I freely admit I enjoy the Transformers franchise, but not because they’re any good. They are, or rather were, accidentally amusing terrible movies. Sadly, Transformers: Age of Extinction can’t even rise to that level.
If there’s one thing you could count on in these movies, it was some sort of insane moment that makes no sense and was clearly thrown in because Michael Bay is an insane man-child. It’s like watching The Room, except with more giant robot fights.
To wit: The first movie features John Turturro being peed on by a robot, a fetish Bay somehow pioneered despite the Internet. The second features Devastator’s gigantic wrecking-ball testicles, which makes even less sense when you realize those wrecking balls materialize out of thin air, not to mention the weirdly Freudian bit with the not-Terminator and her scorpion tail. The third one was a bizarre attempt at a conspiracy thriller before turning into Death Wish with more robots.
And there’s absolutely none of that weirdness here. Not a whit. Michael Bay hasn’t grown up, he’s just stopped caring.
It adheres to the usual formula of these movies: Loud opening, what feels like (and is in this case literally) hours of humans goofing around because shtick is cheaper than special effects, and a massive demolition derby of a finale. But it’s rote: In fact it’s more or less the same movie as the first one, just with Mark Wahlberg trying to convince us he’s a Texan.
There’s really not words to explain how lazy this movie is. It’s basically all about collecting Transformer blood, called “Transformium”, something so stupid the audience I was with groaned as one. Nothing was cut out, even though you could easily shear an hour out of this thing. Basically nobody gives a crap about anything in this movie, bar the effects team, and it shows.
But they care enough to keep the checks coming: This ends on a flagrant sequel hook for a movie already announced and this is on track to make $100 million just this weekend. Maybe for the next one, they could divert some of that toy money into hiring an editor.