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20 Explanations for Stanley Tucci's Performance In 'Transformers: Age of Extinction,' In Order of Increasing Likelihood

By Rebecca Pahle | Lists | July 1, 2014 |

By Rebecca Pahle | Lists | July 1, 2014 |

If you’ve read TK’s review, you’ll know that Transformers: Age of Extinction is a festering maggot of a film. Or if you’ve seen the trailer. Or heard of it. I’m pretty sure there are aliens who literally don’t know what bread is, but their water cooler chats are all about how “Man, I heard that new Bay movie really sucks.”

Unlike TK, I’m willing to say that there was one not-horrible thing about Age of Extinction: Stanley Tucci. His character was awful, the very embodiment of the “Mankind must not reach above its station and try to know too much! Some mysteries must be left unanswered!” malarkey that infects so much of the way science is presented in pop culture. But somehow Tucci made his scenes work for me. Maybe that’s because Mark Wahlberg had already fried my brain by the time Tucci showed up to the point that I’d be ready to commend the acting of a blind, rabies-infested platypus.

But I think Tucci just has a superpower, and that superpower is being the best part of any movie he’s in, even if the movie he’s in is a shitpile with dialogue like “It’s picking up metal and dropping it!” He’s the reason The Lovely Bones is an Oscar-nominated film, for Chrissakes.

How does he do it? What is the source of his magic? From least to most likely, I propose….

Michael Bay is secretly really good with actors.

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Michael Bay is secretly really good with actors named Stanley.


He made a deal with a crossroads demon.

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He’s a unicorn.

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He’s an alien from the Planet Z sent to Earth to hypnotize us with quality line readings while his brethren sneak all the fluoride from our water so they can build superweapons.

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He’s a Scorpio. I mean duh.

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The blue eyebrows he had in Catching Fire contain the acting equivalent of the supersoldier serum from Captain America. Which he’d know, because he invented it.

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He’s a talent-sucking vampire who preys on his young co-stars. Watch out, Jennifer Lawrence.

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Or he’s been absorbing Shia LaBeouf’s life force over a series of years.

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This 1980s Levis ad. I’m not sure why it would be a reason, but look at it.

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He’s a robot programmed and controlled by the collective, incorporeal intelligences of Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, and Paul Newman.


A Satanic sacrifice/orgy gone awry on the set of America’s Sweethearts.

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There’s an ancient prophecy that Tucci is the light to Michael Bay’s dark, the yin to his yang. Neither can live while the other survives. And in the year of Extinction they shall meet on the Plain of Golgorath, and reckoning shall be upon us all.

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Stanley Tucci is literally Jesus.

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Being bald just makes you a really good actor. There’s a reason Sir Patrick Stewart is the way he is, and it’s not years of training and decades of experience.

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Stanley Tucci is secretly a set of identical quintuplets that’s been pretending to be one person their whole lives. You’ve gotta develop good acting skills in that situation.

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And most likely:
He’s Stanley fucking Tucci, that’s how.

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Rebecca can be found on Twitter and at The Mary Sue, where she is an Associate Editor.