Written by / 6/27/2014 / 1 Comment / , , ,

MARK WAHLBERG IN TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

year: 2014 rating: **
In BOOGIE NIGHTS, Mark Wahlberg sings a wonderfully cheesy song titled You Got The Touch, which originated from the 1986 animated TRANSFORMERS MOVIE…

This is the type of useless pop culture trivia going through the mind of a film freak while watching a reboot of a reboot that piles on everything to make a big budget movie shine, but misses the mark entirely…

Not Mark Wahlberg, who has far more screen time than any of the Transformers put together. Although the entire plot centers on the friendly robots that, in the last movie, defended mankind from immense metal plated goons attacking Chicago...

And now it's all about the humans either protecting or destroying the invaders... Especially Wahlberg’s quirky and bankrupt wannabe Texas inventor Cade Yeager, living in a dilapidated farm with a mature looking teenage daughter who could easily pass as a girlfriend. The overly protected Tessa is so beloved and cherished she’s bound to get kidnapped… And while Cade's gadget-tinkering hobby is intriguing at first, his resilient tech skills don't amount to much when the ball gets rolling...

Not enough Optimus time
But that’s skipping ahead. First we must weather a tacked-on, forced comic relief from T.J. Miller’s surfer dude Lucas, and then Stanley Tucci as an equally jokey and sarcastic scientist named Joshua Joyce, who's a lot more important being that he invented an entirely new consumer-friendly Transformer that can alter itself by (what looks like) flying molecules rather than the usual noisy shape-shifting. Also on board is Kelsey Grammer as a nefarious CIA agent who wants all Transformers obliterated by using Joyce's invention, or something.

The titular heroes do have a decent amount of screen time, holed up in the desert and goading back and forth like seasoned war buddies during a Saturday night poker match... Yet they seem like special guest stars in someone else’s movie…

Shifting from America to Japan – where a host of metallic dinosaurs join the fight against a giant spaceship – all the Transformers do is follow Cade as he attempts to rescue his daughter and before that, having been joined by her young racy boyfriend, the trio’s chemistry is so reminiscent of ARMAGEDDON you’ll expect Wahlberg to become Bruce Willis while an Aerosmith ballad plays: But no matter who the heroic human is, and while it’s nice not having Shia LaBeouf around, those Transformers needed more creative reasons to awesomely morph into earthy vessels (what the source toy franchise was all about)... And during the last of several overlong climaxes, when Prime and his immense foe are about to square off, Wahlberg rushes into the scene for assistance, not realizing that an uninterrupted metal vs metal smackdown is long overdue.
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1 comment:

  1. Great review...The other reviews also have been mostly critical...sloppy story one, dull characters, unbelievable situations, etc...that I think I'll pass. Thanks, James, for the usual astute overview and perfect detail...Kudos. Gar

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