#MixxReview: Transformers 4: Age of Extinction

By  |  0 Comments

age of extinction

We are at the point where the Transformers series should be extinct. The fourth installment in the series that began in 2007 is a drawn out (nearly 3 hours) cluster of fast-paced incoherent storytelling, explosions, and all out robotic warfare that probably should have been titled, “Age of Insolence.” Director Michael Bay reaches a new low with his racially offensive stereotypes, misogynistic portrayal of women, and shameless product placement.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction is set five years after the “Battle of Chicago,” which took place in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. Planet earth is no longer a safe place if you are a transformer, as they are now seen as dangerous fugitives. This time around we are without any of the main characters from the previous three installments, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), Robert Epps (Tyrese Gibson), and Lt. Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel). Mark Wahlberg steps in to play as the lead role of Cade Yeager, an aspiring inventor who has ran out of luck and money—not that he ever had much of either. Cade buys an old pickup truck with the intentions of breaking it down and selling its parts until he discovers it is actually Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. The rest of the movie is spent protecting Optimus Prime and the surviving Autobots from Washington’s powerful elite, a billionaire inventor (Stanley Lucci), and an intergalactic mercenary named Lockdown (voice by Mark Ryan).

Michael Bay and this film excel at blowing things up and creating larger than life fight scenes between robotic Goliaths. However, this is not the only thing Bay is known for.

Bay’s absurd tactics begin early on in the film when Cade Yeager is driving a vintage Chevrolet truck into a Texan sunset. The scene looks like a deleted version of Chevrolet’s “This is our country” commercials. It is of no coincidence that immediately following the introduction of Texas, USA that we are introduced to Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer), a CIA agent who sounds and looks like Dick Cheney and who sternly identifies the transformers as “aliens” who are in this country “illegally.” Whether this is alluding to immigration or the war on terror is uncertain but it is cheap and shallow.

At this point Michael Bay is just warming up. Enter Tessa Yeager (Nicola Peltz), the 17-year old daughter of Cade. Although Peltz is 19-years old in real life, she plays a high school student in the movie and it becomes a bit awkward being forced to gawk over her especially when the viewer is constantly reminded that she is too young to even be dating her 20-year old boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor). In the mind of Michael Bay this is made okay once Shane flashes a laminated card with a printout of Texas’s Romeo and Juliet law, which is basically in defense of statutory rape. Like female protagonists in the previous Transformers, Tessa serves little purpose other than to wear short shorts and perpetuate the damsel-in-distress cliche.

I could go on and on about the not-so-subliminal derogatory messages in this film—like how the Chinese characters suddenly become masters of martial arts—but by now I think you get the point. The shameful part is that even without these missteps the film still flat out stinks. Most critics have already had a field day picking apart the poor transitions and numerous plot holes.

Sadly, none of this will stop Age of Extinction from grossing over $500 million when the dust settles. Movie goers who are looking for a mindless, action driven, explosive summer blockbuster will be there regardless of the backlash. Michael Bay is well aware of this. In a recent interview with MTV’s Josh Horowitz, Bay responded to the criticism by saying, “They love to hate and I don’t care; let them hate. They’re still going to see the movie!”

His words represent the current state of Hollywood where a film’s quality is irrelevant as long as it brings in the money.

In theaters now.

Star rating: 1.5/5 stars

MPAA rating: PG-13 ( intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo)

Running time: 2 hr. 37 min

The Mixx Magazine is an 'In-between' publication that reaches audience coast to coast with the latest in indie hip-hop, fashion and beauty, art and film. Site Designed by: Octane Design Studios