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Transformers: Age of Extinction Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to this review. So here it is, another Michael Bay Transformers film. I said after Transformers 3 that I’d never go back to this series again if it were to return, but I knew I was lying to myself. I have an unnatural attraction to things that blow up, I am an action junkie from the 90’s after all. While all the promotional footage of Age of Extinction looked interesting, I knew in the back of my head what I was in for and with the mostly negative reviews this film got from America I was ready to shit all over this film. But I sat down, watched it last night and now I’m gonna give you my thoughts.

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Here’s the plot for the film:

“As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond what they can control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets Earth in his crosshairs. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues.”

So let me get this out of the way first, this film is better than Revenge of the Fallen (piece of shit) and Dark of the Moon (one of the most forgettable films ever), but I still don’t think it is better than Transformers 1. Why? Well that’s easy. Transformers had a fairly cohesive, action-packed and was fun, even if at times it was awkward and stupid. But as the sequels continued the plots got thicker and needlessly complicated and this film’s story is no different.

Age of Extinction has a lot going on, there’s Transformers on the run hiding from the government, the government and US soldiers are now partnered up with a Transformer bounty hunter looking for Optimus Prime and killing Autobots in the process and then there’s a human inventor who finds Optimus Prime, the inventor has family issues with his daughter, oh and there’s a scientist who can use Transformer metal to create his own Transformers and so on. There’s a lot of stuff going on here. And for all the storylines that are going on, there seems to be a tangent for each one further adding to the already overstuffed narrative. But the one thing this film suffers from the most in this film is the script, the dialogue here is so bad, cheesy and cringe-worthy that it is not even a joke. Michael Bay and his writers can’t do humour or serious drama, it doesn’t work, and dealing with the bad government, comedy, family and relationship scenes felt like an endurance test and most of it was just boring, I had to sit though so much of this crap before the robots came on-screen and even they weren’t much better.

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When it comes to the cast they pretty much do the best that they can given the material they have to work with, but even then only a few of them are actually good. Firstly Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager is pretty much the best thing about this cast. While you don’t believe Wahlberg as an inventor at all, he commits to the role, does well in action scenes and is his character is pretty much the most useful of all the humans. Stanley Tucci as Joshua Joyce, the head of KSI who wants to build his own Transformers is good if a bit over-the-top with his acting. Joyce is a douchebag and there is nothing to like about him, but at times the dude can be funny because in the face of danger his true colours come out. Kelsey Grammer as Harold Attinger is also pretty good at playing the big bad CIA man with a good screen presence and acting that just about gets the job done.

And then there’s Nicola Peltz as Tessa Yeager, good god where do I begin? Well firstly she is really hot and has grown up a lot since that other major film she was in that we don’t talk about. That being said she still sucks at acting. As Cade’s daughter she mainly hates a dad but erratically keeps changing her opinion of him whenever she wants, she also cares more for her gutless little boyfriend more so that her own father and lastly she just shouts for her dad or help whenever possible, which is multiple times throughout the film. Jack Reynor as Shane Dyson, to put it simply I didn’t like this guy at all. I’m sure the guy is a decent actor, but Reynor was just plain old  boring and his character was one of the cheekiest little shits I have ever seen. This man is cocky as hell, but when it comes to actually facing danger the dude has no balls but still takes the credit for being the hero and I despise that. Sophia Myles as Darcy Tyril, she’s good but is very forgettable. Li Bingbing as Su Yueming was beautiful and was one of  the useful people in this film but totally wasted in the grand scheme of things. Titus Welliver as James Savoy was good, I actually like Welliver as an actor and the guy did fine in the role but I felt like sometimes he did go a bit overboard with the whole ‘I’m the bad guy so I’m gonna make sure you know I’m bad’ kind of thing. T. J. Miller as Lucas Flannery was decent and had some funny moments but I felt like some of comedic scenes were a bit overdone.

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As for the Transformers they were alright, but nothing to write home about as the Autobots are relegated to bickering children all wanting to play leader and the bad Transformers aren’t really the main threat which kind of sucks. Peter Cullen still does a great job as Optimus Prime, but everyone else doesn’t fare as well. John Goodman can go from sounding pretty decent to pretty terrible as Hound, Ken Watanabe is alright Drift and John DiMaggio is pretty humorous as Crosshairs. Mark Ryan does a good job as Lockdown sounding very evil and sinister and the same could be said for veteran voice actor Frank Welker who does a good job as Galvatron.

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The best thing about the film is still the visual effects. The Transformers films have always excelled at giving audiences something to stare at and appreciate and this film is no different. Seeing massive transforming robots be the crap out each other is still badass, though I feel like the quality of the transforming isn’t as awe-inspiring as it once was, plus these new man-made Transformers have a crappy transformation sequence where they just break apart into little cubes and reform again and its hardly as cool to look at. The overall CGI while good, didn’t make blow me away and that’s a shame. As for the soundtrack, yuck. That’s what I’d describe it as. Steve Jablonsky returns to score the film but his soundtrack is the most forgettable in this series, but what is worse is all the horrible songs inserted into the film. Whenever there’s a dramatic scene with humans involved there’s always someone singing some stupid song in the background and it’s annoying as hell! These are some of the worse music choices I have ever had to endure in a film for ages.

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In the end Transformers: Age of Extinction isn’t a film I hate with a passion, but it isn’t one I will watch again, ever. The visuals are awesome as usual, the addition of Mark Wahlberg was much appreciated and when the robots throw down it is pretty cool. That being said, this film has far too much unnecessary baggage, the Transformers themselves have become less cool and interesting (bar Optimus Prime) and there’s boring humans dealing with government, new technology, relationships and all this other boring stuff. If you like Michael Bay Transformers you’ll have a good time, if you don’t, stay away, this is the same ride again except it is longer.

