run time: 165 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
director: Michael Bay
starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Titus Welliver, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li, T.J. Miller, James Bachman, Thomas Lennon, Charles Parnell
movie summary: In 2011 Optimus Prime led the Autobots to the moon where they discovered Sentinel Prime and woke him up. He would turn on his brothers and join the Decepticons with Megatron, soon the Autobots and Decepticons took their war to the city of Chicago destroying it completely while killing thousands. Once the Autobots won the costly war the US Government decided it needed to step in and break their alliance with their robotic protectors. Through out the next five years any and all Transformers were hunted down, destroyed, and melted down to a pile of scrap. Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) is the CEO of KSI, a government-funded company that creates Transformers that can be controlled by computer and will aid in the protection of humans from future alien attacks. Josh has everything he needs to power up his machines but is missing one piece, a “seed” that only Optimus Prime has.
Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) lost his wife to cancer and now raises his gorgeous daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) all by himself on a ranch in Texas. Cade is an inventor who comes up with new designs every day except none of them are actually worth anything so the family struggles with unpaid bills and Tessa’s upcoming college tuition. While digging through junk at a run down movie theatre Cade comes across a truck parked in the back, he offers the owner $150 for the parts and gets the truck towed home. After two days of trying to pick it apart he begins to realize that the bullet holes and shell casings all over the truck means this might be a Transformer. When Tessa shows up in the morning with Lucas (T.J. Miller), Cade decides to give the battery a charge and Optimus Prime roars to life. Since Autobots are on wanted across the country, Lucas decides to call the government to claim the $25,000 reward, Optimus begins to explain to Cade that he is badly injured from an ambushed led by the CIA to take him out. Cade vows to hide and protect him, but when the CIA descends upon his property Cade is left to choose between his daughter held down at gun point or Optimus Prime’s location. In a fiery ball of fire Optimus springs out of the barn and shoots up the bad guys allowing for Cade and Tessa to escape with her boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor).
On the run from the CIA, Optimus does his best to protect Cade, Tessa, and Shane while signaling to the remaining Autobots (in hiding) that it’s time to get back together. Bubblebee, Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs are all that remain of the Autobots who gather with Optimus, he informs them that they must head back to Chicago to find out what humans are building and why they want to kill all of them. Cade is able to hack into KSI and get Bubblebee inside the headquarters to help spy on Josh’s creations. When Cade gets busted and held hostage, Optimus and the Autobots ascend into Chicago to break him out and destroy the lab. Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) deploys his CIA team again and requests that Josh activate his two prized transformers Galvatron and Stinger. Just like five years ago the Autobots engage in a battle across the streets and skies of Chicago, the Autobots have the numbers to defeat the two-man made creations. The battle comes to an abrupt end when Lockdown lands his gigantic spaceship to capture Optimus Prime. During the battle and capture, Tessa gets stuck in an SUV that gets hauled up to the ship along with Optimus. Cade and Shane enlist Bubblebee, Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs to jump abroad the ship to save his daughter and their leader.
Meanwhile back in Chicago Attinger is furious that Optimus got away and isn’t impressed with Josh’s inventions. In an attempt to protect his creations Josh orders everything left in the lab be shipped to Hong Kong where he can work on them there. Up on the space ship Cade gets his hands on a transformer gun that helps kill the bad guys who are chasing his daughter. Once they find each other Hound finds Optimus and sets him free. They agree the only way off the ship is to use break apart with one of the mini ships before Lockdown warps back into the universe. Drift interceptions radio communications that Josh has taken his transformers to Hong Kong so the group fly over there only to arrive at the wrong time. Galvatron comes alive on his own, he energizes the other 50 transformers to create an army to look for the “seed” and blow up the factory before hitting the streets to find Optimus and the Autobots.
The battle ensues on the streets, buildings, and skies over Hong Kong even though the outcome doesn’t look good for the Autobots who are outnumbered 50-5. Optimus is out of transformer and human options so crash lands the ship in the mountains outside the city. He decides it is time to wake up his creators, the Dinobots, and bring them back to life to help win the war against Galvatron the evil transformers. Lockdown bursts through the clouds with his gigantic space ship looking to destroy Optimus and anyone who gets in his way creating an epic battle to end the Autobots once and for all.
my thoughts: First I want to say I’ve always loved Optimus Prime, he’s my favourite character in the whole franchise because of his bravery, fearlessness, wisdom, and the fact he cares deeply about humans. Watching him last night in Transformers Age of Extinction made me realize I may actually like him more than Batman and that he could well be my new favourite hero of any movie I’ve ever seen. Optimus is damaged goods from all the battles he’s been a part of, whether it’s protecting earth or defending the universe, but every single time he gets up, gets repaired, and marches on towards his destiny as the leader of the Autobots.
