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'Transformers: Age of Extinction' arrives with a soulless, explosion-packed dud for the viewer's eye

Published on -7/1/2014, 1:25 PM

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One of the most well-known taglines of the "Transformers" franchise is "More than meets the eye." Thanks to the mind-numbing filmmaking of Michael Bay, the tagline could not be less true. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is exactly what meets the eye -- explosions, money shots and product placements -- and not a single atom more.

Much like the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, the first installment of "Transformers" was incredible and now the franchise just needs to roll over and die already. Everything you think might be wrong about "Age of Extinction" is wrong; and yet, it's somehow slightly better than the two previous installments. It subtracted the least desirable parts of the human elements of the film and added Dinobots -- giant robots which transform into robotic dinosaurs instead of cars/tanks -- which is awesome, because -- Dinobots.

By any type of "artistic" standpoint, "Age of Extinction" is detestable. It's abominably written, poorly acted -- even by a handful of good actors -- and worst of all, it simply doesn't care. There is simply no heart, and certainly nothing resembling a soul in this movie. This coldness makes me far less inclined to give any type of pass. A film like "The Expendables," while artistically terrible, at least istrying to connect the nostalgia many people have for the action films of the 80s and 90s. All "Transformers" tries to connect with is our wallets.

The short version is this: The film is bad, but does have copious amounts of action which can be mildly amusing. I've learned that sometimes less is more, but in this case more is definitely less.

"Transformer: Age of Extinction"

2 of 6 stars

James Gerstner works for DM Bruce Associates in Overland Park.

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