Movie Guy: New 'Transformers' flick is mixed bag of good, bad

I am puzzled by the success of the "Transformers" movie franchise.
Each of the three previous films have pulled in more than $300,000,000 at the box office, so audiences are obviously excited about these movies.

Yet I keep running into people on the street who ask me if the new "Transformers" movie is "as bad as the last one?"

The answer to that question is yes, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is just as bad as the last film, but apparently, mediocrity won't keep audiences from lining up to watch these giant sentient robots duke it out on the big screen.

The story picks up with the world trying to recover from the collateral damage caused by the last time Transformers went to war. A nefarious government black ops team has been hunting down fallen Transformers, intent on weaponizing their alien technology.

The story proper begins when a good ol' Texas inventor (Mark Wahlberg) buys a broken down truck off the scrap heap. That old truck turns out to be a Transformer, and its discovery causes all sorts of problems for the inventor, his family, and the rest of the world.

There's more to the plot, but I'm not sure that anybody really cares about the story or even the humans in any of the "Transformers" movies. As much as I like Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci, they are completely wasted in a movie where the giant computer generated robots are the obvious stars of the show.

I will admit that those robots are pretty cool. Director Michael Bay certainly knows how to keep an audience entertained with a nearly overwhelming onslaught of action and special effects. It makes for an exciting movie, especially when the giant dinosaur robots charge into the battle.

That cheer you hear is coming from toy manufacturers dreaming about Dinobot toy sales this Christmas.
If only "Transformers: Age of Extinction" stuck with the robot mayhem, it might have been possible to enjoy this movie as a simple guilty pleasure.

Unfortunately the film has plenty of glaring problems that pull you out of the film. Most notably, the film is way too long, especially considering the child-sized bladders of the film's intended target audience. It also features some pretty bad writing and even the action sequences lose their punch as the film stomps toward the final curtain.

There's only so much over-the-top action one can take before it all starts to look the same.

Then again, the film has Dinobots!

Just like all of the other movies, "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is a very mixed bag. The superb action and special effects make the film worth the price of admission while the excessive running time and horrible dialogue will make you think you've overpaid.

All of which means that "Transformers: Age of Extinction" is just as good, and just as bad as the last movie.