What are the early bird critics saying about Michael Bay's new action installment?
The release of Transformers: Age of Extinction is just days away in the USA, meaning fans of Michael Bay's franchise will soon be gingerly heading back into cinemas once more to see whether the new movie lives up to the hype.
Critics Haven't Trashed 'Transformers 4' But It Seems That, Like Its Predecessors, It's A Pretty Flawed Film.
After kicking off with 2007's Transformers, the (nevertheless commercially successful) franchise has suffered a decline in ratings with Bay's direction consistently caught in the crosshairs. In other words, there's a lot riding on film four, not least the filmmaker's reputation as he bows out of the sci-fi action movie series.
The new film sees Lone Survivor's Mark Wahlberg take on a central role as a mechanic who, with his daughter (Nicola Peltz) makes a discovery that brings the Autobots and Decepticons down on them. Kelsey Grammer is the movie's lead villain and stars alongside Stanley Tucci, Sophia Myles and T.J Millers.
The two-hour-plus movie is the first of Bay's franchise to feature the notorious Dinobots, and promises plenty of dino battles, seat-shaking explosions and humans trying to work out where they fit into the space robot battles.
With just eight reviews on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes as of writing this article, not all critics have been given a chance to express their reviews just yet but enough have that we can start to build a picture of what the action movie's chances are like. Given the subject matter and target audience, the movie's chances of impressing the snootiest critics were always slim but plenty of reviewers have found at least one thing to enjoy.
"So who cares if the human characters are even more dispensable and the plot even more scattershot than usual?" asks Variety's Maggie Lee. "It's the robots - endowed here with character-rich physicality and almost human-scaled facial features - who give the film its emotional heft."
HitFix's Drew McWeeny is frank yet congratulatory about Bay intentions for the films, writing "He knows that these films exist largely to give fans a chance to watch giant robots beat holy hell out of each ether, and on that front, boy, does he deliver."
Praising Ehren Kruger's script, he continues "there are some big new ideas that this film tries, and they suggest some pretty radical new directions for the series if they pursue those ideas."
Critics Have Been Intrigued By The Set-Up Of A Potentially 'Prometheus'-Like Premise.
However, he then notes that there could be some overkill involved where the script is concerned: "This script is constantly throwing exposition at the audience, and since this thing runs a full two-and-a-half hours, that means there are new ideas being introduced all the way through."
"The bloat of this latest entry - at 165 minutes, the longest of the lot - suggests that Michael Bayand his team are struggling to rejuvenate the whole premise," says THR's Clarence Tsui, adding "Transformers: Age of Extinction isn't the breath of fresh air vitally needed by an aging franchise."
The movie is "exactly what meets the eye," quips IGN's Roth Cornet, who says "Transformers: Age of Extinction delivers essentially everything one would expect from a Transformers movie; both the good and the bad" before noting that "Audiences who are game to board the extravagance train will find that Age of Extinction hits all the notes that a Transformers movie ought to."
Pacific Rim and X-Men: Days of Future Past are the two recent movies that critics are comparing to Age of Extinction. Cornet agrees, saying "Ehren Kruger's script is often predictably senseless and can feel like a hodgepodge of plotlines lifted from a bevy of recent, and some not so recent, blockbusters."
Transformers: Age of Extinction will be released on the 27th June in the USA and the 4th July in the UK.
'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' Will Be Released In The Coming Weeks.