Elaborate human machinations

Last Updated 07 July 2014, 09:05 IST

Transformers: Age of Extinction
English U (A) **
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor

The fourth instalment of the Transformers film series could have garnered some more points from critics and audience alike, had it tweaked some aspects of the movie, like, reducing the length of the movie significantly, refraining from incorporating ill-timed hackneyed humour and making the plot less complex.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is digging deep into the answer of What came first, the chicken or the egg. For that is what the movie seems to ask at the very beginning – Is it men who control machines or man-made machines which control men?

And to learn the answer, one has to sit through 165 arduous minutes of superfluous action and drama. The time in focus is four years post the Chicago debacle, where the Autobots and Decepticons battled for supremacy.

Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a widower trying to raise his teenage daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) in Texas, also happens to be a robotics inventor, but without much success.

He and his employee happen to find an abandoned, battered semi truck, which they decide to put to use for work. The truck, however, reveals itself to be Optimus Prime.

A CIA elite unit picks up the scent of this development and tracks Optimus down.

A foreseeable battle, about how the family and the boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor) become involved with Transformers, endangering themselves at times, is what follows, culminating in a violent skirmish and some maudlin moments.

Few ingredients are ingenious about a storyline that comprises an ordinary American family getting sucked into the treacherous web of the CIA, because the US government is trying to obliterate aliens.

The idea is overkill and obsolete. And no amount of fancy technology employed in the movie can serve as atonement.

Director Michael Bay seems to have enjoyed reliving the déjà vu of Armageddon in bringing together protective father, feisty daughter and brawn boyfriend.

However, a viewer may find the concept tedious.

It is painful to watch a talent like Kelsey Grammer go underutilized as the bitter and frustrated CIA agent Attinger, while Stanley Tucci seems to be the only saving grace in the movie.

The absence of Shia LaBeouf certainly comes as a reprieve from watching immature and banal performances in the prequels.

Credits must be given only to the colossal efforts that have gone into the movie’s making. A film made to be enjoyable solely for the fans of the franchise.

(Published 28 June 2014, 19:58 IST)

Follow us on