Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
  • Time: 166 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Michael Bay
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci


After the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons that leveled Chicago, humanity thinks that all alien robots are a threat. So Harold Attinger, a CIA agent, establishes a unit whose sole purpose is to hunt down all of them. But it turns out that they are aided by another alien robot who is searching for Optimus Prime. Cade Yeager, a “robotics expert”, buys an old truck and upon examining it, he thinks it’s a Transformer. When he powers it up, he discovers it’s Optimus. Later, men from the unit show up looking for Optimus. He helps Yeager and his daughter escape but are pursued by the hunter. They escape and Yeager learns from technology he took from the men that a technology magnate and defense contractor named Joshua Joyce is part of what’s going on, so they go to find out what’s going on.


  • To be honest, I’ve always found enjoyment in the original Transformers trilogy, or should I just say, the first one. Sure, it was mindless, but it was a very enjoyable experience, especially in 3D. The CGI at the time, was incredible. Despite it’s “Michael Bay” humor, it’s action scenes were still a marvel. This movie however, is inexcusable. The fourth entry in this already bloated and fatigued franchise stars Mark Wahlberg as an inventor who comes upon a truck, which is no other than Optimus Prime. He sees the truck as a cash grab, but he discovers the truck is Optimus, and decides to keep him and fix him, at the sake of his family’s safety. The film after this, becomes a hard to follow mess. The movie truly has no plot, or at least not one that is coherent, which becomes one of the key complaints of the movie. With a nearly 3 hour film, you expect it to have tons of important and crucial plot points to keep you intrigued in the story, but since the film simply does not have a coherent plot (oh and by the way, expect the Michael Bay “government conspiracy theories” in this as well) it just becomes overlong, bloated. The film should have been no more than an hour and thirty minutes, but instead Bay has to throw in all these uninteresting and dull human characters who simply spout one liners and are the the source for Bayism (racial stereotypes, exploitation of women, etc)

    Speaking of the characters, most are just as dull as they were before. However, unlike Shia the lead protagonist actually does stuff. He fights a transformer and helps out Optimus in a fight, unlike Shia who would just shout for Bumblebee to do all the work for him. However, the performance by the daughters boyfriend in this film is simply awful, I genuinely believe Bay put him in as the replacement for the Shia like character, as all he does is drive a car (literally, that’s it) for the main characters. Stanley Tucci in this film is kind of pointless as well, because all he does is spout Michael Bay humor and one liners. I feel bad that he would do this to his career.

    Of course, nobody watches a Transformers film for it’s characters, it’s all about the explosion and stylized action set pieces. However, this film has the least amount of action, only making up I would say about an hour of the running time. Plus, would you believe me if I said the CGI in this film is the worst in the series? When the transformers transform, you don’t see each individual part of the car turn into the robot, instead it’s a bunch of blurry cubes, and it looks terrible. The explosions look cool admittedly, but when everything blows up 3,000 times before the scene has ended, it gets very tiring and frustratingly boring.

    Overall, Age of Extinction is a bloated, incoherent mess. Anyone looking for a good plot, will obviously be disappointed. And anyone who is looking for intense and riveting action will also be disappointed. But if you like the tiring Michael Bay humor, and if you are a die hard Transformers fan, you might find some satisfaction.

  • I found the first Transformers movie alright, not great but just alright. The second felt like it went on for hours and I was so glad it was over. After two movies I’d had enough of Transformers and didn’t watch the third. Only one thing got me to go to the fourth instalment. Dinobots. If they weren’t in this movie I wouldn’t have went at all. I knew it was going to be shit. It’s a transformers movie. I didn’t know it was going to be that shit.

    The story is all over the place. It’s hard to keep track of what’s going on when there is explosions every two minutes. There was too much going on on-screen, like ridiculous camera angles, horrendous dialogue and more things blowing up, that I couldn’t concentrate on what they were meant to be doing and why. On top of all that the editing was terrible. The car chase scene, Optimus Prime crushes the cars chasing them, then a second later it cuts to a different location and the cars are back, right behind them and O.P. is nowhere to be seen. Where did he go? How are they now on a bridge and where do all these Black Ops cars keep coming from?

