Movie: Transformers 4, Age of Extinction

In which, mind you, nothing actually went extinct and the amount of time spent showing scenes full of dinosaurs was maybe about two minutes.

Stars: 1/2 out of 5, ugh it was awful. Can I call it a B movie with an A movie budget without insulting B movies?

Alternate titles: Why Transformers Can’t Have Anything Nice; Will The Owners of These Vehicles Please Control Them; AI Robots Are Stupid; Too Many Humans In A Movie About Giant Robots.

You know, if I were the creators of the Transformers, I’d start worrying about some kind of class-action United Federation Of Planets Ruined By Your Rogue Technology lawsuit here. I wouldn’t really go around publicizing the fact that I exist and might be held responsible for the carnage and property damage that Transformers unleash everywhere they go.

The behavior of all the Transformers actually made me kind of sympathetic to Cemetery Wind, the out-of-control CIA anti-alien SWAT team tasked with getting rid of all the Transformers on Earth. Given what happened later, getting rid of them all with prejudice was absolutely the right call. (Cemetery Wind, unfortunately, was quite willing to start shooting everywhere in highly populated areas which basically makes them terrorists, so, you know, not MUCH sympathy for them and the leaders got what was coming to them – which was one of the few good points of this movie.)

The movie is incredibly long for no good reason whatsoever; it spends entirely too much time establishing this father-daughter-boyfriend drama that NOBODY CARES ABOUT because this is supposed to be a movie about giant robots who turn into cool cars where things blow up a lot. I would have stopped watching about a third of the way through, in fact, except that I knew there were going to be Dinobots involved at some point and I wanted to see the pretty CGI. The girl is Too Stupid To Live, the boyfriend’s a wuss, and while Single Dad by default gets to be basically the most competent of the main human characters, he’s a walking Bumbling Dad trope. They should have ditched the family entirely and focused instead on Joshua Joyce (yes, I did have to Google that) played by Stanley Tucci, who delivered the only interesting performance in the entire movie. It would have been an actual decent movie if they’d made his character the lead role.

All the cool parts happen in China. You can basically skip the whole first part of the movie and just start watching after they go to China. (There’s gotta be a fan-edit of this movie somewhere in which they cut out all the dull human-centered scenes. That might actually be worth watching. Also now I want to read a fanfic where the author does cut out the Yeagers and goes with a scifi/CIA thriller plot where Joshua Joyce realizes the humans are being played by the Transformers and has to try to save the world from his own hubris. But I have a lot of Hugo reading to get through so I probably shouldn’t go hunting for such a thing.)

All the robots are dumb – they act like incredibly immature preteens with entirely too much weaponry. They should definitely go back to their owners, they cannot be trusted to be wandering around on their own. (No wonder they destroyed their “home planet.”) I mean, okay, this is totally true to the 80’s cartoon which is completely unwatchable, but come oooooooooooon this is a movie with way more violence than a kid should see, please increase the IQ of the aliens kthx.

I was amused by the blatant scenery porn scenes in China. In fact, that last bit there felt reminiscent of Peter Jackson – almost like Michael Bay was going “Nyah, I can do it better, with 150% more fire and explosions! And I don’t even need a coherent plot!” there at the end.


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