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Transformers: Age Of Extinction : Why It's Better And Still Sucks At The Same Time

Just got back from watching this and right off the top of my mind a few observations about the movie. So a list of things that are an improvement over the last two parts and a list of why things still suck with the franchise. *WARNING - SOME SPOILERS AHEAD*

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No More Shia LaBeouf

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Mark Whalberg may be no great actor but he’s better than constantly hyperventilating and twitchy, LaBeouf. No more “No!, No!!, No!!!” and no more politically incorrect parents, no more Chihuahua and no more pointless love stories.

Cohesion in the action sequences

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With the Autobots being distinctly colour-coded this time around, it’s easier this time around to tell the good guys from the bad guys during those endless urban battles.

Lesser Racial Stereotyping

The key word here being lesser; which implies there’s still racial stereotyping but it’s not the purile mess that were the last two movies. Surprisingly the movie remains quite restrained despite a variety of characters of different races appearing onscreen; so no buck tooth jokes and no forced weird accents.

The DinoBots

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Yes, we do get sort of cheated in the amount of screen time these prehistoric behemoths get, but when they do appear on screen they look amazing, all four of them. There’s hope they might appear in a larger capacity in the future.

Less Military Mumbo-Jumbo

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With the last three movies bordering on the edge of being the most expensive military recruitment campaigns ever run, this one thankfully tones things down so significantly that the army doesn’t show up at all. It’s all about the C.I.A. though, and they are usually never the good guys.

Bumblebee

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Without the pressure of being Shia LaBeouf’s puppy, Bumblebee can finally be the badass rebel he’s shown as in the cartoons. Even his one-liners are much better this time around and though he’s still the kid of the group, he’s much more of a badass.

The Running Length

165 Minutes! 165 Friggin Minutes!! This by far the longest Transformers movie and boy did it really get on my nerves towards the end when there were faux endings galore.

Brand Placements

The movies continue to be filled with brand placements at the rate of two brands per scene. Shameless plug-ins for everything from auto companies to beer to apparels to courier services to even premium lingerie outlets; no brand will be left behind, seems to be the movie’s motto.

City-Wide Destruction

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Yes, it’s a new city in the finale, but that still doesn’t stop the movie from following the exact same template from earlier movies. A strong case of déjà vu is assured when you see for the hundredth time an alien spaceship wreak havoc upon urban structures with scores screaming people running around like headless chickens.

Macguffins

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In the first movie it was the Allspark, then the matrix of leadership in the second, then the pillars in the third; this one has yet another mysterious object over which most of the plot hinges, the seed. It’s high time they stopped plotting around this vague, mysterious ancient alien tech that no one, including the plot, cares about.

Shaky Cam

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Bay should have learnt a thing or two from Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim, in how to shoot large scale robot fights. He still has difficulty maintaining a steady shot so we can get a clearer view of the large scale destruction and urban warfare between the robots.

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