Sunday, June 29, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction

is by far the front-runner in the battle to be the dumbest action movie of this summer.  It is also the longest so far, and the two statuses are definitely related. 

As usual, I suspended my disbelief as much as I could manage and so had a reasonably good time watching this flick, but enjoying it took work.  Others in our group were not as charitably inclined toward it, and Scott was downright pissed at it. 

Let's start with its most egregious sins:  length and product placements. 

Two hours and forty-five minutes is just too damn long for a movie this silly.  You could cut a half an hour from it with no effort and no loss in comprehensibility, and I expect you could lop off another fifteen to thirty minutes without trying too hard.  By the time the movie ended, I heard multiple people around the theater say, "Finally."

The product placements were the most obvious and annoying I have yet seen in a movie.  I understand that Michael Bay seems to feel he has to spend the GDP of Montana to make a movie, but is this level of product placement really necessary?  We actually had Marky Mark stop the action to open a can of Bud Lite and drink a little. 

The political considerations Bay apparently had to give to shoot in China were also amazing.  There is no other reasonable way to explain his insertion of completely unnecessary bits in which civilians said they should contact the central government, and then a very strong-looking central government minister strode out of a building and declared that the central government would protect Hong Kong at all costs.  Wow.

The bulk of the movie, of course, was Marky Mark, his daughter, and her once-secret boyfriend running around and somehow helping the gigantic and incredibly powerful Transformers.  I was happy to note that Bay had transferred to lips-and-eyes actress Nicola Peltz the full measure of Megan Fox's acting talent--and all of her dust-resistant lip gloss.

As of this writing, the film is 17% from the critics and 64% from audiences on RottenTomatoes.  I wonder what the people in that 17% of the critics were thinking.

I could go on and on about the movie's flaws, but at the same time, I managed, as I noted, to have a decent time watching it.  I can recommend it, however, only if you feel a powerful need for a Transformers fix.  Otherwise, give this one a pass.

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