Transformers: Age Of Extinction review round-up

News Simon Brew 23 Jun 2014 - 06:32

The reviews for Michael Bay's Transformers 4 are starting to appear - and they're better than you may be expecting...

We've not had a chance to see Michael Bay's fourth Transformers movie yet, with UK press screenings not taking place for a little while. But the restrictions on reviews of the film in the US have lifted - following the movie's Chinese premiere last week - and the first reactions are veering ever-so-slightly towards the positive. At the very least, it sounds as if there's a push to take the narrative in a different direction.

We already know that Transformers: Age Of Extinction is the longest film in the Transformers saga, but here's what those early reviews are saying about it...

The Hollywood Reporter
"True, there's a lot of state-of-the-art 3D chicanery, and the film is a marked improvement over the wholesale inhuman chaos of the last two installments, 2009's Revenge Of The Fallen and 2011's Dark Of The Moon. But the bloat of this latest entry — at 165 minutes, the longest of the lot — suggests that Michael Bay and his team are struggling to rejuvenate the whole premise"

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"

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? Resurrected to take on man-made knock-offs of themselves, these metallic superheroes cause so much destruction, it’s as if they’re trying to find a literal new definition for the term 'blockbuster'"

"I think the giant scale action in this one is amazingly staged once again. There are few filmmakers alive who would even try to stage things on a scale like this, much less make it look like something that's sort of effortless. Bayhem just keeps getting better" ... " 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".

Transforrmers: Age Of Extinction lands in the UK on July 10th.

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Quite looking forward to this, being the only person alive who actually enjoyed all three Transformers movies.

I say they're the greatest movies of all time. I'm probably the only person in the world who would say that and mean it.

No LaBuff AND simpler Transformer designs???
It'll still be crap.

Sly, EVERYONE is entitled to their opinion, and I respect that. But best films ever? Like....EVER? Over Lord Of The Rings? Star Wars? Police Academy 4? Avengers?

1st and 3rd are pretty good!! The 2nd one deserves all the hate that it gets.

The first one was mediocre, the other two were utter dreck.

If you go through and cherry pick words used to describe the new film out of context (in much the same way as Paramount will once the more negative reviews come out) you get "struggling", "effortless" and "vacuous", all of which sound about right. There's a "good enough" approach to reviewing sequels in the mainstream press, after a series is this exhausted. After the execrable sequels we've had so far, this needs to be a goddamn masterpiece.

"If you like the other films, you'll really like this...

...if you don't like the other films, you wont like this."

That is pretty much the only review any film critic needs to write.

These reviews are much better than I expected, however any review of a transformers movie that doesn't say it's utter bilge is better than expected.

What annoys me most about these movies is despite all the destruction thrown at the screen, it's all completely forgotten about by the next movie!

From what I can tell Marky Mark is just an every day father in this one, I wonder if they ever explain how he happens to be built like The Rock

You say 'better than you'd expect', whereas I'd say damming with faint praise.

Everyday dads can be built like The Rock. My tenant has two kids and works full-time but is very muscular. I know it's nice to think eating right and exercising is impossible unless you're a celebrity with an army of personal trainers, childless or unemployed but that's comforting denial.

I'm with ya, bud!

The trailers fooled me into the cinema for Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon, both of which I thought were utter tripe. I'll leave this one until it's on TV.

The only reason I look forward to Transformers, is to see Mark Kermode's reaction to it.

the last review is the only one which could be described as posititve, and given the fact they state that 'bayhem just keep getting better' i'm not sure their opinion can be taken seriously

we all know the film is gonna be s**t

I've often thought when watching these films 'This needs more Elephants'

Pachydermatrons...TRANSFORM AND ROLLOUT!

Like the movies, the destruction is inconsequential. I'd rather have fun movies with loads of stupid explosions than a melancholy dirge of a film lamenting the human and financial loss from the last installment. Just my opinion.

Scarface? The shawshank redemption? Napoleon dynamite? Rocky 4?

Getting swoll is hard work. I met a bodybuilder, Bobby Holmes, he's got family and job AND works out twice a day and eats 15,000 calories a day. Monstrous arms. I struggle to eat 3,000. Being full all day... That's harder than working out!

So what you're saying is, you too have met an everyday father who is built like The Rock?

Fair enough and I guess if I'm looking for realism then watching a film about vehicle transforming robots is probably the wrong place anyway... that said I'm betting they make him an ex-Navy Seal (or similar)

About a month ago, yes. He was an NPC competitor and now an NPC judge. He's met all the famous bodybuilders. Arnold too, though I don't know if he's met the rock. And when I was a teenager I met Charles Hawkins, who went on to become mr universe in 04. He was actually my dad's foreman at their job. Now that guy's little brother and son both body built in my town, and had huge arms, but Charles was gigantic. Yet the guy I met a month was even bigger.

I get strong easily, but hyper trophy, growth, HURTS like all get out. My arm hurts just typing this cuz I'm sore from working out earlier. I'll get gains, then I'll take time off because the pain is too much, and lose my gains. It takes a maniac to ignore that pain.

Very comforting, please get off my cloud! :-)

You have a point. I don't expect originality from Bay and the former Ranger/Seal/Marine is a heavily mined trope.

Sorry man, I'll let you get back to couch surfing. :P

Much obliged! Now, pass the crisps.

