Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


July 5, 2014

Latest 'Transformers' sequel not healthy viewing

With Andy still on cinematic paternity leave, I’ll be taking a solo look at Transformers: Age of Extinction (PG-13).

This sequel/ reboot takes place five years after the events of Dark of the Moon and finds the Autobots in seclusion as the U.S. government hunts not only them, but the Decepticons as well. Their cover is blown when a down-on-his-luck mechanic/ inventor (Mark Wahlburg) discovers that the semi in his barn is actually Optimus Prime. Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor costar in the film. Michael Bay returns to direct.

Ryan: The prevailing narrative of these Transformers movies is that they are critically spat on (ie, every Transformers movie on Rotten Tomatoes is “rotten”), but beloved by the public (the Transformers franchise is about to eclipse the $3 billion worldwide box-office receipt threshold).

On the surface it’s hard to fault that premise. The first Transformers film was a serviceable summer blockbuster, but the sequel, Revenge of Fallen was a complete train-wreck of a film. The third entry, Dark of the Moon, redeemed some of the goodwill lost with the second movie, but it suffers from many of the trappings that doomed Revenge of the Fallen.

Age of Extinction is certainly an improvement over the last two movies. But back to my original point, I do think these movies are not quite as bad as most critics make them out to be (except for Revenge of the Fallen), but I also don’t think these movies are as endearing as many people find them to be. Age of Extinction is an okay summer popcorn movie. It’s not the death of cinema, but it’s also not what I would say is an ultimate summer blockbuster type of film. I think it’s more than okay to have expectations that these summer blockbusters can be good films as well.

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