With each film in the Transformer saga, Michael Bay makes it clear that all he's interested in are massive metallic special effects bashing into each other and usually exploding. Because otherwise this is a vacuous thriller without any characters to speak of, no sense of plot coherence and an appallingly simplistic sense of geography. There's plenty in this franchise to enjoy (just watch the original 2007 film again), but Bay takes everything so seriously that only die-hard fans will have any fun this time.
The story picks up five years after the cataclysmic Transformers' battle in Chicago, as Texas inventor and overprotective single dad Cade (Mark Wahlberg) builds gadgets in his rural barn, oblivious to the fact that his 17-year-old daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) is secretly seeing 20-year-old Shane (Jack Reynor). Luckily, Shane is a race driver, so he's handy to have around when black ops agents commanded by shadowy CIA director Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) raid Cade's farm looking for an old truck that turns out to actually be Optimus Prime in hiding. This sparks a return to Chicago for more mayhem, followed by a hop to Beijing and Hong Kong, where Optimus Prime and a handful of remaining good-guy Autobots take on the villainous Lockdown. Helped of course by Cade, Tessa and Shane, plus billionaire inventor Joshua (Stanley Tucci).
The new gimmick this time is dinosaurs, building on a prologue showing the real reason they went extinct. This comes back in the climactic battle in the form of Dinobots, ancient Transformers that will have fanboys squirming in their seats with joy while everyone else yawns and looks at their watches, astounded that Bay has somehow managed to stretch this paper-thin story out over nearly three hours of metal-on-metal chaos. As in the earlier films, the action is quite literally cartoonish, purely animated mayhem that's not easy to decipher. At least the humans help keep it vaguely approachable, as they provide running commentary in their dialogue and bounce through the air like plastic action figures who never get hurt.
Continue reading: Transformers: Age Of Extinction Review
Taking place after the events of 'Transformers: Dark Of The Moon', we see a new part of the Transformers story in 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' where the human race must rebuild from a great battle between the Autobots and Sentinel Prime. However a new evil force is at hand attempting to change history, which will send Earth into a new crisis. New human friends will help Optimus Prime and the Autobots face their most difficult task yet, on an amazing journey around the planet that will decide who will win between good and evil.
'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' will see a new live action cast featuring Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, Nicola Peltz as Cade's daughter Tessa Yeager, Stanley Tucci, Li Bingbing, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, T.J. Miller, Jack Reynor and Titus Welliver. Peter Cullen will once again voice Optimus Prime.
Michael Bay reprised his role as director for this instalment of the franchise. The film is written by Ehren Kruger, who wrote the previous two Transformers films 'Revenge Of The Fallen' and 'Dark Of The Moon'. 'Age Of Extinction' also has the same producers as the previous three films Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce.
Continue: Transformers: Age Of Extinction Trailer
Following the destruction caused by Optimus Prime's benign Autobots and, their nemeses, the evil Decepticons led by Megatron, the US government have decided to sever ties with the Autobots in a bid to reclaim their crumbling world. After a while, it seemed that they had indeed disappeared completely but Cade Yeager, a struggling inventor who is desperate to put his daughter Tessa through college, is about to make a discovery that would change his life forever when he uncovers the unusual metal properties of the new vehicle he has bought. It isn't long before the government and the Decepticons are swooping in on Cade's home, demanding to know where he is hiding Optimus Prime; America wants to destroy the living machines despite the Autobots past help, and the Decepticons simply want to destroy everything. If the humans want to survive, their old friends may be their only hope.
It's been four years since the disastrous conflict between the benevolent Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, and the evil Decepticons, led by Megatron. Now, it appears that the US government is no longer willing to work alongside the Autobots and instead long for Earth to be reclaimed by mankind. Cade Yeager is an inventor who is struggling to find the money to get his daughter Tessa through college, but he's about to make the breakthrough of a lifetime when he discovers that a vehicle he has newly purchased is made from no ordinary metal. On realising that he is housing Optimus Prime in his workshop, the government and the Decepticons are quick to attack, though when it becomes clear that Megatron is still hellbent on taken over Earth, he must band together with Optimus to save themselves and everybody else on the planet from total extinction.
Continue: Transformers: Age Of Extinction Trailer
On his way back to his home planet on a funereal mission, extraterrestrial Kainan (James Caviezel) discovers a deadly alien beast known as a Moorwen onboard his ship. It causes the vessel to crash land in Norway circa the 7th century. After getting his bearings and sending a distress signal, Kainan begins to explore the area. He is soon trapped by warrior Wulfric (Jack Huston) and taken to the fortified stronghold of King Rothgar (John Hurt) and his wild, unwieldy daughter Freya (Sophia Myles).
Continue reading: Outlander Review
Once in town, Hallam lines up a dishwashing job at a big hotel and instantly falls in love with Kate (Sophia Myles), the woman who hired him. Using the spying skills he developed in his treehouse, Hallam is able to peep as Kate has hot assignations with her married boss, and his knowledge of the affair will get him into much hot water, even as he busies himself with trying to solve the mystery of his mother's death once and for all. Did someone put sleeping pills in her coffee and toss her in the loch? He must find out.
Continue reading: Mister Foe Review
I suspect that most of this disregard is due to the fact that more often than not Reynolds' films are burdened with clunky and sentimental scripts. Films like Rapa Nui and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were gorgeously shot and produced but weighed down by melodrama and hobbled by sentimentality. And then there was the whole Waterworld debacle from which it seems Reynolds has never really recovered. The Count of Monte Cristo was a start, but this is the film that should bring Reynolds back to the table. (I happen to think Waterworld is fantastically accomplished and enormously entertaining but don't tell anyone I said that.)
Continue reading: Tristan & Isolde Review
The reason why I can't recommend Thunderbirds is common in mediocre kids' fare: It offers nothing for the adults playing chaperone, who will be flat-out bored. Frakes and his screenwriters make no attempt to entertain anyone over the age of 13, unless you find stuttering and bad teeth uproarious. If ever there was a movie meant for DVD, this is it. Mom can pay the bills or read a book in the living room, as the kids argue over how cool it would be to ride one of the Thunderbirds.
Continue reading: Thunderbirds Review
"Underworld" might have been one bad-ass B-movie, if only its plot about a war between vampires and werewolves had been seen by co-writer/director Len Wiseman as anything more than a token gimmick on which to hang "Matrix"-mimicking action and antiquated genre clichés.
Thick with mold-breaking potential that goes completely unexplored, the picture is populated by cardboard cutouts of aristocratic, clownishly Goth-fashioned bloodsuckers and sunken-eyed, greasy-haired, heavy-metal headbanger-styled lycans (a fancy word for werewolves). The two races exhaust every trite and tired facet of their respective horror folklore in a story that has obviously, and rather clumsily, had elements edited out -- including a romance between warrior vampiress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael (Scott Speedman), a human with werewolf ancestry.
When Kraven (ravenous scenery glutton Shane Brolly) -- the conniving, devious, temporary leader of the vampires while their sovereign is entombed in hibernation -- orders the human killed because his DNA could change the course of the centuries-old war, Selene risks her life to save the guy for reasons that aren't entirely clear in this final version of the film.
Continue reading: Underworld Review
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