The Transformers franchise is FINALLY free of Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. Depending on your personal taste this may be a good or bad thing but for me it’s liberating. I always felt the one thing holding those films back was the awkward character acting brought to the table by the two stars. That being said, having Marky Mark come on board as a replacement isn’t too much better but at the end of the day the reason anyone is watching these movies is to see Optimus Prime and the other Transformers duke it out in all their epic, mechanized glory so who really cares. On this front, Transformers: Age of Extinction did not disappoint.
This installation in the popular series takes place five years after the Battle of Chicago which saw the death of Megatron. Humans have become distrustful of the Transformers and break all ties with them forcing each one to go into hiding. A secret CIA operation is deployed to eliminate the remaining Decepticons but its vengeful leader is also focused on destroying the Autobots. He feels the world will never be safe while any of the Transformers, good or bad, are on the planet. Cade Yeager (played by Mark Wahlberg) is an inventor who comes across a broken down truck he hopes to salvage for parts. The truck turns out to be a rusty and wounded Optimus Prime and Cade, along with his daughter Tessa gets sucked in to all the drama surrounding the alien, metal titans as Optimus is forced to flee the encroaching CIA operatives and their vile Transformer bounty hunter Lockdown who is on a personal mission to find Prime.
This installation, much like the previous Dark Side of the Moon, gives us background into the history of the Transformers and the effects they’ve been having on Earth for millennia. Secrets are revealed which put the future of both Earth and the Transformers in a questionable light as Optimus and his Autobots must decide whether the humans are worth saving. As is the case with any Michael Bay big budget blockbuster there isn’t a whole lot of substance to the movie. The point is the special effects, fight scenes, and explosions of which there is an ample amount. Wahlberg’s relationship with his daughter feels forced and cliché as he spends the entire movie more focused on her hidden relationship with boyfriend/amateur racecar driver Shane than the imminent destruction of the planet and the unrelenting battle of good and evil. In addition, the Dinobots have a very small role to play which was immensely disappointing as the trailers focused almost exclusively on the addition of the gigantic prehistoric behemoths. Still, what we did get to see was spectacularly awesome and made the entire movie for me. On top of this is the introduction of Galvatron, a new villain with a hidden secret you’ll have to watch to find out. If you were a fan of the other three films then you will enjoy this installation as well. It feels just like the others and is a somewhat logical continuation of the story line with some fun new additions to keep you interested in what’s going to happen next.