Transformers: Age of Extinction - 1.5 Stars
The latest Transformers movie is action packed, but lacks plot depth.
Michael Bay’s fourth Transformers movie has two fantastic lead cast members (Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci), but the rest of the movie is weak. The film is 165 minutes and it could have been cut down significantly. There was far too much slow motion used in this film. Slow motion is often used to make scenes more dramatic, but after the first 5 times it became comical and only served to draw the movie out. The editing and cinematography were both poor, the movie was obviously shot in 3D, but didn’t really use the extra dimension well. Amir Mokri was the cinematographer and he used far too many swoops that often made the viewer feel giddy or sick. The editing was fairly raw and while it was the style that the team chose it only highlighted the poor cinematography.
The Transformers themselves looked very realistic, but there were times during battle sequences you couldn’t tell who was who. Without spoiling the plot I can say there were many different enemies each with their own unique criminal motivation, but during the drawn out battle scenes it was exceptionally hard to tell hero from villain. This meant you spent time trying to work it out rather than focusing on the on-screen action. At times it also felt that the Transformer’s voices were out of sync with the lips, though these moments were very brief.
The film franchise and its characters are based on toys and the film is clearly targeted at young children and action movie fans (who are probably going to love this movie). However, a 10 year old playing with the toys could have created the plot and story line. There is no depth to the story and there are many contradicting points or plot elements that don’t make sense. I won’t highlight these to ensure I don’t spoil the film for people planning to watch it.
The cast of the film was quite strong with Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci in leading roles. Both these actors had perfect comic timing and really helped to pick up the film’s dull pace. Nicola Peltz played Wahlberg’s daughter, Tessa and while she didn’t have much to work with her expression stayed the same for almost the entire film. Jack Reynor played Tessa’s boyfriend and while his role required the same amount of humor that Tucci and Wahlberg brought to their roles he certainly didn’t play the comedy scenes nearly as well.
Overall, this wasn’t a great fourth installment in the series, but young children and those who are young at heart are likely to enjoy this action film!
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas