TRANSFORMERS : Age of extinction

Follow eastcountytimes on Twitter

Become a Friend of The East County Times


Click on the paper above to visit our
Digital Edition



Article by Teddy Durgin

Transformers Sequel Doesn't Break Durgin

There is no doubt, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is not a movie. It is an endurance test! And there WILL be some part of your body that will either hurt or just won't be quite right after you see it... especially if you see it in 3-D. As I write this, I am an hour removed from screening it in that format, and I got a nice shooting pain right between my eyes. I feel like that one dude in "Terminator 2" that the T-1000 stabbed right in the eyeball with his mimetic poly-alloy finger. I got three Advil in me, and the throbbing is just starting to ease. As I was walking out of the theater, a good number of the audience looked similarly pained. The older audience members walked gingerly, working out kinks in their legs, neck and back as they staggered to their vehicles. Others rubbed their eyes and labored to deposit their 3-D glasses in the special receptacles located outside the theater doors. A few even seemed to be off-balance slightly. In a better world, this might have been a bonding experience. But no one seemed to be talking. You know a flick has blitzkrieged your senses when today's moviegoers don't even turn on their cell phones and mobile devices immediately afterwards to get the latest e-mails, tweets and social-media updates on their and their pathetic friends' lives. But it could have been worse, my friends. Yup, this fourth "Transformers" flick runs 2 hours and 40 minutes... darn-near three hours with trailers and commercials. But think about this. It could have been 2 hours and 40 minutes of - YIKES - Shia LaBeouf!!! The Beouf is nowhere to be found in this one. In fact, it's an all-new call sheet of Hollywood vets and newcomers bathed in director Michael Bay's golden cinematography as they react to gargantuan special effects that come close to smashing, crushing, squishing and obliterating them every few minutes or so. "Age of Extinction" would be a grand comedy if it didn't actually want to cause you physical discomfort. I tell ya, if these "Transformers" flicks were 90 to 120 minutes long, I think I'd love 'em. But no film based on a freakin' '80s toy commercial should be given the running time of "Schindler's List." At any rate, "Age of Extinction" is set five years after the events of the last film. The Battle of Chicago has been used as a rallying cry by government forces to goose public opinion against the Transformers. Remaining Autobots and Decepticons have been forced into hiding and are being hunted down by CIA black ops commanded by Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) working with an Apple-like corporation run by Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci). Far away from all of the hunting, inventor Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) discovers an old semi truck that he buys as junk and takes back to his Texas farm where he and his Victoria's Secret-caliber daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) live. The truck turns out to be Optimus Prime, the fabled leader of the Autobots who is being stalked by both Attinger and an alien bounty hunter named Lockdown. Soon, government forces descend on Cade's farm and he, Tessa, and her boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor) narrowly escape along with Optimus Prime. Much planetary destruction ensues. Look, no one delivers gargantuan spectacle better than Michael Bay. Even if you hate the film, for a $10 or $15 investment, you'll get that money back in extreme pyrotechnics, visual effects and over-the-top stunts. This movie also sets some kind of record for innocent bystanders almost mowed down by speeding vehicles. Again, this is NOT a movie. It's a roller coaster ride in which the operator on the ground - in this case, Michael Bay - is clearly insane, has locked himself in the control booth, and is fully intent on not stopping the attraction until someone breaks in and carries him away kicking, screaming and laughing maniacally. And after four films and over 600 minutes of Bay-hem... dear God, there are still multiple doors left open for sequels! I swear these films won't break me as they did LaBeouf. I swear it!

"Transformers: Age of Extinction" is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo.


@2008 East County Times. All Rights Reserved

Phone 410-780-3303 Email Reporting Staff [email protected] Email Art Dept. [email protected] Advertising [email protected]