3 years since Dark of the Moon and the Autobots are back in what was, arguably, one of 2014's most anticipated films, Transformers: Age of Extinction, but, honestly, it's not a big deal and was rather over-hyped.

Starting 4 years after 2011's costly Battle of Chicago, Age of Extinction drops Shia LaBeouf for amateur robotics aficionado Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), his drop dead gorgeous 17 year-old daughter Tessa, played by the beautiful Nicola Peltz, and the strapping Jack Reynor as her boyfriend Shane.

The cash-strapped Cade has some oddball operation going on, building what he can with what he can find to sell and get money so that he can raise Tessa; their relationship so tender and defined by his over-protective demeanor. While trawling an abandoned cinema for parts, he comes across the wrecked remains of an old truck, which turns out to be a bashed up Optimus Prime (voiced superbly, as always, by Peter Cullen). 

Basically, Prime has been in hiding because all post-Chicago Transformers are now classed as illegal aliens and are no longer trusted to fight for the humans. Whilst the US are slightly protecting Autobots, Kelsey Grammer's Harold Attlinger, with Titus Welliver's Savoy and bounty hunting Transformer Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan), are on a bid to eradicate ALL remaining Transformers. Then we have Stanley Tucci's Joshua Joyce, a billionaire genius, who wants to build his own, controllable Transformer army by melting down old Transformers and using their programmable metal, which is dubbed with the stupidest name ever, 'Transformium'. We also find out, early on, that they have Megatron's head. Well, that's not going to end well.

So, we have this heavy plot (and even a subplot about the creators of the Transformers), all these characters and we're only 40 minutes in. Yes, I said only because Age of EXHAUSTION clocks in at a tiring, bum-hurting 165 minutes!!! What's worse is by the time the credits roll-out, much of the plot still remains unanswered and a lot of it feels abridged, even 2 hours after everything has been setup because, as expected from Bay, there is just piles and piles of action and not much else. It's basically here merely to set up 2016's Transformers 5 and beyond.

I mentioned action. TF4 is brimming with the stuff, packed with Bayhem. We have car chases, high-wire action sequences and lots of explosions! It is entertaining to watch for the first act or so but then it gets repetitive and dull and has no effect on the plot whatsoever. Then there is the 45 minute finale, shot in a vibrant Hong Kong. At the start of the film, a billboard blares "Remember Chicago" but there's no need as this film's conclusion is bigger, much more expensive and a lot better than that of Dark of the Moon.

It also features the mighty Dinobots which actually only just have a cameo, appearing just for the ending before disappearing again. But they do look spectacular and the set pieces and mass havoc look incredible too and the action, the intensity all feel so real. Oh, there are also some SEXY cars! I'll have to admit though that, whilst it's all OTT, at times, it can make for some fun and thrilling viewing.

Like every Transformers film, there is, of course, lots of laughs; the lion-share coming from Tucci in the film's final hour. We also have our love story featuring Tessa, her up until now secret racer boyfriend and an angry, overprotective daddy and accompanying, and wrapping, everything we have some cracking music from Imagine Dragons.

There's a lot of treading old territory with Age of Extinction but there is still lots of new ideas coming in! Not only do we have new humans but we have new Autobots too as Hound, Drift and Crosshairs, voiced by John Goodman, Ken Watanabe and John DiMaggio, make their debut and get to showcase their bots and there is veritable chemistry between these new Transformers. Lockdown is another positive, a chilling entrance establishing him as a worthy threat. As for the humans Wahlberg and Tucci are excellent and ace in their roles despite the poor dialogue they’re slammed with, whilst Grammer makes a villainous and diabolical foe as the formidable Attlinger.

Age of Extinction is a visually stunning and action-packed blockbuster that can be enjoyable and entertaining but is let down by the familiarity and unoriginal prospects from Bay because, at the end of the day, it's not all about the colossal scale.
★★☆☆

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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