Transformers: Age Of The Letdown

It’s a gift that keeps on giving, the endless disappointment of watching each Transformers movie. The latest, Age of Extinction, was touted as having exciting dinosaurs in it, but apart from a cursory prologue, the all-kinds-of-awesome Dinobots don’t figure in the story until the geographically confused final part, when Hong Kong turns out to be in the middle of the countryside from the 19th century, and Beijing is just down the road.

The whole film is ludicrously overlong. We sat down to trailers at 9:50 pm local time, and didn’t get up until three hours later. In between whiles, there had been loose end after loose end as the plot began to unravel, strange reflections on Homeland Security from Michael Bay, a man who makes films about giant robots, and what looked suspiciously like James Nesbitt as a super-evil CIA agent (who had his sister killed by Decepticons in some forgotten back story, so he couldn’t be all bad), as backup for Evil Frasier Crane.

And yet on it went, longer and longer. There was an evil truck, there were giant robots getting beaten down by blokes with rifles, there were random alien species appearing just to get blown up, and after about two hours I had a terrible headache and wanted to sleep, and still on it went. Boom boom bang bang. Like watching paint dry with a saucepan being banged against your head, as the Guardian said about one of the preceding films.

On the positive side, Mark Wahlberg’s reliably wooden acting provided a good organic counterpoint to all that cgi’d metal (some of which felt like poor grandchildren to the T-1000 from Terminator 2), and I recognized some Cantonese swearing when somebody bought a motorbike in the Graham Street market near the start of the epically long Hong Kong section.

Otherwise, more explosions, too much plot, an unnecessary paucity of Giant Metal Dinosuars until right at the end.

We also went to the zoo today. More of that anon.

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