At this point, if you buy a ticket for a Michael Bay Transformers movie, you know what you’re in for: giant robots battling it out for an extended period of time, brought to life by flashy state-of-the-art effects and a script that likely leaves much to be desired. However, Bay himself has teased that the fourth film in the franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction, provides a bit of a fresh start for Autobots, Decepticons and the humans that run away from them screaming poorly written dialogue.
Bay followed up those claims by casting a whole new group of humans, and threw most of the original trilogy’s robots out the window, keeping only fan favorites Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. He also brought in the beloved and oft-demanded Dinobots, and set the film four years after the events of Dark of the Moon, allowing for a story to unfold that deals with the repurcussions of the original trilogy while laying the groundwork for another one.
We’re now only four days away from Age of Extinction exploding its way into the multiplex and early reactions have already begun to appear online. Those who got the chance to attend the overseas premiere came back with reviews that give us a clear picture of just what we can expect from Bay’s fourth outing with the robots in disguise.
Predictably, the reviews suggest that, in short, we’re in for more of the same with this installment. Even with some new elements and characters, Bay apparently delivers the same experience, but with more impressive effects.
Screen Daily: The fourth installment of Michael Bay’s big screen robot romp offers few surprises but an abundance of the series’ familiar tropes in another marathon-length, narratively vapid action spectacular. Bay’s trademark visual fireworks are as impressive as ever, while an all-new cast promises a new direction for what may become a second trilogy. Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the Autobots and Decepticons, which based on past performance means a huge box office performance everywhere.
Screen International: Even at a staggering 165 minutes, it is inconceivable that Age Of Extinction will be anything other than a titanic success in both domestic and international markets, especially in China. Pacing is a genuine issue, especially in the film’s early stages, but for audiences seeking the same polished, vacuous grand scale spectacle that has become synonymous with both the series and its director, Transformers: Age Of Extinction gives the series a new lease of life
THR: Sadly, Age of Extinction is neither controversial nor disturbing, but mostly just dull and middling — which is just so not done with a sci-fi action blockbuster designed to blast and titillate. It has neither the first film’s sporadic comedic pleasures born of the interactions between its humans and robots, nor does it attain the hyper-sensationalism that makes the second and third installments utterly over-the-top showcases of gratuitous demolition.
Variety: It’s not just that the Autobots look more distinctive and easier to tell apart than ever in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” — as Optimus Prime never tires of reminding us, these robots have actual souls. So who cares if the human characters are even more dispensable and the plot even more scattershot than usual?… As the sine qua non of the franchise, it’s the robots — endowed here with character-rich physicality and almost human-scaled facial features — who give the film its emotional heft.
HitFix: Ultimately, these are still just vehicles for the sale of more toys, and Hasbro is poised to clean up once again… Transformers: Age Of Extinction” more than delivers on whatever promises Bay makes to an audience at this point. Giant robots. Giant mayhem. Destruction on a global scale. You know what you’re in for if you buy a ticket, and Bay seems determined to wear you down with the biggest craziest “Transformers” movie yet.
So, a big, flashy blockbuster that will likely take the cake at the box office while upsetting the critics? Sounds like a Transformers movie to me!
Transformers: Age of Extinction hits theaters on June 27th, 2014. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer, Stanley Tucci, and the robotic voices of Peter Cullen, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe and John DiMaggio.