TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Geek Dave caught a preview screening of Transformers: Age of Extinction, and this is what he thought...

Let's get straight into it and start off with the positives. Transformers: Age of Extinction looks spectacular. Granted, that's almost a given for a big budget Summer movie of this type, but all the same, the CGI effects are truly impressive, really some of the best I've seen and I take my hat off to Michael Bay and his team for that. Equally, if your local cinema is equipped with a decent sound system then expect to be shaken to the core, but in a good way (mostly). So visually and aurally this movie delivers.

And if I could stop there it would be a 5 star rating, but unfortunately neither of those points make up for the fact that Transformers: Age of Extinction is a massive disaster of a movie.

I was so hopeful for this one, everything I'd seen in advance had got me really excited. The previous two movies had pretty much left me never wanting to see another Transformers tale, but the trailers for this installment looked awesome. A really cool concept - Dinosaur Transformers. I mean everyone loves dinosaurs, right? Plus there was no Shia LaBeouf - take my money now!

But unfortunately that cool concept only made for a spattering of cool moments amongst a pretty awful movie. A lot of this is essentially just a rehash of the previous films, but with Dinobots. I'm not trying to spoil the movie for anyone but I'm sure it will come as no surprise to hear that Michael Bay uses the traditional big screen Transformers plot of 'Humans running around frantically whilst Optimus Prime gets his shiny metal butt kicked early on, and then said humans watch from a safe distance whilst many, many, many things explode (some of them in slooooooow motion) and Prime overcomes his tormentors' - but with Dinobots.

The movie struggles to find the right balance throughout, with the first 90 minutes being overly talky and plodding, and the last hour being so packed with action that you can't take it all in and eventually you stop even trying. Things hit things, other things just explode and go bang, and I'm not sure why half the time. You cant root for anyone because you can't keep up with what's going on, it's just a mess. There's also way too much of the trademark Michael Bay humour, and he seems to be the only person who finds it funny.

Bay's also cut back on the Autobots, you'll only recognise Optimus Prime and Bumblebee from the previous films, and you may even forget that Bumblebee is in it as he's so seldomly seen. Prime riding Grimlock is pretty sweet but it's a small moment, and Grimlock is only in the movie for maybe 10 minutes. The baddie, Lockdown, is OK, but just like the new Autobots I doubt you'll give a damn about any of them once the film is over. This is just such a huge problem with the movie versions, the cartoon Transformers were heroes you could care for and villains you could despise, that's just never been emulated on the big screen. The movie Transformers are one dimensional characters and no attempt is made to improve on that in Age of Extinction, as per norm Bay concentrates on the human side and the all new group of 'heroes'.

So let's talk about Mark Wahlberg. Marky Mark's Cade Yeager (what kind of bloody stupid name is that?) gave me neither "good vibrations" or "sweet sensations". If you're watching a film and think to yourself that Shia LaBeouf could've done as good of a job then you know there's a problem! As an aside from this review, I can't understand how Wahlberg has become such a highly paid leading man. At best he's an average actor, it's been all downhill since Three Kings as far as I'm concerned - although I guess he was the best thing in The Happening (damning praise indeed!).

As for the rest of the cast, Stanley Tucci is solid enough with what he's given. Nicola Peltz as Wahlberg's daughter basically screams "Dad" throughout the entire movie. Jack Reynor, as her boyfriend Shane, seems totally pointless and is there for nothing more than a love connection. Frasier Crane is in there too, and although he's OK in this movie every time I see him I just think of him as Frasier Crane. It's got to the point where I can't even call Frasier Crane by his real name anymore. It happened in X-Men: Days of Future Past too, I just shouted "Look, there's Frasier Crane" - see I'm doing it again!!!

I know Transformers: Age of Extinction has taken stupid money at the box office in the US, and that's likely because everything we saw about it in advance made it look like so much more than it is, but I'm sure 90% of the people who have seen it so far have left the cinema either disappointed, confused or suffering from severe headaches.

If we ever needed proof that Michael Bay can cut together an amazing trailer then this is it...

...but as for the actual movie? Well, I spent half the time waiting for it to start going and then the other half praying for it to stop!

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