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Review: Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) — Mind-Numbing Autobot Boom-Boom, Another Bay at the Office

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Michael Bay returns to the bombastic robot-fisticuff franchise in Transformers: Age of Extinction; the fourth film in the series, and despite reports to the contrary, not a reboot. This Transformers film deals with the effects of that gigantic battle in Chicago, and it’s not good for our Autobot pals:  CIA operatives are out to capture and destroy all Transformers, Decepticons and Autobots alike. Fugitive Transformers have scattered all across the USA, and it’s in a small town in Texas where failed inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) finds a dilapidated truck that winds up being the wheeled form of Autobot leader and franchise stalwart Optimus Prime.Yeager and his family must join the Autobots in evading the US government, led by Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer), and their associate, a mysterious bounty hunter known as Lockdown.

Twin guns? Check. Explosions? Check. City-wide destruction? Check.

Twin guns? Check. Explosions? Check. City-wide destruction? Check.

These Transformers movies need to be taken with a grain of salt; you know exactly what you’re getting when you purchase your ticket. It was to my surprise that the first act of this film was actually quite enjoyable: the character interactions were reasonable (despite clunky, cliché dialogue), and Bay’s directing was surprisingly restrained (for his standards). But after a major car-chase action sequence at the end of the first act the film becomes a mind-numbing bore. Meaningless action scenes with no plot development, wretched and laughable dialogue, and awful pacing and editing: the exact stuff I was initially dreading. This is a film that goes well over two and a half hours, but could easily have been edited down to one and a half. Classic Michael Bay over-indulgence

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