Unfortunately this time around humans are not his best friend and have turned into extremely cruel people who actually melt transformers now! The governments of the world are so pissed at our “friends” that they take every opportunity to hunt them down and destroy them. Anyone can understand why Optimus went into hiding because he can’t be himself for fear it will be his demise. Now that Megatron and the Decepticons have been wiped out, the world can live at peace until Optimus meets Cade and the two discover the hidden truths and agendas that force Optimus to round-up the Autobots to rage war and save the humans yet again. Through out the picture he states that after this war the Autobots are done doing the work for humans, but my feeling is no matter what happens he will always be a silent guardian, the one the world deserves but doesn’t need until everything falls apart.
Bubblebee is the only surviving Autobots (not named Optimus) from the previous three movies. Just like in the other installments he gets a complete make over from an old 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS into a 2014 Chevy Camaro. He is given a chance to shine through the film with his fire power, ability to save people, and the moments when he is the leader when Optimus is busy fighting or getting imprisoned. Since Michael Bay killed off our other favourite Transformers like Ratchet, Jazz, and Ironhide we are introduced to three new ones with Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs. None of these new guys give us anything fun and exciting to look at, Hound is the military vehicle who turns into a slow fat transformer, while Drift is of Japanese decent which is only convenient since most of the movie takes place in Hong Kong, and finally there is Crosshairs who is always overly excited to kill something. It’s kinda sad that this is all that is left of the once proud Autobots race, but that’s what we get when Bay throws the Transformers to the wolves in every single scene of every movie.
Mark Wahlberg FINALLY brings some respect to the lead guy who has the Autobots back on Earth. No offense to Shia LaBeouf, but in no universe would he be on my list to as a go to person for a war between aliens and humans. He managed to make it through three other films even though the writing was on the wall by the end of the third one. Wahlberg is an action star, he can fight, shoot gun, and kick ass. He has the rare combination of skills that can help the Autobots bring the fight to their enemies and actually survive. His main role in this movie is to bring a likable character to the story, someone who looks tough and can act quickly on his feet, once his daughter gets caught up in everything there’s nothing he won’t do to protect her. Shia was always a problem more than a solution, the Autobots always had to stop what they were doing to shield him while Wahlberg stands at the feet of the transformers firing his gun in an attempt to help drop the bad guys. Nicola Peltz brings her beauty to the film because no action movie would be complete without a beautiful girl in trouble. She’s an upgrade of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley but she is no Megan Fox. (Sorry that last comment may be bias but I loved her Mikaela character from the first two movies.) Her charming boyfriend is played by Jack Reynor, who has the skills needed to drive fast cars and the ability to shrug off Wahlberg’s threats about dating his daughter. Together though the three of them will do whatever they can to help Optimus and the Autobots win another war.
There are three main bad guys throughout the film, Kelsey Grammer is the main one which got me thinking where has he been hiding all these years? I know he’s in Expendables 3 but I haven’t seen him on-screen in a long time. He plays such a great bad guy you just can’t wait to see die. Whether he actually does or not is another story. Stanley Tucci is played off as a bad guy who wants to take over the world as a greedy CEO, but once he realizes he has created an army of evil transformers that he no longer can control, he jumps ships as soon as he realizes his errors. He’ll join Wahlberg and the rest of the gang in doing his part to make sure Galvatron or Lockdown don’t get the seed. Titus Welliver is the ultimate bad guy as the leader of the CIA tactical team in charge of killing Autobots because has a personal vendetta against them because his sister died in Chicago. When he finally comes face to face with Wahlberg he totally gets what he deserves and then some.
my final thoughts: Transformers: Age of Extinction will not be for everyone. It’s just that simple. Lots of reviews/reviewers out there hate Michael Bay, his work, his camera angles, his characters, and the fact he’s allowed to make movies. Transformers Dark of the Moon is still the 7th highest grossing movie of all-time, so if NO ONE likes him why is it ranked that high?? If everyone stayed home because of his work, then movie theatres will be pretty empty this weekend, and you won’t have any trouble getting tickets.
Should you go see the new Transformers movie it will be because you love the Autobots or the Decepticons, because you like the actors/actresses, or you want to watch gun battles/explosions for three hours. You will be entertained when a group of our favourite childhood cartoon characters come to life to save the planet once again.
my star rating: 8 out 10
imdb.com: 6.9 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 16% out 100%
rogerebert.com: 2.5 out 4