Transformers: Age of Extinction is long, and jam packed with undeveloped sub-plots
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a movie that'll impress you visually but will test your patience and make you wonder how movies like this are still being made.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a reboot of an already existing franchise— a franchise that is still productive. Try figuring that out? In other words, they've decided to re-start the series of films by keeping certain elements like the existing robots we've seen in the previous three movies but introduce a whole new human cast of characters.
One of the very few good elements about this movie is that you don't have to painfully sit through the first three movies before watching this trudging instalment. The basic requirements you need to know are set out within the first act— Autobots are good, Deceptions are bad... thats it.
a pretentious, over-the-top movie
Along with the painfulness of a pretentious, over-the-top movie such as this, is it's agonising run time. Transformers: Age of Extinction lasts for 165 minutes, thats almost as long as a Martin Scorsese movie. It's hard to expect anyone to sit through such drivel as this for that period of time. This endurance test of a movie seems to be a common theme since the first Transformers movie in 2007. Each instalment has gradually got longer but their flimsy narratives (not just this movie) doesn't even negate such prolonged viewing.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is jam packed with sub-plots from top to bottom. We are treated to troublesome scenarios such as; Cade Yeager's (Wahlberg) domestic drama with his obnoxious daughter (Nicola Peltz), Kelsey Grammar and Stanley Tucci Transformer searching for homeland security, and a vastly under-developed and pointless origins story on Optimus Prime. This movie wriggles around throughout and we are thrown from pillar to post, character to character, yet never given a story that feels refined.
With so many characters littering this catastrophe of a blockbuster, Bay struggles to even find one of his characters relatable. Yes, Mark Wahlberg's inventor character Cade Yeager is the most likeable, but we only root for him because of who he is and the simple fact that the trailer and promotional material told us, he's our guy. There is no depth to his character or anyone else's for that matter. This isn't a slight on the cast— the screenplay is languorous, phlegmatic and ultimately neglects it's audience.
let go of everything you believe cinema should stand for
The action sequences are very well put together, as to be expected. This is a movie designed for it's high-spots and given Bay is a fairly hopeless director when it comes to character development and narrative, he does seemingly know how create an exciting action sequence.
For all of this movies full-on action, impressive special effects, and equally impressive quick-cut editing— it's a movie that requires you to shut your brain off and let go of everything you believe cinema should stand for (and maybe have a nap halfway though). It's a dopey movie made by a half-wit director.