“Transformers: Age of Extinction” continues where the prior installment left off. Well, not exactly. It opens 65 million years ago, showing mass vistas of mountains and foliage, along with several species of dinosaurs. Along with telling the audience that the Creators (second film this year with mention of a creator or creators) are wiping out earth, with what is called “seeds”. Please, don’t ask. Cut to the present and a scientist has found a dinosaur in the Arctic, covered in a metal not know to man. Are you still with me?
Okay, five years have passed since Chicago was decimated, in a war of Autobots versus Decepticons. Despite the Autobots having saved mankind, humans have become quite fearful of this new transforming species. The government has lead them into hiding, hunting the Transformers down, in order to destroy them with the aid of their own transforming bounty hunter.
Now we meet Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) in rural Texas. Cade is a tinkerer, an inventor, trying to make money doing odd jobs around town to support his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz), his assistant Lucas (T.J. Miller), and his real love of inventing. Mark Wahlberg as a wide eyed, dorky inventor is a hard sell, but kind of works here. Peltz is playing his daughter, but could play his girlfriend in another movie. A little creepy if you ask me.
While doing a job in town, Cade happenstances upon a Mack truck that he could tinker with, to possibly make him his next million. Cade is a smart cookie and for him, this truck is different. He discovers that he’s found an Autobot. Not just any Autobot, but the leader of them: Optimus Prime. Cade knows that these robots are wanted by the government and, by recharging Optimus Prime; he has triggered a beacon in Optimus, which will have the government and its bounty hunter descending upon his peaceful farm.
While all of this is going, on Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), a scientist and an inventor himself and the head of KSI (a research facility), has perfected a way to harness the power of the Transformers. The material he created is called “transformium”. This material can transform into anything your mind can think of. Naturally, Joyce wants to sell it to the military for a mint. Joyce has earned his fortune by exploiting existing Transformers for the materials and created a new type of Transformer, as an insurance policy for his new marketable moneymaker.
That’s it ladies and gentleman. If I go into anymore story, you will just get lost and inevitably stop caring, because of all the explosions and masses of metal hurtling itself at your screen. Just know Optimus Prime is a reluctant hero this time around, but knows Cade is a good man and the only human that he can trust. Optimus is on a mission to band together the remaining Autobots, take out the Decepticons, and retrieve the “seed” that is vital to their existence.
This is the most convoluted “Transformers” you will see. This movie runs 2 hours and 44 minutes. Somehow it is too long, but not long enough to carry the weight of its story. It moves from one action scene to the next, without as much as a breath in between.
It can become quite mind numbing at times. I will say the 12 year old boy in me loved every single second of the chaos, but the adult kept asking, what the heck I was doing sitting in this theatre? I know Michael Bay is the king of these kinds of extravaganzas and I don’t just blame him for this overstuffed, overlong movie. I believe this also lays at the feet of writer Ehren Kruger. I guess you keep hiring the guy who writes the scripts if it makes millions, even if they really can’t pass muster.
The supporting cast is a mixed bag. Kelsey Grammer plays a CIA agent, who is actually the only believable character in this mess, but on the other hand, Jack Reynor, the boyfriend of Nicola Peltz’s character, is terrible. He is so bad and his character such an entitled jerk, you just want his character to be squashed in the robotic melees that ensue.
On the brightside of this maniacal chaos, the blu ray transfer is stunning. If you have the capability, 3D is the only way to see this film. The picture provides great depth of field and you’ll feel as if you’re in the screen, fighting alongside the Transformers. The sound on this blu ray is quite impressive as well and, if you have a surround sound set-up, you won’t be disappointed.
In closing, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is filled with lots of robots, bullets, and bad acting. It’s not necessarily a bad combination, but, in this case, it’s just too much of each. I haven’t even mentioned the Dinobots, which is the namesake of the subtitle. If you’re planning a relaxing night in with this movie, you may need to temper your expectations, chug a couple of your favorite energy drinks and grab two bags of salty snacks. Transformers: Age of Extinction is a loaded shot of adrenaline. And you may need to be loaded just to finish this movie.