Transformers 4: Age of Extinction is in theaters now, and it’s the kind of movie that creates some serious division between action geeks and serious critics. We sure felt more like action geeks while buying into the total Transformers 4: Age of Extinction experience. We’re pretty sure that the movie will be appealing to non-geeky action fans, too.
But, yeah, we have a few notes that we wish director Michael Bay had consulted before making his latest overblown masterpiece. So here are the five things that got us really excited over Age of Extinction–plus five things that you might want to be ready for before buying your ticket....
Awesome Use of 3-D & CGI
For many films, 3-D is not only unnecessary, but distracting. You can say whatever you want about Michael Bay, but this film does a great job of utilizing the third dimension. With the exception of one scene, the CGI is also pretty much flawless. You still can’t take that kind of thing for granted.
Humanizes the Autobots
This film really puts an emphasis on how Transformers are not just machines made of metal, but characters that each have a “spark.” (That’s the Transformers version of a soul.) Bay also keeps up his neat trick of keeping us caring about the Transformers by putting them in some very human situations–especially during the action sequences.
John Goodman & Ken Watanabe
Within the first few minutes of meeting reincarnated Transformers called Hound and Drift, you’ll pick up one voice as John Goodman–and geekier fans won’t miss the tones of Ken Watanabe. There are some racial issues with Drift, but we’ll get to those later…
It’s been revealed that the Transformers are made out of a “living metal” called “Transformium,” and Age of Extinction character Joshua Joyce is out to create his own line of Transformers by using the base element. It’s a neat story angle, and once again reminds us of the important of a Transformer’s spark.
Yes, the Dinobots are here–but you’re going to have to be patient for what still counts as a big pay-off.
The World of Transformers Keeps Opening Up…
Up until this point, the Transformers film series has been all about Autobots going up against Decepticons. Age of Extinction gives us those Dinobots, plus a new villain that we’re looking forward to seeing in more franchise entries.
But there are a few problems here–and not just for non-geeks….
That’s too long to the tune of being 165 minutes long–and it’s particularly painful since you can tell which scenes are slowing down the story.
Plotholes [Slight SPOILER ALERT Here, Folks]
The film may be too long, but you can also tell that the film would need about 30 more minutes to cover up a few plot holes. We still want to know how robots made of indestructible Transformium are easily destroyed. And why do certain members of the CIA care so much about making money when the cost is a world where money is meaningless? And when does Nicola Peltz’s character find time to paint her nails while they’re running all over Hong Kong and Beijing?
A lot of these characters were created in the 1980s, but that was long ago–and we’re getting a few Asian characters here who are a little too stereotypical for our tastes.
Yes, we know that the human characters are just there to get us from one big action-filled set piece to another–but this movie runs way too long to cover up the lack of character to these characters. But get used to that, because….
Transformers 5 is Coming
Okay, that might bother the critics more than it bothers us—but the film ends with a major villain on the loose, plus a little Dinobot problem that really should be resolved in a movie that’s running at a very long length. There’s enough left over that you’ll kind of feel suckered into a cliffhanger, or at least into caring about the next Transformers entry.