Jess is Brisbane based word-wizard. She lives with one man-shaped companion and a small cat. Jess enjoys writing, travelling and collecting the memories of other people. Engage her services at contentable.com.au/
Published July 13th 2014
Autobot Exodus: Who Will Save Humanity From Michael Bay?
Transformers: Age of Extinction is the fourth installment of the unbelievably popular Transformers series, made Millennial-famous by the blow em up direction of Michael Bay. If you love long movies, especially long movies about nothing crammed to the end credits with gratuitous action sequences and just because explosions, then line-up, grab some popcorn and settle in. Your golden goose has landed.
If you've never seen a Michael Bay movie, stop. Don't move. Don't even think about 'giving it a go' or 'seeing what the fuss is about', you will never regain the subsequent 165 minutes of your life or the brain cells you frustrate trying to pin-point how a veteran director can continue to screw up a world famous franchise. The reason? Everything Michael Bay touches explodes…and keeps exploding, big fire balls and mushroom clouds galore.
On the other hand, fan-girls and self-flagellating viewers will be smug over the absence of Shia Lebeouf – he's been put out to pasture and possibly behind bars. Instead, Marky Mark (Wahlberg) and Caesar Flickerman (Tucci) are joined by the apparently Irish Jack Reynor and Last Air Bender alumni Nicola Peltz to round out the two-dimensional good guy meter. Kelsey Grammer makes a surprise appearance as a super-angsty bad guy and Titus Welliver plays another embittered bad arse who totes lost his family in the Dark of the Moon. How do we know he's a bad arse? He dresses in black.
Our ex-underwear model/Funky Bunch frontman carries the show as struggling inventor Cade Yeager; Yeager is the late thirty-something father of regulation hottie Tessa (Peltz), a highschool senior hiding unspeakable secrets and shorts that cover her butt cheeks (she's got a boyfriend in apparently Irish Jack). Hard times have hit since the Battle of Chicago – New York was booked out by the Avengers– and Yeager said ah nah to paying rent, the bills and other basic duties of parents everywhere. He's going to invent something cool like Steve Jobs. Since the iPhone exists already, Marky Mark picks up a derelict truck for a 150 bucks and presumably starts stripping it for parts.
Surprise! It's Prime time!
Psh-hah-ah, it's Optimus Prime! Prime has been hiding/dormant/on vacation until a predictable hero type found him again. Once discovered, Marky Mark hooks up Prime to a car battery; you know, the type that powers my Camry. An Autobot is exactly like my Camry, as Prime is spritely and action sequences ensue. Endless action sequences. There's something about a seed or a terraforming bomb, extinction, white paternalism, Dinobot riding and barely-there morality tales squeezed in, but Age of Extinction is really 165 minutes of action sequences padded out with painfully delivered lines. Caesar Flickerman Tucci should have stuck with the Hunger Games series – Capitol wigs and bombastic suits are cinematic gold next to the greedy guy is actually good beneath it all trope. Science is bad. Got it?
Oh yeah, everybody in China can Kung Fu like a boss. Flickerman shares an elevator with a Michael Bay ambivalent guy in Hong Kong and gets into a spot of trouble. Not only can the hot Chinese assistant kick arse Rumble in the Bronx style, random elevator guy goes all Enter the Dragon and puts down some Yankees without saying a word. They know not to get up. Sexy assistant and Flickerman totally fall in love and get pelvic.
Honestly, I knew it would be bad but nothing could prepare me for this CGI trainwreck. The closing credits provided an expected highlight, as Until Its Gone by Linkin Park faded out and a pop-metal ballad by Imagine Dragons busted through the VMAX speakers. I'm not a huge fan of pop-metal ballads, but the obvious OMG SEQUEL SET-UP as Marky Mark, the Irishman and the blonde damsel in distress stare off into the sunset made my ears bleed.