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By Seyi Odusanya.
If this film was a person I would shove them in front of a moving bus. I staggered out the cinema dazed, not confused, just very angry. Yet for the first 10 minutes of Transformers: Age of Extinction, I was with it. After the events of the last Transformers film, mankind is understandably pissed off at the rampant death and destruction caused by the robots in disguise. As a result the transformers are forced into hiding and are hunted down a black-ops team headed by CIA man Kelsey Grammer working with transformer bounty hunter Lockdown who has his own secret agenda. Replacing Shia Labeouf is Mark Wahlberg, an amateur inventor who discovers the Optimus Prime and thus becomes another target for Kelsey Grammer’s CIA hit squad. Stanley Tucci is here too playing Steve Jobs if Jobs decided to build his own Apple brand transformers. Wahlberg, Grammer and Tucci are the biggest names here and they do actually raise the bar somewhat, but the script devolves these characters into shallow, annoying one note jokes.
Wahlberg doesn’t like his underage daughter Nicola Peltz’s boyfriend because he’s over 18, Tucci wants to build his own transformers because money, Grammer hates transformers but also wants to build his own army of robots and doesn’t give a damn about how many people he needs to kill to do so because… America? The biggest sin the Transformers films commit is not only are they boring but they are the same film every time. Some Transformers related MaGuffin hidden in the past is uncovered in the present ( The All-Spark, The Matrix Of Leadership, and Sentinel Prime) , humans uncover the secret, a chase ensues, Transformers fight and hundreds are killed in the ensuing carnage, Optimus Prime gives a speech at the end, film done. This film is not the same structurally, but it’s worse because simply because it manages to do the one thing I thought they couldn’t do to me. This film made me hate Optimus Prime, a character I’ve been fond of since he was just a Saturday morning cartoon.
Here Optimus is a human hating killing machine whose opening line is ‘I’ll kill you!’ The other Autobots far no better as they repeatedly threaten to kill not only the human characters but even each other! They’re supposed to be the good guys but they come off worse than Megatron clone Galvatron and his Decepticons, at least they’re honest about being evil. There is nobody to root for in this film, nobody to care about so this grand explosive spectacle just becomes meaningless. But as I was watching this all, I couldn’t believe the fact that this film arose from a children’s toy, yet the films are nothing but vile, repugnant and sleazy. There are arse shots, boob shots. They say bitch, shit and even fuck in this film. How is based on a children’s toy?!
I stand dumbfounded at myself for even thinking that Michael Bay actually learned from past mistakes. But no, there’s more dumb humour, more racially stupid transformers al la Japanese samurai robot. More of Bay’s sleazy eyeing up women, this time it’s a 17 year old girl and they make statutory rape jokes just for fun! And guess what? Its 3 hours of this nauseating explosion wankfest. I did not see a film tonight; I saw the empty abyss that is Michael Bay’s creative soul.
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