Thursday, 17 July 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction - review

Well, what can I say about Transformers 4? Actually quite a lot, and little of it complimentary! I'm not really a fan of Michael Bay to begin with, even less so now. Sadly, I am a fan of the franchises he's turned into films....which leaves me permanently frustrated and unsatisfied. As to the first 3 Transformers movies, loved 1, still kinda loved 2 and was underwhelmed by 3. Now, I should also say that part of the reasons for my dissatisfaction was Shia LaBeouf and the character of Sam Witwicky. The character worked for me in the first film, but it started going downhill from there. There was no character development, no likability or worthiness about Sam by the end. He was just a spoilt brat who had received amazing opportunities and thought that meant that the world owed him a living. I did, however, like the female characters, and the other supporting cast. The girls were really the true heroes for me, they stuck around and fought because it was the right thing to do, unlike Sam who whined and bitched the whole time. Yet, as is Bay's MO, he treated the women like eye candy. As far as he's concerned its the manchildren that matter. Pfft.



Now, onto Age of Extinction. I hated almost everything about it. Without giving away too many spoliers, Bay carries on what he started in Dark of the Moon. Namely needlessly slaughtering beloved Autobots.....Ian and I still haven't recovered from the loss of Ironhide!! We also never find out what happened to many of our old favourites, and we're presented with a mostly new Autobot team, with no explanation as to why/where etc. There isn't much of a coherent story, mostly just an excuse to have a looooooong film made up of CGI and action. Which would be fair enough if the story was there. It isn't. Luckily we have Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci to at least rescue part of the film with their performances. Wahlberg's Cade is intelligent and USEFUL, he doesn't whine at the inconvenience of helping Optimus and the Autobots save HIS planet and HIS daughter....who, by the way, is irritating as hell. Here she's just eye candy, whiny eye candy at that. There are many many MANY gratuitous arse shots. Her Irish boyfriend is more likable, and a bit more useful, as is Wahlberg's employee/friend/pain in his arse, though he is woefully underused. Bay has upped to violence quotient here too, including human casualities. Not content with people dying in the background of shot, or relatively quickly and painlessly, not we see some pretty serious death scenes. I'm aware that he's trying to create a darker tone, with Optimus' optimism and humanity severely dampened, but its heavy handed at the very least. As for Bay's usual stylised shots, and the usual underlying plot points of father/daughter dynamics, well they're all present and accounted for! The kiss with the sun shining between the characters as they come together? Check. There are also too many scenes which have blatantly been included for 3D showings, which look somewhat odd when not viewed in 3D. There are virtually identical shots of characters being ejected from Bumblebee, flying through the air, and being caught as there have been in the other films. Not to mention the fact that we're supposed to believe that when Optimus or Bee catches people when they fall without snapping their necks on impact. Oh, and the falling debris managing not to leave a scratch on them. Finally, of course, the eye candy blonde, Tessa, still looking perfect and immaculately made up, with just the most subtle sheen of perspiration on her face, and not a single hair out of place....nor her wonderfully coordinated outfit, which she happened to manage to steal, (yet still didn't get any practical clothes for running for her life) natch, being particularly mussed. Any woman knows that the slightest gust of wind destroys your careful hair do, any heat or perspiration eventually conspires to make your make up slide right off your face and if you wear pale colours you WILL get filthy simply by standing in an empty room. Perhaps Michael Bay has an alternative future in hair and make up innovation, or the development of an alien proof laundry process....cos he sure as hell can't direct!!!


Thanks for popping by!

Jan
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