For better or worse, critics seem to be weighing in that the newest installment in Michael Bay‘s “Transformers” franchise will offer up exactly his first trilogy did, which is a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.
Not surprisingly, many critics were not fans. TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde says the movie “feels less like a movie than a product of the cinema-industrial complex: it’s loud and stupid enough to be easily translated into every language on the planet, it’s got overt product placement for everything from Oreos and Bud Light to Asian bottled water, and the final act takes place in China for no apparent reason except that, as the man said when asked why he robbed banks, that’s where the money is.
“This fourquel is hardly an anonymous product, however: it bears the trademark of director Michael Bay through and through. Whether or not that’s a plus is up to you.”
For some, the film is subpar, even for a franchise that’s traditionally alienated critics. Kyle Smith of the NY Post says it’s “loud, ridiculous and nonsensical — even for a Transformers movie,” and offers up a snarky suggestion on how to keep the series fresh: “This series was never good, but it was once fun, or at least flashy. Now that its gears have gone rusty, it’s time for an ‘Alien vs. Predator’-style rethink. It’s lucky that Hasbro owns other properties. How about ‘Transformers Vs. My Little Pony’?”
James Marsh of Screen International agrees, adding, “For audiences seeking the same polished, vacuous grand scale spectacle that has become synonymous with both the series and its director, ‘Transformers: Age Of Extinction’ gives the series a new lease of life.”
Roth Cornet of IGN Movies thinks fans of the original trilogy will be in for a treat: “Lovers of all things explosions, visual effects marvels, and Autobots will be granted a wealth of all of the above, plus a few intriguing and unexpected twists,” though she also concedes, “At a certain point it may start to feel like too much of a good thing.”
Over at Australia’s The Standard, Matt Neal is definitely not a fan: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out which Transformers movie sucks the most. It’s definitely not the first one, which was bafflingly awesome, but as the series continues the first one looks more and more like a fluke and that rarest of beasts — a truly good Michael Bay film. Now the race to the title of Worst Transformers Movie has a new contender to rival ‘Revenge Of The Fallen’ (#2) and the almost-as-bad ‘Dark Of The Moon’ (#3): ladies and gentlemen, presenting ‘Age Of Extinction.'”
But the truth is, critics’ negative reviews have never stopped fans of the franchise from flocking to movie theaters before and probably won’t start now.