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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Review: ‘Transformers’

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“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the newest installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise that offers more excitement, more action, more robots and more explosions with an unimportant plot and Mark Wahlberg thrown in for good measure.
The film begins a few years after the events of the third film, in which Chicago was destroyed when the Decepticons attacked the city and the Autobots somehow defeated them. Despite the narrow victory, the good transformers, like Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen), and the other Autobots are once again targets for attack.
This time, corrupt humans are hunting them. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) stumbles upon an old beat up truck in Texas (surprise it’s Optimus!) and unexpectedly gets pulled into the ongoing battle between good and evil. The Autobots soon rally behind Optimus to face Earth’s new threat, as well as some old enemies, and have to enlist the help of ancient warriors.
Of the Transformers franchise, this film is probably the best and most entertaining. Granted that’s a low hurdle to jump, but changing up the actors definitely helped.
Mark Wahlberg does a pretty strong performance as Cade Yeager and is a great fit as the lead human role in the film. Kelsey Grammer plays Commander Attinger, one of the main villains of the film, and is very convincing as a bad guy. Stanley Tucci plays Joshua Joyce, a billionaire robotics inventor that wants to use the Transformers’ technology for mankind. He also doubles as the human version of comedic relief on occasion, which is his strong suit.
The other main human performances are pretty replaceable and stereotypical of Michael Bay films, such as those by Nicola Peltz as Tessa Yeager and Jack Reynor as Shane Dyson.
The voice-over acting is pretty good in the film, bringing back the familiar voice of Cullen as Optimus. Other famous actors provided voices for Autobots, including John Goodman (Hound) and Ken Watanabe (Drift).
Despite the fact that most of the acting is pretty forgettable, the additions of Wahlberg, Tucci and Grammer are a significant improvement from the other films.
While this film is bound to be a summer blockbuster, it will most likely not be hailed as one of the best movies of the year. At almost three hours long, the story is sporadic, jumping from location to location like it’s nothing. It felt like there were many scenes or shots just thrown into the movie to add screen time for the actors or product placement (Bud Light and Chevrolet for example). The plot has many holes that leave questions, which could have been avoided easily.
It’s full of “Michael Bayisms” like fast edits, excessive use of slow motion, shaky cameras in action sequences and lots of special effects instead of solid plot lines.
However, the special effects are fantastic and help the audience survive the length of the film. The transformers look incredible, and the big battle scenes are easily the most entertaining parts of the movie. A particularly awesome moment is when the Dinobots appear on the screen, but considering that every advertisement for this movie features the Dinobots as a part of the scene, the subpar story could have made the characters much more important to the film.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is a long, loud, effects-driven action film that lacks plot or story, but it is easily one of the better films in the Transformers franchise. If you’re a fan of the previous films or robots riding on dinosaur robots, then this is the film for you, otherwise it’s a summer blockbuster that you can afford to skip.
Fun Fact: Peter Cullen, the voice of Optimus Prime, has played the fearless leader since the creation of the animated show back in the mid-80s.

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