Transformers age of extinction – epic! And a bit about cinime

Transformers 4

When walking into the cinema I heard what was potentially the best introduction to this film from a young boy to his Mum:

Mum: are you looking forward to it then son?
Child: YES!
Mum: “Well I hope in this one they at least try to act, they didn’t in the last one”
Child: “Mum OPTIMUS IS GOING TO RIDE GRIMLOCK. I MIGHT NOT EVEN LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY THE REST OF THE TIME”

Good shout that man.

Couldn’t have summed it up better myself. As soon as the huge cardboard posters started appearing in the cinemas up and down the country I think pretty much everyone who is in the slightest bit interested in sci-fi, action, Transformers, anything, were thinking – “Is that Optimus on the back of a dino bot? Well then that’s getting watched”.

To be honest I think the makers of this film may have had that in mind. They knew the attraction that the all-out action would bring and so may have taken a few liberties with the plot/story. But like the kid himself inferred, if you are going to see Transformers to get a great plot then you are in the wrong cinema. There are similarities in this plot to those in Lord of the Rings, Terminator, Pocahontas, and Avatar to name a few. Along the lines of humans getting involved with something sacred and then going mad with power and spoiling it. You know the drill.

So let’s get to it, this film in terms of action, is EPIC. There is no other word for it really. I saw this in IMAX and boy do those guys know what they are doing. I won’t spoil things but there is one scene where a large magnet is being used to suck all the metal up out of a city. During this scene the sound scope and the visuals were quite literally breath taking. The woman in front of me shrieked and ducked as a lorry came seemingly from over her head, all the while the noise was rumbling the seats and your stomach giving you the feeling you were in a plane about to take off. Just brilliant, that is what IMAX is all about and that is worth anyone’s money!

In terms of performances there are a few great names that pop up, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, John Goodman and Mark Wahlberg really go for it which does add to the credibility of the film, they look they are having fun and so you can have some fun too. The daughter (Nicola Peltz) is pretty wooden but then aren’t all female roles in Michael Bay films? She is certainly better than Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the less said about her performance in Dark of the Moon the better.

I read one article that said that Bay in this film had ‘phoned it in’ and was really there to take the money and run. Whilst I wouldn’t wholly agree with this as the action alone is popcorn-throwingly intense and that can’t be phoned in, I can see what they mean. When you watch the film, notice how many times the action takes place at either dusk or dawn, just as the sun is setting or rising. Seriously, check it out. It is even in the poster (see above). There are also a myriad of examples of panning camera shots below a character, moving from under the feet to their profile while the sun sets behind them in an ever so dramatic fashion. Man does Michael Bay love that shot! There are always people standing in front of the sun and creating a nice silhouette as they smooch in front of the fading light while the camera pans from their stomachs up to their faces. That kind of shot is OK once Michael, just, but it is certainly not OK when you do it nine times in a film.

But these ‘Bayisms’ aren’t too important, you can abide them because you get some other great stuff that makes up for it. Like more of the Autobots! Hooray! (Hound, Drift and Crosshairs) and a fantastic baddy in Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan). Lockdown is awesome, a weapon of mass destruction (ooh) and they don’t waste time by giving him a huge back story, you don’t need to know that stuff. Just know that he is lethal and is there to do some damage to Mark Wahlberg’s perfectly preened face.

One slight criticism of the film is that in my opinion it is about 30 to 40 minutes too long. There are some parts of the film that are pretty unnecessary and if they were skipped it would make the film so much better!

So overall I would say definitely go and see this film. See it in 3D or IMAX if possible and let it wash over you like a wave of technicolour action and transforming awesomeness. It’s not a film that will chancge the world, but by golly it is entertaining!

7 out of 10

Finally just to touch on what I wholeheartedly believe could be the worst phone app of all time. Cinime. I have used this a few times now after being encouraged to do so by friends and evil cretins. This app is pointless, do not use it. It listens to the adverts before films and then lets you watch them again on your phone. I am not exaggerating when I say that is literally all it does. It is pointless and a waste of time. Do not download it do not go anywhere near it, it is pants. Not the good pants, the uncomfy, grey awful pants that you got from your mum at Christmas. So there. Download a good game like piano tiles instead. That is much better!

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