Running Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
The devastation of the city of Chicago during the last battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons has caused a backlash against the Transformers. The government has severed their ties to the Autobots and assigned a CIA task force to hunt down and destroy the remaining Transformers. Once destroyed, the remains of the Transformers are turned over to a government contracted tech company that is working to build a robotic military force based on this alien technology. The director of the CIA task force (Kelsey Grammar) is working with a mysterious alien bounty hunter who has been tasked with capturing Optimus Prime and returning him to a group known only as the Creators. When struggling inventor Cade Yeager(Mark Wahlberg) finds the broken down remains of a semi-truck, he is hoping that he will be able to salvage it and make some money to help his teenage daughter (Nicola Peltz) afford college. He is shocked to find that it is a severely damaged Optimus Prime, and after helping to repair him Cade finds himself drawn into a battle for the future of humankind beset by enemies both human and alien on all sides.
Oh man, where do I start? Transformers: Age of Extinction is not a good movie. The writing is so bad that it starts out as unintentionally funny and ends up as borderline insulting to your intelligence. While the digital effects are as brilliant as you have come to expect from this franchise, it is the only thing that earns your money. I feel for Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammar, because they are at last making the attempt at actual acting, but it is like swimming with cinder blocks tied to your ankles. Peltz add little besides being this film’s eye candy, who only exists to be put in peril and then subsequently cling to the men who prove their heroism by saving her over and over. Season that with cliches like, “all Chinese people know Kung-Fu” and the obligatory destruction of big cities and you have something that is both over seasoned and bland at the same time. And the less said about the Dinobots the better.
It is especially disappointing to me because I thought that the previous film in this franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, was good and it gave me hope that they had cracked the code and knew what worked. This miasma of recycled ideas and unoriginality shows that it was just a lucky shot. The fact that this film is a success means that they will make more, but as the Transformers are a treasured part of my childhood, I would prefer it if they put it out of it’s misery. D+