Oh my gawd, there’s giant robots. Holy crap, look at ’em.
That’s what I kept hearing in my head, in Mark Wahlberg’s voice. Throughout the entire film.
I had high hopes. I mean, Michael Bay isn’t the best film maker ever, but he certainly knows how to make things go boom, right?
The problem with Age of Extinction is that the script, story, plot, and character depth all seem to be extinct. There’s just so truly little to this film that it almost feels a complete waste of almost three hours of your life. And that’s a really long time for an action movie. Granted, you should know that going into it if you’ve ever seen a Michael Bay movie before. That’s just what he does and who he is. This one’s no exception.
I will give it to him though, at one point, I definitely saw a scene that didn’t cut after three seconds. If you don’t know what this means, put on any Michael Bay film. Start watching and count to three. 99% of the time by the time you reach three, the camera angle has changed and the scene’s cut. It’s pretty comical to see this happen throughout almost every one of his films. The editors must hate him.
I had a lot of problems with this movie, hence my one and a half star rating. For example, throughout the first few films, all of the Transformers look the same. We know who’s who, even though they introduce a few new characters here and there. In this film, Optimus Prime doesn’t even look like Optimus Prime. He morphs into something new and shinier and souped up. And I hated it.
Don’t even get me started about the dinosaur robots that were prisoners on the alien ship that Optimus Prime rescues and they help take down the bad guys.
It was honestly like a child with ADD wrote this script. As if the writing process went like this:
“Little boy, what do you think this movie should have?”
“Spaceships. And dinosaurs. And Marky Mark. But not Sam Whitwicky.”
“Should we tell the people where he and his girlfriend are?”
“No. Don’t mention it at all.”
That’s the gist of how this must have gone. As if, at some point, someone sat down in a room and just said “let’s put every damn thing under the sun into this.” And so they did.
And it doesn’t work, even a little bit.
I wanted to like it. I love giant robots. I love explosions. I love CGI. But this is a steaming pile.
The only redeeming factor I can say is that you get to truly laugh at some of it. Sure, at the end you’ll be furious and want to demand your money back. Even if you didn’t pay for it, you’ll still want your money back.
I suppose I’ll start with the mildly obvious – I had no real desire to see this movie. Not even a little bit. But boredom on a summer night when there’s no new episodes of any TV show airing results in you watching some things that you wouldn’t normally watch.
That said, I loved this movie. Probably more than I should have. I should probably also admit that I (embarrassingly) am just about done reading the book too, because I liked the movie so much. I’ve always been interested in seeing what things get cut from books to make them into movies. I’ve often read the book first, so I’m approaching this a bit backwards. My real goal in reading the book(s) is that I want to know what happens next.
Pretty much everything about The Hunger Games fascinated me. Seeing these entire worlds that digital artists get to create is amazing. Seeing how someone takes the vision of a writer and transposes it onto screen is a feat that I wish I had the ability to accomplish. And The Hunger Games certainly is beautiful. The scenery, the villages, the city, the arena. Everything about the movie is visually beautiful.
Like any good movie, in addition to looking good, you have to have substance. You need characters and a story that people want to invest in and fight for. And this movie has all that, and more.
I’m sure you know the premise of the story by now, so I won’t bore you with telling you what the movie’s about. But I will say that I immediately wanted to root for Katniss. From the very beginning where we’re learning about who she is, and where she lives, I wanted her to win whatever it was that was coming her way. That doesn’t happen too often these days with movies (maybe Iron Man and The Dark Knight Rises.)
While the film runs a bit long (almost 2 and a half hours), it doesn’t feel like it. There are very few dull spots where you want things to pick up and move faster. I was actually surprised once the film ended and I was reading about it online to see how long the actual runtime is. Granted, you can probably cut 10 minutes off the end, unless you’re the type that wants to watch every last second of the credits (which I’m not, unless I know there’s something hidden at the end.)
The combination of characters I actually liked, and a story that’s compelling and different from the normal dick and fart jokes that Hollywood is churning out these days made me really enjoy The Hunger Games. I’m comfortable saying that, in writing, on the internet, as a man in my thirties. If I’m okay with liking it, you should be too.
While I loved it, it wasn’t a movie that I felt like I immediately needed to run out and buy a copy of, or even see again in the near future. Though I imagine when the time comes closer for the second film in the series to come out, I’ll want to re-watch this one. Just to refresh my memory on who’s who, and what’s what. (I’m also sure that if Amazon has a deal on the blu-ray sometime in the near future, I’ll score myself a copy.)
If you like action, good characters, a fun story, and fighting for the good guy, then The Hunger Games is for you!