Paramount and Michael Bay have finally answered all our prayers: a reboot/fourth-quel to Bay’s “Transformers” saga, “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
The cast has been completely overhauled, to make room for new storylines and robotic destruction. Instead of Shia LeBeouf, Josh Duhamel and Megan Fox providing a central cast, here we have more than five characters to keep up with, each operating within their own storyline, rather than a common one.
The film follows Cade Yeager, an aspiring inventor who has no idea the hunk of junk he’s working on is really the dormant Optimus Prime. After five years of being hunted by the human government post the events of Chicago, the Autobots are in hiding. A tip off to the government and the cast is off, navigating American cities, Chinese cities, and alien spaceships, dodging secret agents and a new Transformer threat.
In terms of a summer movie, “Transformers” is the definition of the term. There are the signs that there was an attempt to make this a somewhat smarter version of itself, but that failed miserably. In fact, just turn off your brain entirely to watch this movie, or else you might get a headache attempting to find solid storylines here.
Contradictory and complimentary to my own statement, there are too many plotlines to find a solid story in the movie. We have the Yeager family drama. Stanley Tucci planning his own line of Transformers using “transformium” a new metal discovered on Earth, Kelsey Grammar being the evil government agent with some literally never explained vendetta against the Transformers, the Autobots fight against Lockdown, a Transformer bounty hunter… there’s probably five more in there, but that’s the tip of the iceberg to get you started.
Did I mention the Dinobots? Those were cool for their five-minute screen time.
Character wise, the audiences best emotional connection with the Transformers themselves. They have the most developed, individual personalities of all the characters and are the backbone of every storyline on the screen. The human aspect is severely lacking, with Mark Wahlberg trying valiantly to be the everyman in the middle of something far bigger than himself, although Stanley Tucci is given the best character arc of the film, going from slightly nefarious to redemption with in the span of the movie.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the epitome of the meaning “summer movie” and “Michael Bay directed.” It’s chock full of explosions, one female character objectified for her model physique, and a nonsensical storyline that still manages to be somewhat enjoyable in the seriously-too-long run time of 165 minutes. I’m giving this PG-13 rated adventure a C, because there is too many glaring missteps to warrant anything better.