** Spoilers ahead. This is not a professional review. We don’t do that here! This is simply my rambling view of a new release movie that I just happened to see. Take it all with a grain of salt and don’t say you weren’t warned 🙂 **
Bay-formers 4 hit theaters on the 27th of this month, and the critics went crazy with their lambasting of it! Hate, anger, harsh words spewed from foam-covered lips. They were on it like flies on poop. But this Sunday morning, just a couple of days after, and it’s hit 301 Million world-wide during it’s first few days of opening weekend. But … but … but I thought all these finely tuned critics and reviewers said it was utter crap? Crap shouldn’t be making $301 Million.
So, in an attempt to find out what the deal was, I braved the rabid crowds and went to see the movie for myself. I paid for the 3:45 PM Regal Premium Experience (RPX to be cool) and sat on the front row. The screen was H U G E and the sound was awesome. Popcorn was tasty, drink fresh and mixed just right. Everything was perfect, especially when the lights finally went down and Transformers: Age of Extinction began.
The movie takes place five years after Transformers: Dark of the Moon and thankfully the entire human cast from those previous three movies have dropped off the face of the planet. In fact, the Autobots themselves have dropped off the face of the planet as they are now in hiding and being hunted by a new group of specially trained soldiers. This task force is led by a bounty hunter Transformer known as Lockdown and a human, Harold Attinger, played brilliantly by Kelsey Grammer. Lockdown is a badass Transformer who has been sent by The Creators of the Transformers to bring back Optimus Prime. Not much else is really revealed about this, but I’m sure it’ll be the basis of future sequels, if any.
The other Autobots starring in this movie are, of course, Optimus Prime, Hound (John Goodman), Drift (Ken Watanabe), Crosshairs (John DiMaggio) and Brains (Reno Wilson), and of course Bumblebee. All of the Transformers get a sleek redesign in this film, smoother curves and corners – except for Bumblebee who still pretty much looks the same. Even Hound, the military truck with a cigar and attitude that likes to call everyone a “bitch” is presented as sleek and easy on the eyes. There is even a triple-changer amongst us, as the ninja bot, Drift, can transform into a car and a helicopter.
The Decepticons aren’t really the Decepticons as they are all man-made Transformers in this movie. A scientific research group has been mining dead Transformers for their metal, dubbed Transformium, and have discovered how to create man-made Transformers. One such creation is programmed directly from the decapitated head of Megatron and has been dubbed Galvatron. This doesn’t go over well, of course, as Megatron is too smart for the humans and has secretly been downloading his consciousness into the Galvatron form. We get to see Galvatron in action once, in both vehicle and robot mode, and then get a glimpse of him at the end as he quietly leaves the scene and promises to return. A bit of a disappointment, but diehard fans were probably disappointed anyways at him being man-made and not resurrected by Unicron as in the original animated movie.
And finally, the Dinobots. Oh my. The Dinobots are probably why so many people wanted to see this movie. Dinosaur Transformers finally making their way to the big screen. Well, I won’t go into detail, but I’ll leave with this: if you’re going to see Age of Extinction for the Dinobots, you’ll have to wait to nearly the very end of the movie, and even then you’ll only be rewarded with about 15 minutes of screen time for the Dinobots. And not very clear screen time at that as they are in combat for the majority of that time. They are still cool to see brought to life, and I for one wasn’t expecting their size to be so great. The Dinobots are HUGE even by Transformer standards.
Oh, the human cast. Thank God the human cast has been reset to welcome new actors. I absolutely hated the human cast of the last three movies, they brought the movies down and made it more cringe-worthy than it needed be. Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor and everyone else starring in this movie were fantastic. There were some cheesy lines, mostly attributed to T.J. Miller, which you don’t have to listen to very long, but over all everyone was fantastic and I wouldn’t mind seeing any of them return for the next film in the series.
Transformers: Age of Extinction delivers all the qualities you’d expect of a Michael Bay movie. Explosions, car chases, fights – it’s all in glorious digital media right there. Don’t go in looking to deep into the story or you’ll hate every second of it. Go in for the entertainment factor. It’s a brainless Summer blockbuster and it delivers in just the right spots to make it such. So what if Bay has raped your childhood memories by giving us his version of a classic children’s tv show. Here’s how the world works these days: you’ve got the original, and you’ve got the “cinematic universe.” What has come before may be decent source material, but just like with X-Men Days of Future Past or The Walking Dead, or even Game of Thrones, the material can be altered to better suit the needs of the situation. It doesn’t have to be an exact translation to be enjoyed or successful. Loosen up, folks and go with the flow. Have some fun.
Fun times viewing Transformers: Age of Extinction. Glad I didn’t listen to the uptight, fancy-schmancy movie critics or I would have missed a great adventure. Much improved over the previous three films mainly thanks to the human cast being fresh and new. My only complaint, and I’ll end on this, is that I haven’t liked what they’ve done with Optimus Prime over the last two movies. In Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction, Prime has been made out to be more of a crazy, senile old nutcase then a heroic Autobot leader that others should look up to. He has been turned from role model to a lunatic that’s finally cracked and constantly mutters how he’s going to kill everyone. Aside from that, I’m good!