Rapid Review: Transformers – Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Dinobots

A new hero emerges in a familiar tale of the Autobots waging their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons.

There was a simpler time, when the world came together in a perfect union of the Japanese Takara Tomy and American Hasbro toy companies. They had a dream: to create some good old-fashioned entertainment for the masses and maybe, just maybe, sell some toys in the process. Their Creation Matrix of imagination brought us the epic struggle between the shiny Autobots and the suspiciously named Decepticons, transforming robots from another world. Yet somewhere along the line, this pure dream became commercialised and drifted far from its noble intentions of providing the children of the world with easily breakable toys that could have your eye out if you’re not careful.

Michael Bay‘s soft relaunch of the Transformers franchise makes no secret of its lack of substance, paying only the merest of lip-service to the notion that human characters are needed to set-up this world. Mark Wahlberg‘s mechanic/inventor/more charming that LaBeouf/single dad to the purely perfunctory Tessa (Nicola Peltz) is there simply to discover the now broken down Optimus Prime (voice by the legendary Peter Cullen), before the inevitable forces of evil intervene. The “twist” is that it’s a human business guy (Stanley Tucci) who, when not chewing the scenery, is trying to make his own Transformers in an effort to control human destiny. The clumsy set-up and often unintentionally (?) hilarious dialogue (“My face is my warrant”) stick around long enough to introduce a very long robot chase sequence, including a ship that seems to be designed only to pick metal up and drop it down on cast members for the purposes of dramatic tension. It’s never deep, but to paraphrase Jarvis Cocker, it is profoundly shallow. A roller coaster pure and simple, and there’s no denying that can’t also be a bit of fun as well.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is now playing everywhere.

RatingWorth A Look (★★★)