    The characters are one dimensional. For example the joke guy (James Bachman) at the start, who is there just to deliver some terrible one liners and the convenient rally driver boyfriend (Jack Reynor), who does have some entertaining banter with dad (Mark Wahlberg) but is only really there to make the car chase scenes believable. There are only three female characters that are purely there for eye candy, and if you missed that, Michael Bay throws in what I like to call “slap you in the face” dialogue where Wahlberg’s character says to his daughter “Your shorts are shrinking by the minute” just in case you weren’t already looking at her arse. I would have liked to see a female character that adds to the plot and actually has a role in the film. The entire film’s dialogue was terrible. The standout character with the most ridiculous dialogue for me was Hound, voiced by John Goodman, during the huge fight scene towards the end. I kept thinking, “I can’t believe Goodman is saying this shit” which really took me out of the film, not that I was overly into it by that stage.

    CGI and explosion overload. I think I had a nap during the movie, mainly because my eyes and brain were so exhausted from all the CGI and massive explosions. Why did everything explode? If I want to watch an hour of unnecessary explosions that don’t hurt or kill anyone, then I’ll just wait for New Years Eve.Honestly, I think this movie could have cut an hour of explosions, which may have improved it.

    The thing that dragged me to movie, was seeing the Dinobots in the trailer. They looked great and I love anything dinosaur-y, (except Barney of course). The Dinobots do not come into the movie until the last 40mins or so and by that time, my head was already fried from the previous two hours of full on explosions and no gripping story. The Dinobots came on the screen and I just did not care. I was over it. Another point I found unbelievable was Optimus Prime knocks (for lack of another name, because he doesn’t actually get called this) Grimlock down once and he is suddenly Prime’s pet. Grimlock is not Prime’s steed to ride around. I think Grimlock would have put up more of a fight in ‘reality.’

    Now to the good things. Tucci and Grammer. Their performances were the only redeeming features of T4. The delivery of their mediocre dialogue, and what they brought to the characters was something unexpected in a Transformer movie. I don’t think I’ve seen Grammer portray a ‘villain’ before. In a different movie with a much better script, Grammer could easily be in the running for an Oscar nom for a villainous role.

    It saddens me that T4: AoE is making so much money. It has currently made over $575M worldwide in under two weeks. And what makes me sadder is that I gave them $15 of it. This is why they are currently making Transformers 5 & 6. Not because they are good stories but because they make money. I beg you, do not give your money to this franchise. I do not care what they put on the screen next time. They sucked me in with Dinobots this time, but I have learned from this mistake. I will not be partaking in Bay’s future mindless story, one dimensional character, flashy CGI, useless explosive cash cow.

    Pick or Flick? It’s a big FLICK. 1.5 out of 5 and that is only because of Tucci and Grammer. It would be less if they were not in it. But I will say this, if you liked the first three films than you’ll probably like this one too.

  • Transformers (film series, not the series) was never a critic’s favorite. They saw it as a hugeunbearable catalog about soulless special effects. These movies are actually about destruction of metals, crumbling buildings, 15 meters grueling robots fighting each other and bumping, entire towns razed like cardboard boxes, a lot of noise… something like a hole in the eyes and ears. “Transfomers 4” is here, with a director who did not want to film it,with actors who go, and with a fake stamp of reboot

    “More of the same” is the judgment to be applied to this 4th part. In principle this would have nothing wrong, as many sagas are copied itself and still are interesting (eg the first three Terminator films containing the same argument and procedure with different variants, and are very good each). And in the case of Transformers that decision was not unexpected, but it is also true that the concept of this series of robots is the spectacular and colossal destruction, so there comes a time when can no longer be more spectacular than the same spectacular. If this is so, why were three Transformers movies? It is the first movie was a bit different than the third in terms of direction, Michael Bay heards viewers and corrected some issues (eg, the action scenes were not to be so unintelligible). In the third part, we witness the almost complete maturation in Michael Bay. But once Bay has evolved, there is nothing else to do. And if “Dark Of The Moon” was the point of “maturity” into the director, this fourth part makes very few significant setbacks. The most obvious and serious is replace a talented actor as Shia LaBeouf by a plane actor as Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg is not a bad actor, but not a good one; and looks like a secondary in most of the film, even in the first half hour which takes center stage or when he should pronounce the phrases that all action hero has to qualify as memorable quotes

