“I think history is about to change,” intones Sophia Myles’ geologist.
History may be in for a shake-up, not to mention the cast and settings for Michael Bay’s fourth
But by the final hour of this 165-minute clockbuster you’ll be feeling an overwhelming sense of familiarity – as its director’s brand of “textbook machismo”, to quote Ehren Kruger’s script, batters your brain into submission.
“Remember Chicago” blares a billboard, reminding us of the Windy City’s destruction in the finale of Bay’s third outing
. Rest assured, there’s no need: the equally protracted conclusion to this latest episode feels like a carbon copy, albeit set in a vibrantly-shot Hong Kong, as the most expensive episode of
does tread fresh ground, with Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky and his family airbrushed out the saga. Replacing him is Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a cash-strapped inventor struggling to raise his 17 year-old daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz); their tender relationship, defined by his over-protective demeanour, gives the film the heart lacking from the LaBeouf years.
Then there’s Kelsey Grammer’s government suit Harold Attinger, out to hunt down the Autobots – in hiding following the events in Chicago – with the help of a bounty-hunting Transformer Lockdown, out to capture their leader Optimus Prime. Also present, Stanley Tucci’s high-flying Bill Gates-alike Joshua Joyce, out to replicate the Transformers’ metal-morphing skills, with the help of Myles’ boffin. Hell, there’s even a subplot set 65m years ago.
It transpires that Optimus Prime (commandingly voiced again by Peter Cullen) has been cooling his heels as a rusty old truck – discovered by Cade, who intends to strip it for parts. But no sooner has Prime revealed himself, then the CIA are on the case and Cade and Tessa are on the run, aided by her until-now secret Irish boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor), who conveniently happens to be a top-notch race car driver.
As Prime hooks up with the other remaining Autobots, it’s an eminently watchable first act. But as this group of robotic outlaws and their human allies discover that Joyce’s conglomerate KSI has been building man-made Transformers (leading to one fantastic scrap between Prime and prototype droids Galvatron and Stinger), Bay reverts disappointingly to type, with the soft-rock slo-mo montages and excessive product placement notably grating.
Also weighed down by an indulgent running time and tedious/meaningless scenes of endless carnage, thankfully the human element stays strong, with Wahlberg and the excellent Tucci, in particular, keeping you watching. A pity John Goodman (voicing cigar-chomping Autobot Hound) lazily recycles his
But then originality has never been high on Bay’s list of requirements.
After a promising start, thanks to Wahlberg and his funky bunch, Age Of Extinction transforms into a typically bombastic Bay offering. If it’s major-league spectacle you want, though, look no further.
UK Theatrical Release Date: June 27th 2014
John Goodman And Ken Watanabe join Transformers: Age Of Extinction
Stanley Tucci and Li Bingbing star in new images from Transformers: Age Of Extinction
Transformers 4 officially titled Transformers: Age Of ExtinctionThe Dinobots are coming…
Michael Bay attacked on set of Transformers: Age Of ExtinctionBut it sounds like he can handle himself…
Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction: The Complete GuideFrom Autobots to Wahlberg and beyond...
Wow, this is the best review I\'ve seen of this. Don\'t care if its naff - Optimus Prime was my hero as a kid so its my duty to watch this.
I usually try to avoid films that have a rating lower than 20 % on Rotten Tomatoes but I think this will be an exception. It seems to have better human characters and that shot of of Optimus Prime on top of a Dinobot looks pretty awesome!
Future is AOP & PPA Digital Publisher of the Year and BMA Media Company of the Year.
Total Film is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. We produce content across five core areas:
© Future Publishing Limited, Beauford Court, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath BA1 2BW. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number 2008885.