Box Office Democracy: “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
Transformers: Age of Extinction is 165 minutes long. This should really be the entire review. Either you want to watch nearly three hours of Michael Bay throwing robots at the screen or you don’t. If you’ve seen any of his movies you’ve basically seen this one, there isn’t anything new just the older stuff louder, brighter and longer. Apparently this is something that has a lot of pent up demand. People can’t get enough of this. Isn’t that depressing?
I admit there’s something intrinsically seductive about his visual style. Everything is so slick and the camera moves are so majestic that it’s very easy to just settle in and let your eyes bliss out a little bit. This is broken up a bit when the giant robots have to fight because event through four movies Bay hasn’t quite figured out a good visual shorthand for keeping the robots separate so the big fights, when not in slow motion, have a tendency to just look like a bunch of rolling metal until things shakeout and you can determine who won. This is made dramatically more difficult by a new kind of Transformer introduced in this movie that transforms by turning into many tiny cubes and then floating in to a new form. This just fills the screen with the equivalent of giant dust. Bay is definitely capable of using the visual language of film and communicating a kind of poetry with it I just wish the poems weren’t profanity-laced limericks.