And I suppose all this begs the question of what happens in the film? What possible film merits all this criticism before I’ve even told you what it’s about? Well it’s a Transformers film that has two good things going for it: The first thing is that the stakes have been railed back. I mean the world is still in danger, but it’s a walk in the park for the Transformers and company compared to what’s on the line in the previous films. The second is the initial premise is gripping. I mean, granted, the film does absolutely nothing to keep you on the hook after it promises you something that might be interesting, but it does have five whole minutes where you’re like oh this plot is, conceptually and only on paper, pretty okay. It’s basically a robot bounty hunter working with the CIA to hunt the autobots. But all that is thrown out the window pretty quick in favour of more Megatron trying to blow up the world antics.
Now, I know what you’re wondering. What is that scene in this movie? In Transformers 1, it was Megan Fox sexually leaning over a car. In Transformers 2, it was Megan Fox’s ass propped up like a pornstar’s ass on a motorbike. In Transformers 3, it was Rosie Huntington-Whitley’s bare ass being the first thing we see of the new female lead, in a tracking shot no less. In this one, it’s a twenty year old man justifying to the father of a seventeen year old girl that he is legally allowed to date her, by saying there is a legal loop-hole allowing him to have a sexual relationship with her… And not in just some throw away line, but in a good 2-3 minute scene of just straight dialogue about nothing but… that. Not only did this not have to be in the film, but they could have simply given the main character a daughter who wasn’t a minor. Or given the daughter a love interest of the same age. Or… literally anything else, other than this.
If the next person revealed to be a sex pest in Hollywood is Michael Bay, I can’t say I’d be surprised given that the writing would have been on the wall for a long, long time.
And the fact this is the most notable part of the film should also speak to how utter crap the rest of the film is and, indeed, how inept Michael Bay has become at tapping into that primal part of your brain since the Revenge of the Fallen. We’ve reached a stage where you can’t just be swept up in the Transformers action. Every waking moment of this film is so packed full of energy that you’re consciously aware of every camera movement, delivery of dialogue and CGI monster movement. And you see every damn flaw in it. How dumbfoundedly inept it is. And no matter how badass the robots are, you never say to yourself wow, that was badass, you just think oh.
This film might keep your eyes on it. But it doesn’t keep your attention. It’s like staring through the screen and to the wall behind it, because the human brain simply isn’t wired properly to consume this onslaught. When every scene in the film is shot like the most dramatic scene in the film, no scene is dramatic. It all blends together. You might find yourself afterwards trying to recall something that happened only moments before the credits rolled, and actually struggle.
Oh and there’s robot dinosaurs in this one. They don’t do that much.
Obviously I would not, under any circumstances, recommend Transformers Age of Extinction. But if you do have some morbid curiosity, or are some sort of cinephile masochist who really wants to watch it, please find a way of doing so without paying for it. As I said, this film’s a product. A bad product at that. Don’t give them your money for it. I mean, I would never support piracy or putlocker websites… But y’know. Maybe you can borrow the DVD off your mate or something?
Also I’ve given up ranking these films. Each one is irreversibly, undeniably worse than the last. So if you were wondering if Revenge of the Fallen or Dark of the Moon could be better than anything… The answer is yes; their sequels.
Hahaha. Yes, this does sound like total crap. Love your intro.
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Thank you! Yet to watch or write up The Last Knight at this moment. The fact I wrote up this review a good two weeks prior to it going up speaks volumes to how much the film tired me out. Because, sure, Dark of the Moon was relentless, but I was still ready for more when it was done. I honestly don’t know how they stepped up the crap this much for this one.