Rating: 5.5 (Mark Wahlberg and the CGI saved this film from being completely pointless)

So what did you think of Age of Extinction? Did it fill with joy or fill you with hate? Are you down with Michael Bay Transformers films or do you want this series to end indefinitely? Whatever your thoughts be sure to write them below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “End of the Beginning” Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the interweb, time for my review of episode 16 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. entitled End of the Beginning“. All I can say is FINALLY. AoS has had the most fragmented and awkward run of any TV show I’ve seen in recent history and it has been hard for fans and casual audiences to keep connected to it. But hopefully with this episode things will get back on track.  So how has this week’s episode fared? Read on and find out.

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As usual in these reviews I’m just gonna present the plot and then say what I liked and what I didn’t like. Cool? Okay let’s keep going.

The Plot

Agents Garrett and Triplett are back to help Coulson’s team track down S.H.I.E.L.D.’S nefarious enemy – the Clairvoyant. But will Deathlok destroy them all to protect his master’s identity.

SAFFRON BURROWS, TITUS WELLIVER, MAX HERNANDEZ

What I Liked

Well overall this was a good episode, it definitely picked up the pace on some of the plot points of previous episodes and things feel like they’re finally going somewhere. I also like the whole more active approach to this episode, the hunt for the Clairvoyant has squads of agents going out into the field, Deathlok attacks people and there are several twists and turns in the plot that keep you guessing. Ah man because I’ve seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier my suspicions about this show are going crazy about the true enemy behind the shadows but I cannot disclose that information yet. 😛

Story-wise there’s a lot to look at so I’m just gonna highlight a few points below:

  • Garrett and Triplett hunt for Deathlok: I like how Agents Garrett and Triplett are on the move trying to find Deathlok, it is a nice way to keep the characters relevant and it also shows that S.H.I.E.L.D. haven’t forgotten about the dude and are actively searching for him.
  • Deathlok is back and more dangerous: So we see Mike Peterson as Deathlok is not only sporting some new armour, but he has an armoured wrist rocket shooter now? Nice. While the uniform could look a little more intimidating the dude is definitely dangerous and more machine than man, I just want to see him mess some more people like Agent Blake.
  • The hunt for the Clairvoyant begins, ends and begins again: So Skye comes up with an interesting pairing system with certain amounts of info given to each pair to try and find the main bad guy. Except when we find a vegetated man who says he is the Clairvoyant it seems a little too easy, unfortunately the guy is shot by Ward before any more information can be obtained (which was a shock). That being said I knew that it wouldn’t be that easy to find the main enemy of this show, plus Coulson brought up the point about the screen having the same works as the wheelchair guy, who is to say he wasn’t just reading them?
  • Coulson thinks Ward is the traitor: I didn’t expect Coulson to pick on Ward as the secret Clairvoyant, but I guess he’s emotionally fueled at this point and wants answers so if the enemy is someone within S.H.I.E.L.D. then he’ll probably look towards someone on his team. I knew it wouldn’t be Ward and I’m glad he defended himself aggressively because it makes him look less suspicious.
  • May looks like the traitor: Obviously when Fitz found May’s secret phone line on the Bus we knew shit would go down and for a while she did look really suspicious while chasing after Fitz going to gun him down. Obviously Coulson and Skye get her at gunpoint and try to pry information from her. With not willing to give up her info she’s looks even dodgy than before. But obviously when the Bus is rerouted and we see who is controlling it at the end we see that May doesn’t look like she’s as close to the Clairvoyant as one would first believe. (And thank god coz I love her and I don’t want her to be the bad guy)
  • Victoria Hand looks bad now: So yeah at the end of the episode we see that the bus has been redirected by Victoria Hand’s people at The Hub and she says that she wants everyone on-board killed except for Coulson because she wants to take him out personally. Man there are things related to Captain America 2 that I really want to talk about here but since American audiences still haven’t seen it I cannot divulge my suspicions yet. 😛

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Character-wise I love how this episode basically summoned several characters who transcend the MCU from the films, One-Shots and the TV series, having the cast interact wit each other the way that they did was awesome and created some great interplay between some of these people who had never interacted before. Having Agents Sitwell, Blake, Garrett, Triplett and Victor Hand together along with Coulson and Melinda May was special for me. To see all these characters together made the show feel more important and interesting, plus it’s just funny to see the funny conversations that come from conversations like Garrett talking to Coulson or Skye or Hand, the dude is hilarious and I love Bill Paxton as this character. Coulson starts to get aggressive in this episode as well as Ward, both were awesome, seeing Melinda May in this tight situation made for an interested temporary bad-guy moment for her, also any time Agent Sitwell is around I smile and having Agent Blake return was great, I love his witty and snarky remarks, but his conversation with May was the best.

What I Disliked

So what did I not like about this episode? Well firstly Deathlok didn’t get to do that much besides fire a few rockets and run away. Seeing Skye officially become an agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. was inevitable but I’m still not overly keen on her being on the team. Also this episode left me with more questions than answers just when the episode was getting more interesting too. But that’s pretty much it.

B.J. BRITT, BILL PAXTON, CLARK GREGG, MING-NA WEN

Conclusion

In conclusion “End of the Beginning” is another good episode, it takes several plot points from previous episodes and starts to put them at the forefront of the story. There are great twists and turns and with the great ensemble cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe things are really starting to feel connected and reflective of the Captain America: The Winter Soldier story themes too. While I wanted more Deathlok and there were more questions than answers in this episode, it is still in the better batch of episodes and I can’t wait to see how things transpire in the weeks to come.

Rating: 8/10 (The hunt for Deathlok and the Clairvoyant make for an interesting episode yo)

So what did you think of “End of the Beginning“? Whatever your thoughts drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya again for episode 17! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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