Review #468: Transformers – Age of Extinction

A hundred minutes of entertainment and an extra hour of junk

I’m at a loss. I left the theater feeling I got my money’s worth, but I can’t get over the fact that Age of Extinction lasted two hours and forty-five minutes. In this day and age no one has the free time – or patience – to sit through a blockbuster that long. But it wasn’t boring at all. It was just too damn much.

It’s a shame, since the franchise’s fourth installment possessed some legitimately great moments, but any ounce of momentum it had heading into the finale vaporized once it became clear that the apparent ending was in fact, just the conclusion of the second act. By the time the real climax arrived, I was too tired to even care.

Yes, Michael Bay has delivered the ultimate studio offering that will please enough people to keep the series going. The effects are top-notch, as expected from a Michael Bay film. The action sequences are fresh enough and the writing more solid than before (the previous films set a low bar though). In addition, Mark Wahlberg is a huge improvement over Shia Labeouf. He has that machismo that adds a certain degree of believability and maturity to the Transformers universe. Can’t say the same for Nicola Peltz though; between her and Megan Fox the latter is the better actress. And that’s an understatement.

Bing Bings are taking over Hollywood. So which one do you prefer, Li Bing Bing (above) or Fan Bing Bing (Blink in X-Men Days of Future Past)?

But, don’t expect it to be anything other than a Transformers film. It’s better than the second, but no greater than the first and third (if you still remember them, I can’t blame you if you don’t). The scenes in China featuring the feisty Li Bingbing kept things fresh (she’s was actually good), but if I were the one calling the shots, I’d much rather cut an hour of it  than witness a marathon of chaotic Bay-splosions over Hong Kong.

GRADE: C+

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