Press-Republican

Out & About

July 3, 2014

'Transformers' no longer stupid fun, just stupid

Give credit to director Michael Bay. Making “Transformers: Age of Extinction” into the loudest, longest and dumbest movie in the Transformers franchise takes quite a bit of effort, but he has without question succeeded.

“Transformers 4” picks up about five years after the end of the previous film. The heroic Autobots are now in hiding, while Shia LaBeouf and the entire human cast from the previous movies seem to have disappeared.

A black ops wing of the CIA (fronted by Kelsey Grammer) has decided that transforming robots — both good and evil — are all bad, and has taken to eliminating them, inexplicably with the assistance of transforming robot bounty hunters.

Mark Wahlberg inherits the everyman hero role as Cade Yeager, a down-on-his-luck inventor who happens to come across the rusted hulk of Optimus Prime, and nurses him back to life.

Nicola Peltz (“The Last Airbender”) becomes the latest to fill Megan Fox’s high heels and short-shorts as Cade’s teen daughter, Tessa Yeager, but adds very little to the film, which is actually more than can be said for her boyfriend, Shane (Jack Reynor), an Irish racecar driver.

The only other human of note is Stanley Tucci, as the arrogant scientist who has created an army of human-made Transformers.

Though the film spends plenty of its nearly three-hour length with the humans, there’s no story to be had and nothing but painful dialogue. Besides, all anyone really wants to see is giant Transformers beating each other up, and there’s more than enough of that.

Mixing the Autobots of old with the new bounty hunter Transformers, the man-made Transformers, a handful of dinosaur Transformers — for reasons I don’t quite understand — and, yes, old villain Megatron, “Age of Extinction” supplies endless amounts of metal-on-metal crashing and loud explosions.

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