    As this is a common Transformers / Michael Bay movie, we find the same disparity of criteria as always: a crappy story for humans, pseudo-existential music for loneliness or sad times, pseudo-“Batman: The Dark Knight” music for moments of tension, a quick general edition, Deus Ex Machinas, and special effects so amazing. A hodgepodge of mediocrity with expensive FX. The story involving Mark Wahlberg with his daughter is too trite and arrogant, the same topic about the father caring that his daughter did not go out with boys. At least the nonsense “LaBeouf with his parents” is not so worn, but here Walhberg maintains the arrogance about she must get away from the boys through nonsense, like maintaining her virginity until she graduates (!) Fortunately in that situation, as Wahlberg is not a rude actor, this whole argument is without steroids (Thanks Mark!); But still is flooded with bad jokes. Also Wahlberg mates are no big deal even to tell jokes: grace here is jokes even when their lives are in danger. Something like James Bond to show humor and confidence in pressing situations, with the difference here they say the most useless nonsense ever

    But despite being at home, “Transformers 4” feels sometimes inert, partly because the lack of personality in the protagonist, but also because the main plot is not very interesting. Like the previous parts, the issue is a conspiracy / investigation, but investigation progresses at a slow pace when viewers already know much of the information. It may be due to disorder of exposure, to robots know much about their situation or what happens, or the movie shows firstly intentions before the Wahlberg mileages, so when the protagonist interferes in the investigation feels futile or a waste of time. Also because the film is long and requires that the characters go from one place to another without meaning and even without logic. And finally, this production is intended to be a vehicle for Mark Wahlberg where tries to be close to “Lone Survivor” inflating inspiration for the battle, only this time he’s a paternal hero. And maybe the problem is the inertia, where one can not connect emotionally with the show. True, Transformers never had soul because it was always a mechanical product, but it was inspired as mechanical product without soul; while in this fourth installment effects go through our eyes without much joy, simply lacks the necessary structure they had before. The Transformers saga was always puffed about FX, but it can be felt even more in that 4th part (There’s even dinosaurs!) because despite its not taken seriously, neither turns out to be as fun as you think. “Transformers 4” may still be aceptable and with echoes of “X-Men” and “Superman”, but there is no doubt that this saga of robots can not continue to expand so ridiculously, because something so big without enough structure to support can only be synonymous of exhaustion and fall.

  • I know this seems a bit weird for a Michael Bay movie about giant, alien robots, but I’m going to talk about the plot first. It’s very interesting. As the Transformers movies have gone on, the mythos has expanded a little bit more every time. Revenge of the Fallen touched upon the ancestry of Primes and delved into the Transformer’s history a bit. It even showed us Cybertron. Dark of the Moon similarly gave us a Prime higher in authority than Optimus, and showed how travelling over large distances was possible for them. Age of Extinction gave us our first glimpse (and it is a glimpse, literally a finger) of the alien creators of the Transformers. The film opens with them coming to pre-historic Earth, when dinosaurs roamed. There’s also the introduction of a third, neutral faction of bounty hunters – neither Autobot nor Decepticon. Add to all that an espionage plot where the CIA are covertly knocking out Autobots and claiming they were Decepticons, and you’ve actually got a pretty interesting turn of events.

    Unfortunately the whole government conspiracy takes up most the movie. I mean, it’s not a bad plot point, and I certainly wouldn’t have cut it out entirely, but there were just so many other, more interesting bits that needed fleshing out. The Dinobots for example. They should’ve been a big focus of the movie, but they’re literally introduced at the end during the final climax, and barely explained at all bar a very short opening sequence on pre-historic Earth. Who are they? What side are they on? Where have they been this entire time? There was a scene early on detailing the discovery of one of them in the antarctic, but how did they get out from there? And where were they between then and the end of the movie? It’s a massive gaping hole.

    Talking of holes, Age of Extinction is full of them. Characters just say random things at random times that make no sense according to their context. In one instance, you can hear Whalberg and Reynor’s voices, but their lips aren’t even moving. This also extends to entire scenes, making you feel like something reasonably important has been cut out. There’s just no fluidity. An example of this would be when they’re trying to escape the black ops agents the first time around in fields and farms, and then suddenly they’re in a small town, and then suddenly an abandoned industrial estate.

