Back in June, I did the Transformers Marathon to coincide with the release of Transformers 4: Age of Extinction (Revenge of the Fallen actually coming out the day it was released here). Do I regret the marathon itself? No as it was a learning experience, what I regret is saying that it ties in with Bayformers 4. But I am a man of my word, and I did say that I'd review Age of Extinction. In-case you couldn't tell from the title... let's just say I hoped you like Zeta and Omnicron's review.
Do I even need to explain the plot, as with the other films, while there are slight differences (more here then in prior), they are still the same film. Something happens to the Autobots, Decepticons come back, listen to whiny human character, cut to final battle. But if you want details...
The Quintessons (believed to be, not actually named) came to earth during the time of the dinosaurs and terraformed portions of the world to harvest the alloy that builds Transformers (wait for more info on that one). In the modern age, the CIA is hunting every single Transformer they can find (why, I'd love to answer that, for the actual reason is stupid). The Autobots have gone into hiding with Optimus hiding in Texas as a wrecked truck resembling his G1 Truck mode where he is found by Marky Mark (he has a name in the movie, but if the film barely cares about it, why should I?). Marky reactivates Optimus (by using a standard car battery... I don't get it either) and the CIA are sent in to take down Prime. Insert cheesy one liners like "my face is my warrant", a psycho Prime saying "I'll kill you all", car chase with obvious props, over proportioned explosions (I don't care about their logic, there is no way a single grenade could do this:
After the chase, and a new truck mode for Prime, the Autobots are "united"... well, Prime and Bumblebee are united, the other three are new to the film. You've got Crosshairs (who's personality is so one dimensional that there's nothing about him that sticks in my memory, aside from the trench coat look he has), Drift who not only acts as the first hint of the "finale" of the film, but also acts as the biggest contradiction to Bay's design motive for the characters. In the behind the scenes for the first film (remember when DVD's still had those?) Bay described that he wanted the alternate mode for all the Transformers to be size accurate... So how many Helicopters that can fly in skyscrapers can be proportional to a Bugatti Veyron while still having enough power in the rotors to carry Bumblebee?
While I can't prove this to be false like I could for the Helicopter ride to Chicago in the last film. The final newcomer is Hound and all I can say about him is this, imagine all the characters in The Expendables all in one character and voiced by John Goodman, wearing more guns and ammo then armies would have for battles.
This is him without a lot of that. I swear I not kidding though.
Thanks to a (might as well be because of how easy to miss the reason is) Deus Ex Machina, it turns out that they caught a drone that the CIA was using and that same drone still had footage (unrealistic footage considering how it was "recorded") of the attacks on Ratchet and one of the Wreckers from Dark of the Moon, Ratchet being the only one you actually see in the movie. In a battle with the newly revived Megatron (now going by the name Galvatron), Optimus is captured by yet another villain in the movie called Lockdown, a Bounty hunter... that you would only know if you knew about Lockdown's character because that isn't explained in the movie. In exchange for Prime, Lockdown hands the CIA a device called the Seed (I'll leave you to come up with as many jokes as you want for that one, hell, the movie itself gives you a free one). The Seed is what was used to "destroy the earth" back during the prehistoric days... but as pointed out by several others...
For some pointless reason, the film moves to Hong Kong where Galvatron reveals to everyone that he is Megatron, takes control over the other man made Transformers, hunts for The Seed and then the rest is the final battle. Afterwards we get Galvatron vowing to return, Prime vowing to go after the Quintessons, Lockdown and Kelsey Grammer dead because Optimus shot him... I'll let that sink in for a bit.
So with the convoluted plot that the movie has out of the way, time to look at the cinematography and editing... FOR THE LOVE OF PRIMUS, THIS IS HORRIBLE. I kid you not, the amount of errors and product placement in this is absolutely disgraceful. Here's just some of them. Time for my mini version of Cinema Sins (sorry for the blur with some of them)
1. See this shot here?
And this screenshot here?
Now look at this one and tell me what's wrong here?
2. Speaking of Dinosaurs:
What happened to Jurassic park and its realistic Dinosaurs?
