Transformers: Age of Extinction Review
By Neale McGeever
For those who are keeping count, this is the fourth film in the Transformers series and is seen as a ‘re-boot’ of the franchise as it follows a new storyline and has a whole new cast – No more Shia La Beouf (woo!) and no Megan Fox or Rosie Huntington Whitely. As you may have guessed most critics have already slammed this film, and I understand why. There is nothing new brought to the table except a better cast and storyline. It would be predictable and boring to write a review on everything that is wrong about this movie. Instead I’ll focus on what they did right…which is a bit of a stretch.
Cade (Mark Wahlberg) lives with his teenage daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz) and is struggling for cash. He collects old machine parts, and finds a mysterious looking rusty lorry cab. He mends it in hope he may be able to sell it and discovers it is an aging Optimus Prime. Now that Transformers have been banished from Earth, Lucas (TJ Miller) tips the government off in hope they may be able to share the reward. Black ops are sent to hunt down the suspected Transformers and their owners. The family are saved by Tessa’s boyfriend, Shane (Jack Raynor). We cut to corporate inventor, Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), who is trying to build his own version of the Transformers inspired by the Autobots. Cade and Shane intercept the lab and discover Decepticons Galvatron (voiced by the legendary Frank Welker) and Stinger. Prime is re-united with remaining Autobots; Hound (John Goodman), Drift (Godzilla’s Ken Watanabe), Crosshairs (Adventure Time’s John DiMaggio) and of course, Bumblebee.
That sounds like a really complicated plot, and it is, not in a good way as you sometimes get a bit lost with who knows who, or where a certain group are at certain times. Apparently there’s two more TF movies following this, and in honesty – this could have been two or three separate films. As I said before I’ll focus on the positives: there are some great ideas in this film inspired by the original comic and action figure lines in the 80s. Characters like Galvatron and Hound have been brought to life really well for a fan of the original cartoon/toy line like me. Stanley Tucci is a great stand in for the comedy villain-turned-helper we saw with John Turturro in the previous movies. The idea of man-made transformers versus the original characters could have been a great way to introduce more new characters. Speaking of which, the Dinobots make an appearance, briefly. Sadly that’s all I can say about the Dinobots and the iconic character Grimlock.
The effects are brilliant and the cinematography is fine for Michael Bay film. The sound, as it seems to be a theme in the Transformers movies, is not very pleasing to the ear and the action grows tired. This not an improvement on the last two movies, nor is it any worse. It looks like DreamWorks and Michael Bay have found their golden goose and will continue to make mediocre Transformers films as long as people are paying to see them in their thousands. I said earlier in this review I wouldn’t dwell on the bad things in the film, there isn’t much to save it really, apart from the great cast and new robots.