Growing up as a kid in the 80’s was a lot of fun. Especially with all the cool toys that were around back in those days. From Gi-Joe to He-man, every kid had a favorite toyline. For me it has always been the Transformers. There was just something incredibly cool in the way you could transform a truck into a robot. The basis for these toys were ofcourse the cartoons that aired on saturday mornings. I look back upon those days with fondness, and even today I still enjoy the franchise immensely. In 2007 the Transformers finally got made into a live action movie directed by Michael Bay. Reactions from the fans were mixed, but most were pretty negative saying the action director had absolutely no respect for the original source material. This year the fifth installment will see the light of day, again directed by Bay. I thought that was a good opportunity to revisit the fourth movie released in 2014.
Transformers Age of Extinction is set five years after the events of the previous movie. It is a dark time for the Autobots as they are being hunted by the humans that they have been trying to protect all these years. A Black Ops government unit is in charge of these hunts, aided by a sinister robotic bounty hunter called Lockdown. Optimus Prime, badly wounded, has so far managed to escape the fate of his comrades and is in hiding. A mechanic called Cade Yeager comes across Optimus, and not knowing he is a Transformer, takes him home. Just when he is about to start repairs, Optimus reveals himself to Cade. Yeager convinces Optimus that he is a friend, and means him no harm. However, it is not soon until all hell breaks loose, when the Black Ops team arrives on the scene. Forced to flee, Cade and Optimus must try and survive, and find the remaining Autobots. There are worse things going on though as Prime’s oldest enemy might not be dead, and the survival of the entire human species hangs in the balance…..
If you have seen the previous three Transformer movies you pretty much know what to expect in this one. A lot of explosions, slowmotion shots, carchases, in short a typical Bay movie. As said, a lot of Transformer fans hate what Michael has done with this beloved franchise. I pretty much see these movies as a reimagining of the cartoon series of old and have not had any problems with them. I like them for what they are, big blockbuster popcorn movies, with lots of cool special effect sequences, and nice action. Sure, storywise they leave a lot of things to be desired, but honestly that is not what you go and see these movies for anyway.
The biggest draw of this fourth one, was the appearance of the fan favorite Dinobots, and in that regard the movie did not disappoint. There was something seriously awesome in the way Optimus Prime charged into combat on the back of Grimlock. The bountyhunter Lockdown was one of the coolest robots of the entire movies series to date, and provided some great fight sequences. Actionwise there is again enough to enjoy, and in that regard Bay pretty much never lets you down. That said though, this movie is way too long. Running close to three hours, the movie should have had some things cut from it, which would have benefited it in the end. The cringeworthy humor from the previous films is somewhat toned down, but has unfortunately not disappeared completely. Acting wise Mark Wahlberg in his role of Cade Yeager does a decent enough job to provide a good character. Stanley Tucci, always a very good actor no matter what role he is cast in, also is a welcome addition to this movie.
In the end this was, in my opinion, one of the weaker installments of the Transformers movie franchise. Don’t get me wrong, there is still enough to enjoy if you liked the previous parts. It is pretty much the length of the movie that for me caused me to like it less than the other three movies. Supposedly the fifth movie wil be the last part to be directed by Bay, but this is something that he has now said so many times, that it is hard to believe. I for one would not mind seeing another director take the helm, and see if more can be done with this franchise. At least more than meets the eye…..
I give Transformers: Age of Extinction a 7 out of 10 score.