3. What kind of friends leave their friend to walk up this driveway when they came her via a car? I'll admit this is more common sense but still.
4. Hello obvious crew member who shouldn't have been there
5. Hello unedited green screen. In regards to this scene, what the hell happened to your Energon detectors from the last film? Why do you need a heat signature?
6. Ok seriously, this is just lazy now
7. Oh for the love of Primus...
8. This is Just sad, each of these are in order, spot the problem
Notice the position of the sun and shade. So in the space of 2 movie hours (not real life) at most, it goes from Morning, to mid day, to late afternoon, to evening, back to mid day, back to evening and then back to mid day... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
10. We saw that house get blown up...
11. I don't know what its like in Texas, but I'm willing to bet that you can't go from the country to a freeway that quickly.
12. This won't hurt anyone now will it?
13. This looks like a interesting fight, shame we have to watch a car chase in between one or two punches
14. Why is there a ramp here?
15. Why is there a ramp here?
16. How... Why... LOGIC?
17. How to move on from a death scene...
18.Why the hell does this need to be here, the scene is to justify child sex offenders... WHY? WHY IS THIS HERE, YOU COULD HAVE CUT THIS FROM THE MOVIE, MADE THE GENERIC MICHAEL BAY GIRL A YEAR OLDER AND NOTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST!
19. Because he hacked a military drone to be controlled by a game console joystick overnight...
20. Ok, call this sad, but look at Prime here, notice how he's, just barely, floating off the ground. WHY DID THIS NEED TO BE ANIMATED?
21. You see this shot here of the three cars, well then it goes to second photo
So why did Drift drive with Crosshairs and Bumblebee, transform to climb the cliffs to say his line, then transform into his Helicopter mode just to continue. Seriously, why?
22. THERE IS NO WAY CHICAGO WAS REBUILT IN 5 YEARS AFTER WHAT HAPPENED IN DARK OF THE MOON.
23. WHY ARE WE BACK IN CHICAGO, DIDN'T YOU BLOW IT UP ENOUGH LAST TIME?
24. Transformium... I'm willing to say that its a dumber name then Unobtainium.
25. How is he controlling this. Programmable matter is one thing but I'd be more interested in him controlling said programmable matter with his mind.
26. Finally we're at the 1 hour mark of this 2:45:00 film... and I still have more to talk about...
27. This isn't the first bit of obvious product placement... but still...
28. Because donuts make you look like more of a fat ass
29. You have a whole skyscraper... and you put your analysis and development teams in the same "room"... Why?
30. "I modeled Galvatron after Optimus Prime, WHY DOES HE KEEP LOOKING LIKE MEGATRON" Gee, I wonder, because completely obvious foreshadow isn't completely obvious.
31. "We can build them better"... if you can't get your Optimus Prime clones to look like Optimus Prime, then you clearly can't make them better.
32. Because the shot outweighs logic... sadly
33. Why is Stinger and a model of Stinger here. Also, why is there an ad for Stinger in the room where Stinger is being built. Finally why are there so many rooms for advertisements, but the Design and Development teams are forced to share the same room?
34. Stanly Tucci just asked Kelsey Grammer for seaman... And you wonder why people hate these movies?
35. Why can't this high tech facility detect when there's drone activity?
36. Dumb security personal are absolutely dumb. Why do they need to speak to the head of the company about something that they should do on their own, no ifs ands or buts!
37. "there is a version of this conversation where you get to go back to your barn"... So the house isn't destroyed then? Why would they blow up the house then if the plot called for it to still be in one piece? Is Bay really that desperate to see the world burn that he'd blow up something that shouldn't have been blown up?
38. Remember the days when the Autobots wouldn't attack humans intentionally? Michael Bay doesn't and he'd rather you not either.
39. Because no one was hurt in this scene... Anyone else calling bulls^&(?
40. Oreo's don't make for a good defense system, no matter what form they take.
41. Why did this guy fall over?
42. I'm not quoting this, the whole conversation is stupid. Look it up yourself if you're curious, here's a shot for reference.
