By Ranny Levy, founder/president of KidsFirst! and grandmother extraordinaire
Set five years after Dark of the Moon, this sequel,Transformers: Age of Extinction, sets out to continue the franchise and take a new pathway to hold our interest. It’s a technical extravaganza, to be sure and, if it wasn’t for being way too long, sure to be a hit with summer theater-goers. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O comments, “I think this is a fantastic part of the series. They do an extremely impressive job since it is the first action feature film to use ONLY IMAX 3D HD cameras, which is hard to do with these types of shots.” Raven D, age 16 adds, “This film is entertaining and visually very well done. Director MichaelBay uses the first IMAX Digital 3D camera, making the images more immersive and stunning than anything that’s been seen on the big screen so far.” Their full reviews are below.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Reviewed by Gerry O, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12
Video review here: https://youtu.be/DkosNB1ghBQ
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This is the most action packed film I’ve seen in a while! I was worried that it won’t be as good as the original, but boy was I wrong. Transformers: Age of Extinction is an action packed adventure that all Transformer fans will love! They are definitely back!
This is not just about fighting between bad and good guys (which there is plenty of). Transformers: Age of Extinction has a good mixture of romance, humor and action. It’s all related to a main adventure and, of course, who can forget, stupendous looking Transformers!
The story starts when humans are killing Transformers because they think they are attracting aliens. That’s when a young dad, who is in kind of a pickle with his finances, starts fixing up an old truck and discovers that it is an Autobot and, not just a regular one at that. So, they go on an adventure to stop something extremely powerful from being made.
I think t this is a fantastic part of the series. They do an extremely impressive job since it is the first action feature film to use ONLY IMAX 3D HD cameras, which is hard to do with these types of shots. In the theater, it looks like you are in the movie and is definitely the right choice. There are a lot of exciting moments such as when the Transformers get their favorite car models back and also, the battles and story line are a lot like the first one. This, in my opinion, is a perfect approach. However, this film is about three hours long and I felt it could have been made shorter. By the second hour, you could guess what the ending is going to be. As much as I love the special effects, when you have too much of a good thing – it’s too much.
My favorite moment is when the main character sees his 17-year-old daughter with her boyfriend. When he starts talking about teenage problems, Optimums Prime responds with, “Yeah, I experienced that with Bumble Bee.” The timing is perfect and it also fits perfectly and shows that even though they’re 90% robotic, they still love their families. I also thought it is awesome how the director portrays Bumble Bee as an unruly teenager.
This film has a lot of action and intense moments so I recommend it for ages 11 to 18. I also give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because I believe the movie should have been a bit shorter.
Transformers: Age of Extinction
Reviewed by Raven Devanney
It’s been years since the Decepticons and the Autobots battled for the fate of the humans in Chicago and human defenses against alien forces are at an all-time high. A government branch of humans is targeting all Transformers, Autobots and Decepticons alike, with the help of a menacing assassin. While all of this is going on, Cade Yeager, a struggling inventor from Texas tries to make enough means to keep his property and put his daughter Tessa through college. While looking for parts to help his inventions, he stumbles upon a broken down, rusted truck and decides to fix it up. To his surprise, the truck turns out to the mighty Optimus Prime. Cade fixes him and decides to help him defeat the forces coming for Earth yet, again once he realizes what the government is doing to Transformers. Now, the fate of the entire human race lies in the hands of Optimus and this family of humans and, without them, we might just face extinction.
This film is entertaining and visually very well done. DirectorMichaelBay uses the first IMAX Digital 3D camera, making the images more immersive and stunning than anything that’s been seen on the big screen so far. It’s very intense to be sitting in the IMAX Theater seeing these 50 ft. robots captured in such a realistic way. If you’ve seen any of the previous films from this franchise you know that they are nothing short of action packed. The cinematography and CGI is able to show the intense battle scenes and large scale attacks in a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat way. One thing that I don’t like about the visuals is the inconsistency of the Transformers from film to film. The main characters look the same but some of the Autobots that are introduced in this film are designed completely different than in any of the previous films. Their faces are constructed to have features that look extremely humanesque and it is strange to see them next to Optimus and BumbleBee who still have the classic Transformer look. Another inconsistency is that, in the last film, every time a Transformer was hit they would spill a blood-like-liquid, but in this film, if they are injured, the liquid that comes from the wounds is bright green.
It is very strange to see a Transformer film without Shia Labeouf but, I am quite impressed with Mark Wahlberg and the way he tackles this role. I think he’s a fantastic actor and really grounds the film. I’m also a fan of Nicola Peltz and think she is decent in this film. However, I am really sick of the way girls are portrayed in this franchise. Every single leading lady looks like a Victoria’s Secret model, is completely helpless about 75% of the movie, can never figure out how to help them self and has to be told to run before they do. Near the end, they have one moment of courage and that’s pretty much all. It’s a formula that is completely predictable in all of the Transformer films, but alas, it’s what sells.
Like I said before, this film is entertaining and it enjoyable. It kept me engaged, concerned for the characters, shocked and, I’ll admit, I did almost cry near the end. However this film is peppered with extremely cliché and honestly annoying lines and interactions. From the very beginning, Tessa is introduced as a stereotypical film version of a teenage girl. She rolls up with her friends screaming and giggling about how excited they are to party and be crazy. The whole interaction is cheesy and unnecessary and sets her up to look like a bimbo. After that, her boyfriend, who looks suspiciously similar to the Hemsworth brothers, comes to save the day and the rude, inappropriate and just plain stupid things he says to Tessa’s father drove me insane. There are several lines in the film that prompted me to say to myself, “Really? Was that really necessary?” The last irritating thing is the fact that they really drove the whole “American Way” and patriotism to the ground. In every seen at Cade’s ranch there are at least two American flags shown and it is constantly mentioned that they’re just good ole’ Texas folk, protecting America with cries of: “Don’t mess with our country!” “Think of your country!” “Fight for your country!” Previous films were less centered on our nation and more about the human race as a whole.
Despite my qualms regarding this movie, it is entertaining and the visuals are extremely well done. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 due to the violence and language. However, if you have seen the previous films and are under 13, then this film should be suitable for you. If you’re a fan of Transformers, action or just want to experience the first film to ever use the million dollar IMAX Digital 3D camera, be sure to check out Transformer: Age of Extinction in theaters now.
Ranny Levy – Founder and President
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