MOVIE REVIEW: "TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION" (2014)
“TRANSFORMERS: AGE of EXTINCTION” (2014) MOVIE REVIEW
This Reviewer cannot claim to be a loyal fan of the TRANSFORMERS franchise, but admittedly the special effects department of the current offering has technically, rendered a magnificent job.
The sizzling effects comes spectacularly alive …. thanks to director MICHAEL BAY, his scriptwriter EHREN KRUGER and his director-of-photography AMIR MOKRI who gloriously captured the robotic “fire-works” and deliver them to us in the realm of the IMAX 3D.
Millions of years ago, the Earth was traumatized by an extinction exercise by robots to do away with the human race.
A superior robotic element was using their technology to turn living organisms into ‘Transformium.’
Fast forward to present day and research group KSI may have uncovered metal dinosaur fossils in the Arctic.
Humanity has learnt a lesson and is now sparing no chances and is taking drastic measures against bad robots.
After the battle of Chicago four years ago, the Transformers are now the most wanted deadly aliens on the planet.
The US government is briskly hunting whatever left of the Transformers that had survived the massive kill.
Director MICHAEL BAY who initially left the franchise graciously returns, promising an exciting new package, roping in MARK WAHLBERG to play Cade Yeagar, and as well as lining new Transformers for his trademark explosive live action spectaculars.
The CIA black ops teams are cutting a swathe through Autobots and Decepticons with the help of a mysterious robotic assassin determined on capturing Optimus Prime, but he’s nowhere to be found.
That is until Cade Yeager (WAHLBERG), his daughter Tessa (NICOLA PELTZ) and Lucas (T.J. MILLER) discover an old husk of a mack truck that’s more than just a mere vehicle.
BAY enhances the action especially in scenes where robots fighting against humans in the thick of the fray.
Debris flying, towering infernos and what-have-you rising above the boom crash mayhem will keep the audience enraptured, clamoring for more.
On a gentle note: the bad robots can be exterminated by humans; they are not invincible.
Strategic scenes are shot in HONG KONG and CHINA to cash in on the colossal Chinese market.
CHINA with a populace of 1,390 billion people is a ready-to-be-tapped cash cow.
And naturally, dollars make the earth goes round.
Take note of the fun bits here:
In order to please the China market, you get weak appearances from celebrated China artistes like actress Li Bingbing (李冰冰) and singer/actor Han Geng (韓庚).
Why, you ask. These artistes look intimidated, milling around their white brothers.
Actress BING BING is merely a piece of disposable decorum uttering dumb lines.
Yes, she does appear in key scenes, holding her fort admirably.
She kicks ass and speeds precariously on a motorcycle to save her boss. Other than that, there’s nothing heroic out of the norm.
Actor HAN GENG gets to utter one silly exclamation.
And as for China boxing champion ZOU SHIMING (鄒市明), he gets to flex his boxing prowess for just a few minutes of glory.
Other Chinese actors, such as The Bund’s <上海灘> actor RAY LUI (呂良偉) are mere well-paid “extras” hoping for a Hollywood break.
The second half of the film reeks like one “long-winded product commercial.”
The audience is treated to a neatly arranged loop of advertisements showcasing product categories from egg white powder and mineral spring water to cars and jewels. Provided you exercise your power of vision carefully.
And the list rattles on ….
This is another MICHAEL BAY brand for his international fans and for them, a MICHAEL BAY movie is a must-see, as the magic never fails to ignite, and the provision is always riveting and fiercely moving.
The film director continues to drum up ways to make robotic shape-shifting look realistic on 3D.
Shooting in Hong Kong and China provide a battlefield to cash in on the franchise’s second most lucrative market. A win-win situation, isn't it?
Smart move. Right.
Do check this one out.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5.
Local Distributor: United International Pictures (UIP)