Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction

One can’t stop given Michael Bay props for at least being very honest about his own corruption. I can’t decide about each moment made me laugh more a) the convoluted explanation that allowed Hasbro to redesign villain Megatron b) the reveal that the final action takes place not in China but Hong Kong, so allowing the film more leeway than if it had to represent Mainland while still making the Chinese government to look good and competent (the scene in which generic boyfriend explain to Whalberg how some arcane Texan law allows him to date his underage daughter which seems to be there to make clear it is ok for the film to objectify her is also a contender). This has all the problems one comes to expect from one of those films: it is bloated, with an unnecessary overcomplicated plot (three different group of villains with different agendas by the end), way too many useless characters (I’m gonna guess Sophia Myles scientist is there just to tell Stanley Tucci misguided capitalist he is redeemed by the end, something anyone could get by his dramatic arc or maybe Bay just needed a second Caucasian actress to objectify), the Transformers design is still very uninspired and the robot on robot mayhem that remains at center of the action just blurs together as generic CGI destruction. This does tone down some of Bay’s more annoying tics (bad comic relief, racial stereotyping, military fetish), Mark Whalberg is a solid anchor to the action, there’s some actually good stuff around Tucci’s Bay stand in, a couple of well-designed action scenes and the extended sequence inside the alien ship does allow the film to indulge in the horror motif that often get lost in the franchise frantic action. One of Bay more credible efforts and his kind of shameless corrupt filmmaking remains preferable to the blandness and dullness of his main competitors.

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