As humanity picks up the pieces from the Battle of Chicago, a shadowy group reveals itself in an attempt to control the direction of history…while an ancient, powerful new menace sets Earth in its crosshairs. With help from a new cast of humans, Optimus Prime and the Autobots rise to meet their most fearsome challenge yet. In an incredible adventure, they are swept up in a war of good and evil, ultimately leading to a climactic battle across the world.
I’m just going to get this out of the way now, everyone knows that Michael Bay isn’t the most popular or best director in the business right now. He wasn’t always that way, but as of late he seems to be paying less attention to certain things that the successful directors pay more attention to. Once Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came out, I think we all realized that this franchise was going to be exactly what a Transformers series should be – big explosions, destruction, and robot fighting chaos instead of solid character and plot development and writing. Now with that said, since that second movie came out, I just stopped caring for that in this series and just expected to be entertained and wowed by how big Bay can get with each movie. Transformers: Age of Extinction is no different and even though it suppose to start a new trilogy, it may be the biggest of the four yet.
The first obvious thing to stay positive about is the new look and new addition to the Autobots. For a new trilogy, Bay decided to bring a new look to Prime and Bumblebee and bringing some new characters in with funtastic personalities. You can’t go wrong with anything when it comes to Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, although this is the fourth time we’ve seen them on screen it is still gives you that fanboy feel when watching. (SPOILER) With the movie being partly about the Autobots being hunted down and stripped for parts, many of the OG’s have been (unfortunately) disassembled. With Prime and Bee still there, they are accompanied by some newcomers who have been there all along. Drift, Hound, and Crosshairs are all completely different in each way but oh so awesome in the same way. A samurai, a tactical specialist and a acrobatic – each bring new and exciting qualities to the Autobots that look flat-out amazing on screen.
Taking off from that, the action sequences in this movie may have been some of the best Bay and crew have ever done. The Battle of Chicago in T3 may never be topped, but T4 brought new and fresh fighting to the screen that we haven’t seen. For one, the air battle in Chicago with Bee and Crosshairs – entertaining as all hell! And we can’t forget about the Dinobots, because once they showed up that’s when the real cheering started. We may have not seen much of them, but when they showed up they demolished anything in their site and became some damn good assets for Prime and the Autobots.
Another great thing that I loved was the villain. Lockdown from Transformers history is a damn good villain and Bay was able to translate that very well to the screen. He became a formidable foe for the Autobots, as we saw multiple times throughout the movie. The notion of this guy collecting the biggest and baddest Transformers in the universe to have for himself, now that’s badass. I would’ve loved to see him as the villain the entire movie and be a bigger part than he was, but hey I get it – that’s how the story played out.
We saw a lot of new human characters through our journey of Extinction, many different kinds. There was one character and one relationship between characters that really caught my eye. Stanley Tucci, I really shouldn’t have to say anymore, but every scene he was in he stole. We didn’t know exactly how much we would see of him, but he ended up becoming a central point and a good one, too. A character who went from expanding the worlds technology to saving that world. There were time of seriousness and times of humor and we all know how freaking fabulous Tucci is that. Another great human positive was the relationship of the on screen father-daughterness of Mark Wahlberg and Nicola Peltz. Wahlberg doesn’t need to have anything said, he has acted in all types of roles and succeeded in them all. Nicola Peltz is still somewhat of a newcomer, but a unbelievable talent and beauty. Taking over as the new ‘Transformers Girl,’ I think she is the best yet. She is not only stunning, but easily has the best acting skills out of the three. As for them together, they had some damn good chemistry. Whether it was dad being dad or daughter rebelling, I enjoyed seeing them in screen together and seeing that relationship grow throughout all the chaos.
Like I said earlier, the basic points that Michael Bay usually misses are character and plot development and the writing. For some reason, it just never seems to hit the mark like it should. Granted that this movie is basically about seeing good giant intelligent robots fighting evil giant intelligent robots. But there are some things that I felt could have been left out or just done better (as usual). First off, even though I was very entertained – the movie was just to long. 2 hours and 37 minutes is ridiculously long, even for a Transformers movie. As I was watching there were scenes or moments that I just kept saying, ‘That could have been cut out.’ I get that the Transformers bring mad destruction with them wherever they go, but I don’t need to see full scenes of random cars flipping or blowing up or look backs to civilians or characters after the fact. I kept telling the person next to me, ‘That wasn’t necessary.’
This next one may be nitpicking just a little bit, but I got tired of it within the first 15 minutes. That retarded and annoying low camera shot that looks up (seems to be Michael Bays favorite) just gets annoying after a while. It looks cool for certain shots and when you do it here and there, but when over half of the human shots are in that kind of shot, it’s just annoying!
These next two things will be an agree/disagree type thing for many, I for one disagree’d with both. (SPOILER) I am tired of Megatron coming back over and over again. In Transformers history, Megatron becomes Galvatron (one of the biggest baddie’s ever) and he stays as Galvatron with no notion of Megatron left. The story was written a certain way so that’s how the character played out, but I want Megatron gone! Putting his mind into a human made self-defense Transformers who ends up being called Galvatron but is still Megatron, not really into it. Next might be a shocker because it has to do with the Dinobots. Althought I LOVED that they were FINALLY brought into the movie world and they were awesome in all kinds of ways in battle – it wasn’t enough. Grimlock, Strafe, Slug, and Scorn were all brought on to help Prime and the Autbots – but all we saw them do what demolish everything in their path and I get that’s what people want. But they didn’t talk once and weren’t mentioned by names at all. Prime just called them the ‘great ancient warriors.’ Yeah, it was awesome seeing the Autobots riding the Dinobots into battle, but I felt like they were treated like mindless beasts then just given their freedom like caged up animals. I don’t know, it might just be me but that’s what I took away from it.
Transformers: Age of Extinction isn’t a perfect movie by a long shot. it has it’s strong and weak points. If you are reading this before seeing the movie, go in with an open mind. It’s Michael Bay and you should understand what you’re going to get – entertainment. There is no doubt that this movie is entertaining, exciting, and just fun for everyone. There are moments where you feel with what’s going on, many moments where you will laugh, and moments where you will be awed by the Transformers in action. The Transformer universe is now set for years to come, with a new start that can open any realm of possibility (via the ending). I may be biased because I’ve been such a fan of the franchise for so long, but going in open minded may help you look past some of these missteps and walk out being satisfied with how the Autobots have handled things this time around.