'Transformers': More cars, girls, robot MMA

Mark Wahlberg portrays Cade Yeager, an inventor who works on the side of the good robots to help defeat the nasty ones.
Mark Wahlberg portrays Cade Yeager, an inventor who works on the side of the good robots to help defeat the nasty ones.
Posted: June 27, 2014

IN "TRANSFORMERS: Age of Extinction," Optimus Prime confronts a scoundrel who's part of a dirty deal to set mankind against his robot pals.

"The world will know what happened here," he declares.

No, it won't. Because all the world has to go by is this movie.

Characters appear and disappear without reason or motive; chase scenes conclude ambiguously, like "The Sopranos"; night becomes day becomes night without any relation to time; Texas becomes Chicago, Chicago becomes China - we're just there.

The movie is nonsense, bound together with cars and girls and robot MMA, which is, of course, what its audience joyously demands, and so the franchise endures, intensifying its ear-splitting ballet of incoherence.

Example: A robot bad guy flies off in his alien spacecraft, unaware that Optimus has given him the slip. Optimus gloats that the ship will be light years away before the bad robot realizes what's happened.

OK, Optimus, but you do realize that he can return as quickly as he left, right? He's not coming back in a Piper Cub.

And while we're on the subject - why do Transformers with the E.T. power of flight roll around on rubber wheels?

The answer, of course, is because GM pays them to, and I know what you're thinking - the Transformers face an Age of Extinction because they convert into Chevys, and are thus prey to faulty ignition switches and crappy airbags. (The bad robots have the foresight to prefer Italian sports cars.)

But, no, there is a conspiracy afoot. Forces within the U.S. government (Kelsey Grammer) decide that all Transformers, good and bad, are a security risk, and move to get rid of them, in league with a high-tech industrialist (Stanley Tucci).

Meanwhile, in Texas, a wacky inventor/tinkerer/single dad (Mark Wahlberg) is trying to save his farm and his daughter (Nicola Peltz) by inventing the next big thing.

"Somebody'll invent something that will change the world," he says, which, in a logical movie, would herald a major plot development that would unite story and character in an exciting and heroic third act, but here is a prelude to Wahlberg marveling at alien technology, and stating that he'd like to patent it.

He fights on the side of the good robots, the bad people get on the side of the bad robots and Michael Bay fills a trash can with metal bolts and bangs you over the head with it for two hours and 45 minutes. Yes, two hours and 45 minutes. The entire length of the NBA draft.

What does any of this have to do with extinction?

The prologue informs us that dinosaurs were wiped out not by a meteor, but by an alien robot mining project. Which somehow means that we have metal dinosaur transformers in the movie. I didn't think it possible, but someone has come up with an earth origins story that makes even less sense than "Prometheus."

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