Transformers: Age of Extinction Screen 12 articles

Transformers: Age of Extinction

2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction Poster
  • Bay's framing confirms his viewpoint as the total inverse of Gareth Edwards's: He shoots his chaos from above and his human protagonists from below, emphasizing their default centrality. It betrays Bay's lack of genuine wonder, and explains why his Transformers series's "more than meets the eye" becomes far less than what captures the imagination.

  • Michael Bay films may be loud, dumb, and tasteless, but they’re rarely boring, at least not on the big screen... With Transformers: Age Of Extinction, however, Bay seems to have exhausted himself. The fourth, longest, and flimsiest entry in the director’s signature franchise finds Bay mostly in cruise control, snapping to only when the movie veers away from the “robots fighting in tax-friendly locations” formula—which, unfortunately, isn’t very often.

  • Bay doesn’t deign to extend his extraordinary control to the images; he substitutes attitude for comprehension and swagger for observation, and, for all his meticulous command over the movie’s elements of action and design, performance and effect, his taste is cheerfully execrable. He’s the Wes Anderson of dreck.

  • The editing, far less frantic than usual, maintains a sense of spatial coherence unprecedented in his work, and Mark Wahlberg, the most focused and modest leading man of his generation, brings a much-needed human dimension to the grandstanding visuals... In the end, though, this is still a movie about giant robots fighting each other, which is to say it's nearly impossible to take seriously on a narrative level.

  • Who cares if the human characters are even more dispensable and the plot even more scattershot than usual? Resurrected to take on man-made knock-offs of themselves, these metallic superheroes cause so much destruction, it’s as if they’re trying to find a literal new definition for the term “blockbuster” — and indeed, as in the 2007-11 trilogy... helmer Michael Bay continues to evolve ways to make robotic shape-shifting look increasingly seamless and realistic in 3D.

  • Of course, like ALMOST every other movie reviewer, I'm not convinced that a two-hour-and-forty minute toy commercial elaborately disguising itself as a movie is something to celebrate. Hence, I'm obliged to point out that all this moviemaking expertise is put in the service of a sci-fi concept that is, for lack of a better word, infantile.

  • This experience of Age of Extinction—which posits money as the true protagonist of the movie—was the one I expected to have in the wake of my investigation of the production, and it did deliver levels of subtextual coherence that the film otherwise lacks. Still, amidst all the geopolitical production intrigue, somehow a movie got made, and not an altogether bad one at that.

  • ...Despite deadening our senses with spectacle, it’s impossible for a director this committed to visual fireworks not to pull off a megablast once in a while. The action is cut cleaner here than in any other picture Bay’s done. And as his king Autobot, Optimus Prime... whirls down highways in a blaze of metal or sends puny humans tumbling through the air only to be caught at the last second, Bay is often coming up with genius shots, perhaps at the expense of logic.

  • ...There’s something to be said for a summer spectacle where no scene can possibly predict the next, and where John Goodman voices a potbellied humanoid robot who chomps on a giant tank shell like it’s a cigar. If Bay’s slipping technical mastery guts so much of the film's fun, his unbridled insanity insists that this is still the blockbuster event of the summer, too big to fail, too dumb to follow, and too different to dismiss.

  • Wahlberg and the transformers project footage onto the side of one of the landforms, a private screening. This almost criminal butchering of a sacred cinema landmark doubles for me as offensive and beautiful, a strange thing to articulate, but something that characterizes all of Bay's work. He links the dated technology of celluloid and that abandoned cinema to the traditional values of the American middle class, both of which he sees as threatened by rapid advancement of tech...

  • The primary appeal of the film is Michael Bay's maximalist, gargantuan spectacle integrating giant robots into our world, the awe of watching their puppeteered animation, their overwhelming scale, the devastation we want to watch them wreck, and the "compassionate" discovery, in Transformers after Transformers, that such machines of destruction—not ones of death, as these are PG-13 movies—have things we call "souls," can "feel" for humanity, and can act for their well-being and survival.

  • This does tone down some of Bay’s more annoying tics... Whalberg is a solid anchor to the action, there’s some actually good stuff around Tucci’s Bay stand in, a couple of well-designed action scenes and the extended sequence inside the alien ship does allow the film to indulge in the horror motif that often get lost in the frantic action. One of Bay more credible efforts and his kind of shameless corrupt filmmaking remains preferable to the blandness and dullness of his main competitors.

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