Transformers: Age of Extinction – Movie Review

by Alon Weiss

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Cars, jets, robots and the fate of the world. The Transformers are back to roar their engines on the big screen. In the fourth installment of Michael Bay’s adaptation of the 80’s cartoons and toy line,  we see that the Autobots have fallen on hard times. No longer in good standing with the populace of Earth after the events of the last movie (Dark of the Moon), Optimus Prime and his fellow Transformers are now on the run and in hiding when finding themselves hunted by the humans.

After three movies, Shia Labeouf steps aside for Mark Wahlberg to take reigns of the lead human role, playing failed inventor Cade Yaeger as the new ally to the Transformers. A much stronger actor, Wahlberg’s performance is a breath of fresh air in this familiar setting, bringing a grounded maturity to the role as a father protecting his daughter (played by beautiful actress Nicola Peltz). Adding to the acting caliber, he is joined by such notable veterans as Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci.

Even with all the changes to the cast of stellar actors, by no means is this a movie of compelling drama and sophistication. Nor is their talent put to the best use. Of course it goes without saying that isn’t what you go into a Michael Bay movie for. At it’s core this is still very much an action movie of more flash than substance. But don’t take that to be a bad thing. From the robot brawls to the vehicular action, Bay once again delivers a visual tour de force of destruction and explosions with his usual cinematic style and flair.

With the frenetic pacing of the action, the direction does seem to lose focus at times. But again, advanced story isn’t the strong suit of these movies, nor should that take away from the enjoyment of the overall experience. This is a roller coaster of a movie and in that context a satisfying ride where you just sit back and get lost in the momentum.

If you’re a fan of the franchise from back to its roots, you’ll also be pleasantly rewarded with the references to much of the lore that is canon to the original animated series. The most prominent feature being the introduction of fan favorites, the Dinobots. Without spoiling anything else there are others that a long time aficionado should easily pick up on.

But even if you didn’t watch the series from back in the day, if you enjoyed the previous movies (excluding the excessively campy Revenge of the Fallen), or just a fan of high octane action movies in general, Age of Extinction is sure to satisfy your appetite for robotic carnage.

Final Verdict: 7/10