Isolate any minute of "Transformers: Age of Extinction," and one will find a film that is alternately wearisome, foolish, interminable, sensational and majestic. It is actually quite something to be actively hating a movie one second and then being shaken to unexpected engagement the next, without warning. Returning to the ginormous blockbusters he is used to following a successful dip into grittier, more serious fare with 2013's "Pain & Gain," Michael Bay is nothing if not a showman. After 2007's tone-deaf, broadly idiotic "Transformers" and 2009's racist, excruciating, incomprehensible "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," he has taken to heart some of the criticisms he received and greatly improved the way he shoots action. With 2011's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and now "Transformers: Age of Extinction," no longer is everything photographed so closely and edited so choppily that the screen turns into a tornado of swirling metal and chaos. By pulling back and holding on shots longer than half a second, Bay is able to choreograph all the elements within his frame and visually capture a coherent grandeur that previously eluded him in the earlier installments. What hasn't been fixed are the insanely bad screenplays used to clothesline the set-pieces of sound and fury. The words written by Ehren Kruger (2007's "Blood and Chocolate") that escape from the mouths of the actors are almost mesmerizing in their groan-worthy nonsense.
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