Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction

The fourth entry in any franchise could reasonably be expected to bring something fresh to the table. Technically, Transformers: Age of Extinction meets this expectation, but the new elements (Marky Mark; Dinobots; China; Angry Frasier) aren’t nearly enough to prevent this from feeling like an overly familiar collage of bombastic bewilderment.

Nobody could accuse director Michael Bay of being inconsistent – his garishly-irradiated Tony Scott aesthetic gets more emboldened with every film and is in full swing here, so there’s no shortage of glistening, glossy action. But that’s a given at this point, and the minor tweaks to the formula don’t result in any particularly fresh set-pieces, despite talk of a “new direction” for the series. The sheer scale of proceedings got me through the previous entries, but how many more large scale urban destruction action finales do we really need?

While the Dinobots are momentarily amusing, their presence never feels like more than a gimmick upon which the film relies too heavily. The potential existed for genuinely new directions – it’s astounding to me that four entries in, this series is still resisting the urge to go into space. That leap is way overdue.

The film puts a lot of emphasis on a sardonic billionaire industrialist played with typical energy by Stanley Tucci, but his character fails to generate any real investment. None of them do, really. Did I mention Marky Mark plays a genius inventor?

Transformers: Age of Extinction is a typically huge film. Emphasis on the typical.

‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Movie Times (also in 3D)