You can admire what he does without really enjoying it, and two hours and 46 minutes of pulverized architecture is a lot to endure. But in every Michael Bay movie there are at least a few moments of inspired, kinetic absurdity. Late in “Age of Extinction,” a giant spaceship hovering over Hong Kong, equipped with some kind of magnet, sucks up a lot of vehicles — buses, trucks, fishing boats, ferries, whatever — and drops them onto the city below. I could not tell you exactly why, because it doesn’t matter, but the sequence is both exciting and revealing. It reminds you what these movies are really about: a boy at play, reveling in the creative and destructive power, and the glorious uselessness, of his own imagination.
That’s AO Scott. And it was almost enough to get Tyler Cowen to see the movie. A feat.