    Another massive hole is how the movie almost completely ignores the previous three movies. Almost, because the whole government conspiracy angle is dependant on the rather public invasion of Chicago in Dark of the Moon. Beyond that little mention though, there’s no mention or reference to Sam Witwicky, Simmons, Epps, or Lennox. In fact Optimus and Bumblebee are literally the only characters to carry over (no mention of why Bumblebee isn’t with Sam either). The rest of the Autobots are wiped out off-screen, and the team this time is a completely new set of Autobots.

    So how do the new characters weigh up? I’m not a Shia LaBeouf hater, but his character had gotten old. He had gone through high school, college, and had a job, there wasn’t really anywhere else to go with him without going melodramatic with a wife and kids. Cade Yeager (terrible name by the way) is a much more interesting concept for a character. He’s a single father dragging his teenage daughter through the poverty line. Of course his daughter is still an orange dressed in hot pants and mini skirts. At least she isn’t Rosie Huntington-Whitely! If I had one complaint, and it is a big one, it’s how none of this dysfunctional family were likeable. Cade is an overprotective father who won’t let his daughter date for some stupid reason (and won’t shut up about it), Tessa is whiny, self-centered and belongs in 90210, her boyfriend, Shane, is a serious rally driver (conveniently, for some plausible driving tricks), but is completely disrespectful to Cade, Cade’s business partner, Lucas, is an unreliable, selfish bum, Joyce is egotistical and pernickety, Darcy is practically non-existent. Just like the plot, the concepts are all there and great, but the execution is awful. I was genuinely hoping they would all die by the end of the movie.

    Lastly, visuals! Plot and characters is not why you see a Michael Bay Transformers movie. You see a Michael Bay Transformers movie for giant robots fighting giant robots and massive explosions. Heh, well I guess you might get your money’s worth? The explosions are actually a bit lacking, shockingly enough. Bay is usually really good in making sure EVERYTHING explodes. There’s wanton destruction everywhere, but there aren’t really very many balls of flame. Most of the explosions look more like fireworks going off. This looks great…when there’s a ball of fire beneath it, but that’s barely present in Age of Extinction. Also the live-action destruction doesn’t always match the CGI. As an example, a Transformer gets thrown amongst some cars, and the whole row of cars flips, even the ones the Transformer is nowhere near. This happens all the time too; cars just spontaneously decide to do flips.

    The good thing about Age of Extinction’s visuals is that it’s quite picturesque at times. Okay, it can get cheesy with this, but a good shot is a good shot, cheesy or not. For example Whalberg is thinking deeply, staring off into nothing while stood on his porch in front of a red sunset. It’s horrifically cliché, but so pretty to look at. Another great shot that featured in the trailer was the Transformer bounty hunter walking up the road followed by his massive ship in low flight. I’d happily frame that and put it on my wall.

    Age of Extinction is nowhere near the best of the franchise, and it’s not a particularly revolutionary franchise as it is. It’s probably on about the same level as Revenge of the Fallen, take that as you will. There’s lots of pretty pictures and interesting concepts, but it runs on for far too long and the pacing is completely off. Bay tried to squeeze in a lot of plot as well as never-ending action sequences, and it almost put me to sleep, literally. There was a moment I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I can’t bring myself to say it’s awful though. There were a lot of awesome moments, and it did bring some interesting things to the table; Transformers 5 could be a very interesting movie indeed. In all, I give Age of Extinction an average 5/10.

  • Transformers: Age of Extinction 2/10- What would a guy like Michael Bay do if he wanted to make more than just a movie that will make money? If he wanted to not constantly get negative criticism because the Transformers movies he makes(with a slight exception of the first) have no plot or character development to speak of and have been called mindless action? He gets rid of every human character from the previous films and gets a badass lead actor like Mark Wahlberg to help him save the film. Unfortunately, even with the addition of Mark Wahlberg, this new installment in the Transformers series falls prey to the same routine of pointless action sequences, terribly written screenplay and dialogue, and as if it wasn’t bad enough, we see this dragged on for nearly three hours.

