"Transformers: Age of Extinction" Review

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“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the ex that you keep going back to. You know you broke up for a good reason, but you think “maybe she’s changed”. I’m that good friend that slaps some sense inside your head and says “Wake up!”. This franchise has only gotten longer and worse.

The Autobots (good guys) are now hiding on Earth from the CIA. Did I really just write that? These huge, “far more intelligent” beings are hiding from us measly humans? Well that’s the case in this film. Inventor, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) finds an old truck that he plans to pick apart for money only to find out that it’s Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots. Getting Optimus back up and running turns Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) and the rest of the CIA goons on the Yeager family. With Attinger cutting a deal with Lockdown (a super transformer Decepticon of sorts), the rest of the film is about the Yeagers and Autobots on the run and trying to solve the mystery of who is after them and why.

What’s good about the film? It’s no doubt that Michael Bay is the king of summer blockbusters. His visual style is arresting. If you’re going to see this film in theaters it’s to see Transformers do their thing, cool visuals, and listen to things explode. Unfortunately, that’s all I can say that’s good about the film.

In regards to the bad, let’s just look at the running time. Two hours and thirty seven minutes of your life will be devoted to a story that could have been told in ninety minutes. The plot is like taffy stretched out over the running time to the point that it’s just thin enough to still be together, but almost one minute more from being broken. As per usual in this franchise, the adults are like kids and kids are like adults. This just makes it hard to take characters seriously. Bay even has a slow motion, low angle shot where Wahlberg yells as his daughter is being taken by transformers that looks like a baby having a tantrum. I laughed out loud in the theater and quickly quieted down as I seemed to be the only one who thought it was Bay paying homage to Daniel Lugo from his own “Pain & Gain”.

I wish I could say that you should check the movie out in theaters just for the visuals, but you should save your money and wait for this to come out on Netflix or Redbox. This film is not good for you. Remember what it did the last time? Took you for a ride, but left you feeling duped. Don’t fall for the fourth time! 

Rating: D

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.