Crisps, wow! Fellow Brit or Australian?

Canadian, but I try to fit in with my Commonwealth brothers and sisters, eh.

That's what it's all aboot!

Sorry, but I'm on the West coast. The aboot stuff is so very East coast and the Prairies. Again, sorry, eh.

Awww, that's terrible. It's the only Canadian stereotype that I know and I got it wrong.

I don't know that I've ever heard of him giving a glowing review of any film in recent memory.

Sorry! (Canadians apologize way too much, so there's another for your stereotype arsenal)

Can't wait for the generation 1 reboot. So there doing it the wrong way round. I'm fine with that as long as Cullen returns.

The first one had a huge nostalgia factor and that wears out after 2 or 3 viewings. The other 2 were just soulless cash cows.

It is certainly a the sign of a more hipster and soft time when a man make films about giant robots and explosions and people just whinge about them.

I'm not holding my breath, the 2nd one got half decent reviews on it's release and it was worse than Roland Emmerich's Godzilla!

'Why don't you build her a cake or something?'

And then he compares it to The Exorcist. Boring sod.

Take your facts elsewhere!

Agreed: easily in my top 3 worst films I've ever seen and I've seen bajillions.

G1 all the way! Scripted by Simon Furman plas

These things aren't even real films! They're just random stuff chucked together! It constantly amazes me that people lap them up in their droves rather than demanding their money back. The first one was a complete disaster, and what I saw of the second one was nothing short of an utter train wreck, but let's take a look at the third one, shall we?;
Opening shot- close-up of a woman's butt, walking up the stairs.
Then some random, abysmally scripted and unintelligible crap happens. No racism, masturbation jokes, dog humping, or dogs pissing on robots, or robots pissing on humans this time, sadly (said no-one, ever).

Then... CUT TO BLACK. And... PAUSE. And... RE-START the film. At a different location. At a different time of day. With different characters.
Why? Who cares why?! It's time for THE FINAL BATTLE(tm).
Then fast forward to some shotgun execution, in a family film no less, and a robot standing in front of a huge US flag saying 'Never stop fighting for FREEDUM!'.

And lo, the people cheered.

Michael Bay is either extremely smart and canny, or very, very cynical.

Went to the premiere last night, this movie sucks. A festering pile of dog crap. Cliche ridden pap. Bad dialogue, bad science and corny scenes. Awful

Your mom's in college

Completely disagree.
Michael bay films everything at the SAME TIME of day. After all, explosions just aren't explosions unless it's about 8:30pm and the sun is setting.

Canucks are all about the three P's.

Politeness, Pronunciation, and Poutine. God bless you, Canada.

This one is even longer than the others, so i'm expecting him to be even more "flappy-handed" and shouty than before.

Looking forward to this, going by the trailers it looks like Lockdown is going to be as awesome as Shockwave SHOULDVE been in dark of the moon, and to see how they've done with Galvatron, really hope they've not messed him up, he was such a huge character back in original series. I prefer transformers and dark of the moon, revenge of the fallen only gained points for me because Bay finally got Optimusprime right, even if he did get killed in the forest fight scene, he still in Prime fashion put up a great fight, and then again in dark of the moon he turns the tide, as he does, flying in and taking them all on, as an Optimusprime fan, for many years, I hope to see more in age of extinction. Fingers crossed.

He loves it, doesn't he?!
In fairness, I've enjoyed some of his films, especially The Rock. I just wish he had the courage to follow his heart and live the life he clearly wants to, deep down inside- making pornography.
Although, ...oh dear God. I shouldn't even have thought that...

I respectfully disagree with you, Sir. I believe it to be undoubtedly and regrettably a mark of the times that when a man repeatedly makes really, really bad films about giant robots and explosions, crowds of people throw money and cheer for more.

Lockdown does seem to be the best thing about TF4.
Bay has now utterly wasted both Shockwave and Grimlock (their comic book and tech spec incarnations), two of the most interesting and complex TF characters. The amazing things they could have done with those two characters, both highly capable leaders, badass, and loaded with dramatic potential, have now been squandered.
The way I see it is the Bayformers movies are Transformers made by someone who has no real interest in Transformers.

The Marvel comics (Furman, and early Budiansky) managed to make great stories and had some fantastic characterization. There's therefore no excuse for the movies being so trite.

A Transformers movie could be great if it actually focused on the Transformers instead of the humans. The whole point is the TFs are sentient robots with personalities, making them relate-able. But what Bay gives us is drones and cookie cutter stereotypes who only utter a handful of lines.

I'm not ruling that out, in case that was unclear- Michael Bay is just wrong for this material. This is meant to be a "reboot" and "definitely his last one". Fool me once, fool me twice and all, but we're up to three times now. His misanthropic spectacle worked well in Pain & Gain, but it's toxic to this series.


Umm he has generally given pretty positive reviews of most of the Marvel universe films especially Avengers, same with the last few Harry Potter films, Pacific Rim also got a positive review, same with the
Jump Street films, the Muppets movies, the first two of Nolans Batman films, the recent Godzilla film...need I go on? He was critical of American Hustle probably one of the first critics to have the cajones to do so after all the glowing reviews it got in the States, it was quite a landmark review as a lot of other critics followed suit and ended up doing poorly at the Oscars

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