Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Entertainment
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Film review: New 'Transformers' is loud, long, bloated and silly - but fans won't care

This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows, Mark Wahlberg, front, as Cade Yeager, and Lockdown, rear, in a scene from the the film,

Enlarge Image

This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows, Mark Wahlberg, front, as Cade Yeager, and Lockdown, rear, in a scene from the the film, "Transformers: Age of Extinction." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, ILM)

Crash. Shatter. Boom. Crash. Shatter. Boom. Smattering of silly dialogue. Pretty girl screams: "Dad!" Crash. Shatter. Boom. Silly dialogue. "DAD!!!" Crash. Shatter. Boom.

What? Oh, sorry. We were falling into a trance there.

Which is, dear moviegoer, what may happen to you during Michael Bay's "Transformers: Age of Extinction," the fourth Transformers film and, at 165 minutes, precariously close to the three-hour mark that Bay undoubtedly will reach — by our sophisticated calculations, and at the current growth rate, with his sixth installment.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Despite what you've just read, this film will likely be a massive hit because by now, if you're buying a "Transformers" ticket, you surely know what you're getting into, and you want more, more, more. And Bay is the Master of More.

Or just take it from the 11-year-old sitting next to me, who reserved any audible judgment — he, too was in a trance, though maybe from sugar intake — until the moment he saw a Transformer become a dinosaur. Overwhelmed by the pairing, he proclaimed: "That's the sickest thing I've ever seen in my life." It was as if peanut butter and jelly had been tasted together for the first time.

While you ponder where between these extreme reactions you'll fall, a quick update. This time, there's a whole new human cast. Most important, Mark Wahlberg has replaced Shia LaBeouf as, well, Main Human Guy, and the good news is that Wahlberg's grounded quality, rough charm and really nice biceps make him a thoroughly welcome presence. The bad news: He isn't immune to the numbing effects of some desperately cheesy dialogue (Ehren Kruger wrote the screenplay).

A significant part of the movie also takes place in China — clearly a nod to the franchise's huge market there. Whether such obvious wooing of the Chinese audience will work or backfire — the film also includes very obvious placement of Chinese products — remains to be seen.

In any case, we begin in Paris, Texas, where Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), a struggling inventor, is desperately seeking a big discovery. He's also a widowed dad, and super-protective (as the movie incessantly reminds us) of his high-school daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz, blond and pretty and ineffective, though the one-note script does her no favours).

One day, Cade buys a rusty old truck. Examining it back home, he soon discovers it's none other than Optimus Prime, the Autobot hero, seriously damaged.

As Cade works on fixing him up, his assistant, wisecracking surfer-dude Lucas (T.J. Miller, mildly amusing), has the dumb idea of calling the authorities. What he doesn't know is that the government — actually, the head of CIA black ops, Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer, expertly villainous) — is plotting to destroy all remaining Autobots in favour of a man-made army of Transformers. He's being helped in this endeavour by the shadowy KSI corporation, run by the nasty-but-complicated Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci, giving the most entertaining performance in the film).

So now, it's evil humans pitted against the trustworthy Autobots. So much for gratitude. There's also a subplot involving Tessa and her secret boyfriend, Shane (Jack Reynor, underused), whose Irish accent leads Cade to dismissively call him "Lucky Charms" — at least until the two bond in battle.

From here, it's up to you. You can try to follow the ins and outs of the battling forces — robot and human, man-made and alien, ancient and modern — or just watch things crash into each other, blow up, or both.

The obvious question: is it too much for its own good? Bay is very talented at all things visual, the 3-D works well and the robots look great. But the final confrontation alone lasts close to an hour, and at some point, you may find yourself simply in a daze, unable to absorb any further action into your brain.

But one viewer's migraine is another's euphoria. You decide.

"Transformers: Age of Extinction," a Paramount Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for "intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo." Running time: 165 minutes. One and a half stars out of four.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media