43. Oh joy... this scene. You know what, here's the full scene so you can see just how bad it is. I'm only going to talk about one thing with this number, the transformation for the KSI transformers. FOR THE LOVE OF PRIMUS, THESE TRANSFORMATIONS ARE HIDEOUS! I have never seen something this intentionally ugly done in CGI. And no, this isn't technical limitations, this is completely intentional, and it just looks awful.
45. What's this? Michael bay using a car that isn't in perfect condition for a shot? tsk tsk tsk.
46. See how they're sitting here,
Now look at this. Who would jump over their kid to jump out one door, when they could have jumped out the door that's right next to them?
47. Yes, lets have the fight follow her to remind the audience that being caught in the middle of a giant robot fight is dangerous... NO F^&($#) SHIT SHERLOCK!
48. Missiles do more damage then that if they're sent right through your chest.
49. Oh yeah, he's in this movie
50. Because the safest place is in the car Optimus is in front of...
51. YOU CAN FIT THROUGH THE HOLES IN THE NET, CLIMB OUT OF THERE!
52. Pause for dramatic effect that isn't dramatic at all
53. Why is the meeting place Chicago?
54. The animatronics of Five Nights at Freddy's look better then this. But they were meant to scare you, these aren't.
55. How did they make it back into Chicago with all the chaos now happening thanks to Lockdown's ship?
56. And now the setting is Lockdown's ship. Dark Matter drives start charging at 1:29:05
57. "lets use violence as a last resort". Cuts tentacle 5 seconds later...
58. Remember this for later. But while we're here. Why are there anchors on this ship?
59. Has a high tech ship, doesn't know what's happening on it...
60. Multiple species having the same views of knights and knighthood, unless a valid explanation is shown, that's bills^&*
61. And this wasn't cut...why?
62. This is why you never have cowards cover you in these kinds of situations
63. Seriously, this isn't the first its used in this scene so enough with the bloom and glare
64. If you freeze frame here, you can see the exact moment where Marky Mark asks himself "why is this in the movie?"
65. Where did he get a rope for that gun?
66. Did no one go "we have to draw a line somewhere, no one is going to believe this"?
67. Wait... are those actual muscles? As in flesh and blood muscles? I couldn't get a good screenshot of it so you'll have to trust me, but here's the best I could get.
68. Spider bee, Spider bee, why is this in the bloody movie?
69. Isn't blowing up Chicago in the last movie enough? Why are we doing this again? Hell, these ships were even in the last movie as well
70. Why are these people here? Chicago looked like it was being evacuated, and if not, then it takes no time for the city to return to normal. Also, do none of them see these Cybertonian ships flying around trying to give the other a new shape and paint job?
71. Yay, the humans are dead, now can we have a Transformers movie?
72. Aww :(
73. Subtle product placement, what's that?
74. And the time of launch is 1:44:33... Drift's calculations were off by 5:28...
75. You wanna know why you didn't have control over Galvatron? because you never had control over Galvatron, Megatron has control of Galvatron.
76. And nobody noticed this?
77. 1:46:16, now we finally get an explanation... when everyone would have fallen asleep
78. "You can go to a pretty dark place when you're on Death row" how fitting considering the movie.
79. I thought your history was lost in the Allspark, so you can remember this but not the Harvester from Revenge of The Fallen?
80. Galvatron's plan. Detinate the plot maguffen that could have been given a better name then "The Seed" in the largest city... Odin's plan in Pokemon Zeta is better then this
81. So, why is the movie moving to China?
82. Because it wouldn't be a Transformers movie without the questionable sleeping arangements
83. Now they finally notice the giant spaceship
84. Are you seriously only finding out about the missing chunk of your ship now?
85. Put Galvatron in containment means doing more to seal him then a few chains in the production factory
86. Mindless explosions happening for no good reason...
87. Why is Marky Mark giving the "have faith in humanity" speech to the man who PRACTICALLY INVENTED THE HAVE FAITH IN HUMANITY SPEECH?
88. I'm giving you 5 posts on this, wont you leave me alone?
...Don't look at me like that...
89. Also, more animation screw ups, you just have to love those. We know he's not holding those, why couldn't you have gotten real ones of those and just shot it twice, adding the animation in when needed?
