I had the displeasure of watching a heaping pile of rubbish explode onto a movie screen called Cade Yeager Saves the World. You probably know it by its more popular name. Transformers: Age of Extinction. Let’s get this out of the way. I’m not a Michael Bay hater by any means. I’m a big fan of the first Transformers film, loathe the second one with unbridled passion, and enjoyed the third one. This installment, however, brought nothing new to the table and that’s the least of its problems.
My biggest problem with the film is that The Transformers played second fiddle to the human cast. I know the humans always get top billing, but it was ridiculous this time. Mark Walberg’s Cade Yeager is a struggling inventor looking to make ends meet until fate throws him a life altering curve ball in the form of a war-torn Optimus Prime. It felt as if Walberg was contractually obligated to have the majority of screen time and they squeezed him in every second possible at the expense of the robots we paid to see. Throughout the second and third act they showed the Transformers in action for a minute, then shifted back to the human story for seven to eight minutes.
The philosophy of “Less is more” would have served the movie well because the 2 hours and 45 minute run time was crammed with a plethora of bloated sub plots. This prevented the poignant moments from resonating with the audience and it didn’t help that the human protagonists are one-dimensional and annoying to the point where I would’ve cheered their demise with thunderous applause. This is not the desired sentiment when the story is being told through their lens.
Usually, when the opening credits roll, I won’t go to the restroom or the concession stand, no matter how badly I need or want to go. This time, I did both without pause and was in no hurry to get back to my seat. The next day, I watched a few episodes of the original Transformers cartoon to help my brain siphon the garbage it absorbed in the theater. This fourth installment is an unimaginative film experience that lurches from spectacle to spectacle without substance, and is rife with nonsensical moments that are randomly injected because the plot requires it. It’s clear this movie has an audience since it made $300 million dollars opening weekend. There will be a fifth film, and it will also break box office records. Personally, my interest in this movie franchise is officially extinct.