Entertainment

Reel Reviews: Time to put the toys away

Optimus Prime plays nice with Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction. - 20th Century Fox Pictures
Optimus Prime plays nice with Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction.
— image credit: 20th Century Fox Pictures

After the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons has levelled Chicago, all alien robots are deemed a threat.

The CIA begins a black op run by Harold Atinger (Kelsey Grammer) called Cemetery Wind to round them all up.

A down on his luck mechanic and part time inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) purchases what he thinks is a run-down truck with the hopes of making a profit. The truck turns out to be the damaged leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime.

Yeager revives Optimus Prime in time to escape being captured by Cemetery Wind and they reunite the remaining Autobots.

After it is discovered that Cemetery Wind is working in conjunction with an alien bounty hunter, the humans and Autobots must work together to save the planet from becoming a lifeless mining colony.

We say, “It’s a three hour Saturday morning commercial.”

TAYLOR: I’m 42, which means I still remember when we had less TV channels than I can count on one hand.

I grew up in Armstrong, so it was CHBC, BCTV, the Knowledge Network and fuzzy HBO off the repeater. Even if you had more channels, it wasn’t too many more. Those were the days when Saturday mornings were for kids cartoons. When cable came along in the 1980s, we became introduced to a plethora of new cartoons and I stopped caring. By the time Transformers came around I had more interesting things taking up my time and this phenomenon continues to this day.

HOWE: I beat you by a couple of years, but I will agree with you, I had no interest in the Transformers either. Saying that, I knew who or what they were, due to having two younger siblings. As for the film series, I really enjoyed the first one, lots of action and some things we hadn’t seen on the big screen before. Now after the fourth installment it feels like every year there is a new Transformers movie and it’s getting really stale. In fact, I had only watched the third one for 10 minutes before turning it off, it was that bad. I don’t know if this one is meant to tie in with the third.

TAYLOR: If you mean in terms of badness, then perhaps. Director Michael Bay is the king of badness, by that I mean, he’s not a very good filmmaker. He has a certain cheesy American machismo that keeps him in business, making films about toys to entertain boys.

All you need are some shiny smart alecks, sexy teenage girls and explosions. If you capture that with extreme camera angles, slow motion and a flag flapping in every scene, you’ve got yourself a winner. If this is a formula that you enjoy, then by all means, see the nearly three hours that is Transformers: Age of Extinction.

HOWE: The last hour gave me a headache, nothing more really needs to be said.

- Howe gives Transformers: Age of Extinction 2 spanners out of 5.

- Taylor gives it 2 decades before robot soldiers are real out of 5.

The film is currently playing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column runs in The Morning Star Friday and Sunday.

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