transformers-age-of-extinction-poster-570x889When the host at the Arclight Theater said TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION was three hours long, I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t. I wish he was. Because this movie is a joke. Ok, it’s not all horrible. It’s just mostly horrible. The effects are ok, the 3D is decent, and well, that’s about all that’s good. Let’s start with the dialogue which is beyond hackie. The parts that are supposed to be funny fall flat. The scenes that are intended to tug at the heartstrings induce head shaking and eye-rolling. The jokes come out of nowhere at the most ridiculous moments. It feels like the writers felt they had to shoehorn the jokes into the script. The basic story seems ok. The Transformers (Autobots and Decepticons) are all being wiped out by a creepy sounding CIA black ops team named Cemetery Wind. Yeah, Cemetery Wind. What the heck does that even mean? Titus Welliver as the head of this group glares at the camera and blurts out trite cliches that are meant to be orders. Kelsey Grammar is his CIA boss who is meant to be menacing, but you never totally buy it. Even Stanley Tucci is wasted as the “evil” head of a weapons contractor who has figured out how to manufacture Transformers. He is supposed to be a kind of evil genius, like a Bond villain. But even Tucci’s great talent can’t save this drivel. Then there’s Mark Wahlberg. He can be very good (The Departed and Lone Survivor are two examples). This isn’t very good. Wahlberg is supposed to be a broke engineer who tries to make ends meat by inventing stuff. He is about to be evicted from his home, along with his 17-year-old daughter (Nicola Peltz). He spends the whole movie either trying to be a badass, trying to crack wise or trying to tell his daughter how much she means to him. Oh yeah, there’s her love interest (Jack Reynor) who Wahlberg is trying to keep away from his daughter. Wahlberg finds Optimus Prime and brings him back to life and… oh hell… why bother explaining it. It’s idiotic. The whole thing is idiotic. And it’s 2:45 of idiotic!!!! Michael Bay, what the hell is wrong with you? Maybe your could Transform into a decent filmmaker. And he’s reviving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Sigh. Then there is there relentless product placement. It’s not even subtle. Nothing about this is subtle. It is relentless and ridiculous. Should you go see this? No. The only thing that should be extinct after this mess is this whole franchise. I need a shower, and a nice short indie movie. — Alan Yudman


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