Transformers: Age of Extinction Review

     Transformers: Age of Extinction takes place 5 years after the events of Dark of the Moon. Humans are hunting down all Transformers, Autobots and Decepticons alike. After hiding for many years, Optimus Prime is discovered by Engineer Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlburg). He fixes the robot and brings him back into the action. A new Transformer, Lockdown, is helping the CIA hunt down the Autobots aiming to bring Optimus back to “the Creators.”

While all that is happening, the head of the CIA, Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer), commissions the tech tycoon, Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), to create man-made Transformers using his company’s fortune. Attinger hopes to use them as weapons in future wars. He also creates an uneasy alliance with Lockdown to catch Autobots and Deceptcons for him.

     The Transformers series has been mocked for the past few years, and for good reason. With the failure that was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the series hasn’t been taken seriously. After seeing Age of Extinction, I will say the series is looking like it will be taken in a tollerable direction, beginning with the introduction of Mark Wahlburg into the franchise. He is a much better fit for these films than Shia Lebouf. His character is one that audiences like and is essential to the story throughout the film. Wahlburg brings his charm into he role and seems to be taking the role seriously. On the other hand, the additions of his daugher Tessa Yeager (Nicola Peltz) and her boyfriend Shane Dyson (Jack Reynor) are bland and irritatingly useless.
     While the human element of the story is the overused strained daughter/father/boyfriend relationship, the Transformers storyline is engaging and outshines the human element of the film. This makes it feel like a true Transformers film. Lockdown is one of the most successful new aspects of this rebrand. He is a fascinating villain because he does not pledge alligence to the Autobots or Deceptcons. The interior of his ship is awesome and strange at the same time. The gravity generators create a cool weapon in the climax. He first appears during a ruthlessly brutal encounter with an Autobot: the film’s only emotional moment that isn’t campy.

Audiences expect a ton of explosions and epic fights from Michael Bay pictures and Age of Extinction does not dissapoint. The fight scenes are fast-paced and fun as ever, especially since it is possible to understand what is going on during unlike previous films. Industrial Light and Magic have really outdone themselves with the innovative Transformers designs and stunning visual effects.

While the Dinobots are hardly in the film and their absurd re-awakening left me with more questions than answers, they are entertaining on screen. Watching Optimus charge into battle onto Grimlock’s back, sword in hand is so wonderfully outlandish that I can’t help but love it.

     The movie is definitely not without major faults. The script is basic, predictable, and riddled with classic Michael Bay-isms, like bad jokes and annoying characters that survive impossible situations, that induce eye-rolling. Realistically the daughter would not have survived 10 different encounters with the bots.

The classic Transformers major logical plot holes are still alive and well. The gravity magnet sucks up everything except the main characters’ car. Optimus has only just discovered that he can fly. The almost 3-hour run times is a test of the audience’s endurance and is unnecessary to the plot. A good 20 minutes could have easily been cut.

All in all, Transformers: Age of Extinction is what audiences have come to expect of Michel Bay’s Transformers franchise. While it is not an amazing movie, it still is a fresh new installment in the franchise that leaves hope for some great storylines in future films. Age of Extinction will not entice new audiences, but it won’t disappoint fans of the first 3.

VERDICT : Good
While it is one of the better installments of the franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction won’t convert anyone into becoming a new fan.
Positives : Lockdown and his ship, Mark Wahlburg is a lively addition, The Dinobots
Negatives : Logic/script issues throughout, cookie cutter human story, annoying side characters, way too long