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‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’: too much meets the eye

Transformers: Age of Extinction

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With a two hour and forty-five minute runtime, the first question that comes to mind is, is the latest installment in the Michael Bay “Transformers” franchise worth the gratuitous time spent to execute this story?

Starring Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, a perfect arms having, wearing-them-jeans-like-a-champ engineer and single father, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” attempts to move the franchise away from the Shia LaBeouf series into one that might have a greater emotional yielding to accompany all the Baytastic explosions.

But with Nicola Peltz as Tessa Yeager, Cade’s overly-sexualized and ungrateful teenaged daughter, it may be difficult for viewers with conservative values to appreciate the effort.

Cade Yeager tries to hit gold with one of his inventions. His clock is running out as his daughter is readying for high school graduation and college. Along with his friend, he purchases old equipment at a movie theater, which includes a rusted semi, in hopes to build a masterpiece and generate the kind of money he needs to save his house and fund his daughter’s education.

Because they exist in a post “Chicago Transformers War” society that has outlawed all aliens, including the Autobots, any discoveries made and unreported are severely punished by the CIA.

After the government learns that Yeager might have made contact with one such alien, the storm of destruction rained on him and his daughter is nothing short of heartbreaking.

However, that sentimentality is lost in a silly plotline where that daughter spends the majority of the movie insulting her father and brings along a secret boyfriend who also spends the movie insulting and one-upping him, a man who counts his daughter as “the best thing that ever happened to him”.

Audiences with distaste for the characterization of young girls as sexual props or the verbal abuse of a loving single father by his only child will find it difficult to enjoy the other poorly spliced together elements of this overindulged adaptation and sequel.

Too many villains, no clear motive or sensible course of action by any of them and the laziness with which they handle the new Decepticons hampers the story, deflates the thrills and makes waste of talents like Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, and becomes a grave disservice to Thomas Lennon.

From unnecessary treks to multiple cities for no other reason than to blow them up, a Donkey Kong like chase (which would have been cool in a better movie) and disinvested dialogue to the same pursuit with “the bomb” that happens over and over again, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” proves to have forgotten about the essentials of moviemaking and trades them for dissatisfying grandeur.

At one point the product placement is more interesting than the fiery detonations popping off around them.

Though a movie shouldn’t be enjoyed based on its eye candy alone, there are some really exciting shots and again, there is Stanley Tucci, but the best thing about “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is that from the tone, it clearly isn’t taking itself too seriously.