    I could have been the one to tell Michael Bay that, yes Mark Wahlberg is a hundred times better than Shia Labeouf, but even Wahlberg can’t play a badass while he is standing next to 150 foot tall giant metal alien robot. Not even if you give him a alien space gun that is for some reason just the right size for humans. I believe that he is a good actor but once the transformers enter the movie after about 25 minutes, there is literally no room for good acting left. A lot of people actually agree with me that the movie had some good potential at the beginning, but then the transformers start battling each other and kill it all.

    For full review and more,

  • When Transformers (2007) came out, no one knew what to expect. No one had ever seen such clever visuals, big action, effective music and the cast, although not oscar material, entertained at the level it should have. It was something special and a movie director Michael Bay and writer Ehren Kruger did the right way. Two sequels later, this Hollywood moneymaker duo learned things along the way about what elements they needed to incorporate to make its diminishing returns feel not so out of place. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) recovered back a little bit of what Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) messed up and by the end, one would’ve hoped it would be a while for the next installment. Three years later wasn’t long enough. This sequel, like the rest are competently made with its production but its writing no longer works or convinces.

    Viewers will now be introduced to Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) a widower / robot inventor who’s struggling to make a living and support his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) through school. After discovering an abandoned truck, Cade realizes that he’s in the possession of transformer, Optimus Prime. What Cade doesn’t realize is that the government is hunting the autobots, which are allied with Lockdown – whom can’t be really said to be a Decepticon. He’s more of a middleman. And this would be fine if that’s all that it was. Instead, Ehren Kruger writes an extremely thin plot and covers it with too many human characters and several subplots. One of these subplots is about how the ancient relatives of the transformers were the reason for the dinosaurs being burnt to a crisp. Really? Could that be thrown in any more lazily? It’s just another reason to say why transformers were on earth.

    The human characters are a totally different ball of wax. Credit is given for Wahlberg being a much stronger character than Shia LaBeouf’s and fighting back instead of screaming like a sissy. But Cade Yeager as a robot inventor, in the middle of urban Texas doesn’t feel practical. Aren’t there other lucrative occupations? Other cast members are much of the same from the last films. One of them being that Cade’s daughter is the damsel in distress who has a boyfriend that’s always after her. Of course, there are always those few human characters that are annoying to listen to onscreen and are put in for comic relief. There are even areas of development for these individuals, which are just for comedy. Come on, its no longer funny. All it is, is the Kruger/Bay method of writing.

    For the transformers, it’s strange how over time Optimus Prime maintains his autobot group when there are new ones every sequel. It’s not to say they aren’t cool but their background is never told. Where do they come from? The best of the bunch though was Hound played by John Goodman. He was a nice highlight. The dinobots were another interesting aspect to the film because of their magnitude. However, like many other transformers they received little development other than being ancient transformers and somehow being the “creators” of Prime.

    As a pseudo-sequel to its predecessors, it does keep its connections but its continuity lacks depth and feels loose. The battle at Chicago is mentioned many times, but of what happened to the main bunch of other main cast members is a mystery. Why a few words couldn’t be said about them, I won’t get. Another weird thing about this movie is that out of all the films released, this one felt like the longest. This is mostly due to the action sequences. Like any Michael Bay film, the action will be big, but this one in particular felt like he wanted to make every action sequence feel like the finale to the film. Oddly enough when the finale came, it felt less climactic than expected because every action scene before it was just as big and bombastic. I was desensitized.

    The music composed by Steve Jablonsky is nothing short of bad but no longer impresses. He continues to maintain the booming action cues and noble Prime theme but his tracks no longer felt memorable. It’s sad because Transformers no doubt is a strong franchise that should be treated in the right way. And although Michael Bay is key to what made it great, his ability to keep it afloat isn’t working by cramming several 20 minute long action sequences and over stuffing the plot with multiple pointless characters. It’ll definitely keep a young person’s attention but I don’t guarantee the required substance. Worse, is that you know another will be on its way, made in the exact same manner.

    It’s just as big and heavy duty as the past films with its music and action sequences but its writing has become lazy. The voice and physical cast try, but by now, the novelty has worn off. It’s just being shoveled out knowing people will go just because.