90. Remember when the stunts in these used to be realistic, and shot on site? Because if that is on site, then the camera they used for it is crap.
92. That's the reaction I'd take as well if I wasn't bored
93. Why is there a anti drink driving message written in English, on a sign on a Chinese roadway?
95. How could you know that? that's a part of Lockdown's ship
96. Wow... that hull must be made of aluminum... three missiles did that
97. And it also seems to be flying pretty far for a ship that's apparently being shot down
98. I know hand guns have poor aim, but you're a trained assassin, you shouldn't be missing
99. This guy is harder to kill then Sam was in the last three films
100. Why is this movie still going?
101. Ok, there's still building codes in China, and an air vent wouldn't be attached to a solid wall without a vent inside the house (a hole in the wall)
102. Inventor from Texas vs trained CIA assassin, my money's on the assassin
103. How does he still have that eye?
104. Seriously, you shouldn't have that eye anymore
105. Obvious green screen is obvious
106. Dam it, not only have I lost money on that bet, but I lost it because there was no way a inventor could have taken out a TRAINED ASSASSIN
107. Remember those Dinobots you were promised in the promotional material for the movie ALL THE DAM TIME? Well, here they are... at the end of the movie.
108. Also, are you telling me that the only reason Lockdown went to the Arctic was to pick up the frozen Dinobots?
109. Just because the movie recognizes it as a bad idea, doesn't make it any better
110. Ok, I'll cut it some slack, most of the Dinobots in their Dinosaur mode do look cool, I'll give them that.
111. And that slack is gone. You bring shame to the Grimlock name
112. "I'm like a fat ballerina"... *sigh
113. Of course they do, not only is it their ob to ruin everything you do, but your plans have been becoming worse and worse the longer this series of movies progress.
114. How did this not hit Bumblebee?
115. When I said most of the Dinobots looked good, the exception was Swoop. Can someone tell me how many dinosaurs (as in dinosaurs to the common people, not those who understand its definition) that look like this version of Swoop?
116. More product placement that doesn't make sense when you consider where the movie wants you to think where it is
117. I would make a Psy joke here, but nothing comes to mind that wouldn't make me look racist
118. Lockdown's plan is just stupid, use a magnet to pick up anything made of metal, see what's picked up and if its not Prime, drop it again and redo...
119. Again, I'm fairly certain all these English signs would be written in Chinese if they are in China
120. I've lost count of the amount of dead humans are in these 4 films
121. Remember, Optumus Prime shot Kelsey Grammer
122. Hi obvious crew member who shouldn't have been in the shot
123. Why is there pink smoke here?
124. Hello Chicago in the background
125. Why were you in this movie again?
126. So now you're telling me that the house did blow up? Will you make up your mind?
127. No you can't help, you're going to prison
128. Hold on, if you could fly, why did you need the corpse of Jetfire in Revenge of The Fallen and Dark of the Moon to fly?
And you wanna know what the sad thing is, I still have more to rip apart, but I'll be quick.
Most of the casting for this is questionable with several characters barely in the movie to such a extent that I honestly wonder why those scenes weren't cut, the following being a case in point.
The Autobots are psychopaths, Lockdown's a bland generic villain with no motivation, Galvatron didn't need to be in the movie at all. Finally, you wanna know what the worst thing to do is for casting, get someone who doesn't have a accent to play a part with a accent. The boyfriend is supposed to be Irish, but his accent only seems to be there 50% of the time which leads to the impression that the scenes were selected in the editing phase for the shots and not the acting.
The music in this is... You know what, I can't describe it. To me, there was no music. What music was there was so bland and forgettable that I can't even begin to explain it, not to mention barely audible.
You know what, I need a break from this. There will be a review next week, but I'm delaying it for reasons I'll explain then. There's a Top X list coming out earlier in the week to make up for the delay so stay tuned. My final word for Age of Extinction is this though: Bay claimed that he fixed the problems of the last few films, when in actuality he hasn't. Yes there are somethings in this that are better, but you can't claim to have fixed a problem that you don't know about. Transformers 5 is apparently going to have a new director, I just hope that this new director does a better job, and gives us a Transformers movie ABOUT THE TRANSFORMERS!!!