28th Jun2014

‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Titus Welliver, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li, T.J. Miller, James Bachman, Thomas Lennon, Charles Parnell | Written by Ehren Kruger | Directed by Michael Bay


After the battle of Chicago, the Transformers, both Autobot and Decepticon alike, are no longer welcome on earth. They are on the run and the humans are on the offensive, killing any transformers they find and harvesting the metal inside. They are then using that metal to make their own transformers which are bigger and better than the originals. At the same time, down on his luck inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter (Nicola Peltz) make the discovery of a lifetime when, what was thought to be a harmless scrap truck, turns out to be no other than leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime himself. This, however puts them in the targets of both human and Decepticon alike, forcing them into a battle which will take place half way around the world.

Phew! That was a long explanation of Transformers 4 and I even left out the parts about robot dinosaurs, a rally car driving irish man (played by Jack Reynor) and a new big bad called Lockdown. All in all, this forth entry into the series is a long film, clocking in nearly 3 hours in length just like its predecessor. Although this entry is definitely a stronger story than the third with a lot more interesting, and believable, characters. Mark Wahlberg is a refreshing lead in this tale replacing Shia LaBeouf whose character was definitely beginning to damage my calm in three. The relationship between Cade and his daughter Tessa is entertaining and provides a lot of good banter throughout the story, although Tessa definitely has a case of the ‘helpless girl’ syndrome requiring saving quite frequently.

Michael Bay delivers the explosion filled, action packed, robot fighting again as expected, this time taking the battle to China and, briefly, aboard a Transformer space ship, which seems to be heavy on the dark and scary. Try not to count how many humans are probably killed as the robots ‘save the world’ by throwing each other into buildings and blowing up them up at every available opportunity, but for the sake of entertainment it is visually amazing and, let’s not deny it, awesome. Also, this is one of the few films which I have seen in IMAX and have actually felt like I was falling at one point. That to me says that the IMAX 3D was done successfully! (Also I may have screamed a little bit.)

OK, now onto the less impressive parts of the film. One thing that annoys me consistently with the Transformers franchise is the lack of consistency in the actual Transformers. You have Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, but apart from that, their fellow robot buddies seem to vary wildly from film to film. In this one we are met by a whole new bunch whose names I can’t remember apart from ‘fat one, samurai one and angry one’. Also, in this film they introduce the Transformers built by the humans. Made from the metal ‘Transformium’ (yeah…) they seem to be able to break apart and reform at will which makes them a significantly tougher enemy… that is until the final battle where this little trick is totally disregarded and they fall apart like normal Transformers. Finally, there is a whole of Transformer ‘lore’ which is kind of skipped over (Transformer Knights?) which they probably could have focussed more in, at the expense of a few slow-motion explosions.

So, to sum up, Transformers: Age of Extinction isn’t a glaring success. However, it does scratch the ‘Transfomers itch’ if you haven’t had enough explosions and robot fights in your life recently and it does it a lot better than three did. You will not be disappointed when you go and see it and as a bonus with the way it finishes you can be sure we will be seeing a lot more Transformers films in the future as well.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is released across the UK from July 5th.


Comments are closed.