Is This the Worst Movie Ever Made? Yes, It Just Might Be
A Film Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Transformers: Age of Extinction is one of the worst movies ever made, plain and simple. There is nothing in this film that is even slightly redeemable and considering it’s three hours long, you can only just sit there and cringe mightily as frame after frame after frame of utter stupidity bombasts you. 165 minutes of pure crap. Nothing here is worth noting or even remotely resembles anything close to actual effort. The most infuriating thing by a mile in this racist, misogynistic hellhole is the sheer laziness of it. This thing was going to make money, there was absolutely no doubt it. But that isn’t an excuse for making a terrible movie. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Nolan’s Batman films were guaranteed to make money but they were great masterpieces of storytelling. This is just clobbered together and presented to the audience in the most patronizing, pathetically arrogant manner possible.
There’s an all new cast, which surprisingly doesn’t help anything. We got rid of Shia LaBeouf thankfully, but his replacement in Mark Wahlberg inspires as much confidencs as an inanimate object lying stuck to your carpet. Nicola Peltz inhabits the obligatory vapid hot girl role and basically spends nearly the entire movie yelling and screaming for help. Because there must be a phenomenal actor or actress embarrassing themselves in a Michael Bay movie, Stanley Tucci is cast in this and he gives arguably the worst performance of his career. In his defense, the material given to him is so atrocious, I can hardly blame him. Jack Reynor is there to simply exist as the boyfriend who has a handily card ready that allows him to have sex with a minor. He’s utterly forgettable. Li Bignbing is cast in this to appease Chinese audiences and she knows kung fu, because of course she does. Titus Welliver says “My fist is my warrant,” so make of that for what you will. No one does anything noteworthy and everyone is utterly wasted, even the ones who can’t act.
There is no coherent plot to speak of or anything resembling one. Almost nothing logically makes any sense, even in universe. The most vapid and obvious problem with this movie is that there’s ultimately two movies here clobbered together so it can make money in China. Ehren Kruger clobbers together another insipid script filled with nonsensical dialogue like “How do you know kung fu?” “I took police training after I got my MBA.” Yeah, that’s what counts for actual dialogue in this movie. Then the end arrives and suddenly there’s Dinobots, which kind of look cool but considering that you’ve been sitting in that seat for about two hours and forty minutes already, you really don’t give a ****. No one is written as being anything close to being remarkably likable or even a coherent human being, so whenever the film attempts something close to actual emotion, it doesn’t even matter. There are a few moments like when Wahlberg finds a football in a random Hong Kong apartment that are meant to be cathartic, but are so loosely put together they just end up making you raise your eyebrows.
The product placement in this film is specially monstrous, as has become a habit with Michael Bay “films.” In what should be a joke but isn’t, there’s literally a long tracking shot of Stanley Tucci sitting on a roof in Hong Kong drinking a Chinese milk drink. It’s not the product placement itself that’s the problem, it’s how obvious and in your face it is, like Wahlberg drinking a Bud Light and then slamming it into the ground for no good reason whatsoever. Even more problematic is what can easily be considered to be the most offensive portion of the entire film’s existence. There’s a scene where Wahlberg’s character closely resembles a human being, furious that his seventeen-year-old daughter is more than likely sleeping with a twenty-year-old. What follows is a lengthy sequence in which the boyfriend uses the Texas “Romeo and Juliet” law (which is a stupid name for a stupid law) that says this relationship is okay because they started dating when they were both minors. And he carries around a card in his wallet to prove it. For the love of God or whomever else, Michael Bay. If you can’t make a half-decent movie, at the very least don’t publicize sex with a minor and make it sounds as if it is okay, no matter what the law.
Age of Extinction is a pathetic excuse for a film that exists primarily for merchandising purposes and because people will pay money for familiar things. It’s a three-hour commercial selling a million different things like Good Year Tires and Chinese milk drinks with a few visual effects thrown in for good measure. Let alone plot, this movie can’t even get its details right. Paris, Texas is filmed on what is obviously a cowboy Western set. The daughter is wearing a sweater and long jeans in what is supposed to be a Texas summer, doing her homework after she’s apparently graduated. One of their friends behaves like a surfer dude and has a surfboard on his car, which doesn’t make any sense because it’s supposed to be Paris, Texas. There’s supposed to be an emotional moment where Wahlberg can’t get into an elevator because it can’t handle four people. And in the next shot, the camera catches the label that says “Capacity: 9”. Christ. There’s one silver lining, as thin as it may be. For once, you can actually note some coherence in the battle sequences, like whose fist hits whom. But if that’s the best thing about a movie, it’s pretty worthless. There are far better ways to spend three hours of your time.
Title: Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Michael Bay
Producer: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Based On: Transformers by Hasbro
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci
Music: Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography: Amir Mokri
Editing: William Goldenberg, Roger Barton, Paul Rubell
Production Company: di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro, China Movie Channel, Jiaflix Enterprises
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Running Time: 165 minutes
Release Dates: June 19, 2014 (Hong Kong premiere), June 27, 2014 (China), June 27, 2014 (United States)
Image Courtesy: The Hollywood Reporter