    Points Earned –> 5:10

  • I read somewhere that director Michael Bay got his start filing storyboards for Steven Spielberg via Raiders of the Lost Ark. Cut to 2014 and he’s (financially) one of the most successful filmmakers around. He isn’t however critic proof because he seems totally infatuated with blowing stuff up. Between making movies, I’ve always been curious to know what he does in his spare time. And for the record, I would probably stay away from going to any Fourth of July parties he might be hosting.

    Anyway, summer is here and that means another exhausting Transformers movie. Now I know that everyone in the free world is going to see it. But if you the moviegoer haven’t bought a ticket yet, well let me give you some insight on what you’re getting into. As expected, Transformers: Age of Extinction (the film I’m reviewing) is one bloated, convoluted mess of a movie. It looks like it cost about 9 billion dollars to make and it feels like a trillion special effects shots were used. One thing is missing though and that would be a sense of continuity when it comes to the workings of I guess, the plot.

    Bay is up to his old tricks again for this newest Hasbro helping. As usual he deals another round of fast edits, laughably bad slow motion framing, low, non-stop camera movements (and angles), and recycled background music (with plenty of horns playing the same notes over and over). His movies may look good in HD but he’s ADHD as a director.

    Now the special effects as mentioned earlier, are sick (this is meant to be a compliment). “Extinction” is total and complete eye candy. But sadly, it feels like no one who worked on it bothered to step inside an editing room. Watching this newest entry from executive producer Spielberg was a chore because it was as if no scene was ever cut out. I mean, instead of viewing a full length feature film, all we get as an audience, is endless hours of randomly shot footage that is literally hurled at the screen. Transformers: Age of Extinction is 2 hours and 45 minutes long. It’s 21 minutes longer than the original, 15 minutes longer than Revenge of the Fallen, and 9 minutes longer than Dark of the Moon. It ends hinting at the chance of yet another chapter in this franchise’s long running cash juggernaut. So OK, if the next Transformers movie is 3 hours long, I’m going to lose my freaking head.

    In addition to overlength and misbegotten excess, “Extinction” just like the other Transformers movies, resorts to using a ton of locations. This thing uses cities in Michigan, Texas, Utah, Illinois, and Hong Kong, China as its go-to settings. The storytelling, well don’t even try to keep up with it. Broke inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter Tessa (played by newcomer Nicole Peltz) find an Autobot in their barn. That’s all I’m gonna say because all heck breaks loose from then on. The government gets involved and another helping of mass destruction is served up on a silver platter. And yes, Chicago, IL once again gets somewhat destroyed and decimated here. Is it the taxes, the traffic, the Cubs, or the cold winters that get aliens so ticked off at “The Windy City?” I happen to live there so I’m gonna go with all the above.

    Compared to the other two sequels (and the favorable original), I liked the cast a whole lot better this time around. Kelsey Grammar as CIA agent Harold Attinger plays the heavy with gusto. Stanley Tucci is on board as well and he gives a standard Stanley Tucci performance (which is a good thing). As for Mark Wahlberg in the lead, well he surprised me. He’s a riot playing a sort of quirky, fast talking widower who’s overly protective of his daughter. In fact, Wahlberg is so darn appealing that in only one of these films, he’s able to out act Shia LaBeouf who appeared in the previous three. Check that Shia La “Bad” (Oh and I almost forgot, Mark Wahlberg’s character is from Texas but he has no southern drawl or accent. It’s merely just an observation and not a big deal).

    Overall, I’m gonna give this vehicle a mixed review which is being pretty nice to Sir Michael Bay. Go see it for the sumptuous visuals and load up on the popcorn. Oh and I think I got the title for the next installment. Let’s go with Transformers: The Musical (just kidding).

    Of note: the battles between the Decepticons and Autobots (a given in Transformers pictures) are so messy and chaotic, you can’t tell who is fighting who. At one point, I thought the Autobots were fighting their own kind and you know, that’s not a good thing. And watch for famed actor John Goodman doing a voice of one of the Transformers named Hound. His overweight, bearded character is a downright hoot. At one point, he calls himself a “badass ballerina.” Uh-huh.

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