Be prepared for the debut of the Dinobots. Oh, and a lot of stuff blows up.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” is everything you would expect it to be and more. Director Michael Bay’s ability to destroy large sections of cities in impressive fashion gets put to the test several times in this film. The action won’t disappoint and by the end, a hardcore Transformers fan will want more.
The battle has changed now — the Autobots are being hunted by humans and a ruthless robotic bounty hunter named Lockdown. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz) get involved in the robotic war when dad finds a vintage truck, which is actually Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction”
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Petter Cullen (voice)
Running time: 165 minutes
Budget: $165 million
Prime, voiced by Peter Cullen, is no longer a benevolent leader who decides to defend humans at all costs. He sees them as part of the problem. But Yeager reasons with him, reminding Prime that it was him who found and fixed the Autobot up. Surprisingly, there is no mention of Sam Witwicky, the protagonist of the first three “Transformers” films, played by Shia LaBeouf. Why wouldn’t Prime, who went through so many adventures with that young man, at least ask how he’s doing?
As it is, Wahlberg is better suited as an action lead. His muscles seemingly tear through his shirt. His character faces his foes rather than yelling and screaming all the time. Together, Prime and his remaining Autobots must stop Lockdown and the black ops teams assisting the bounty hunter. Cade, Tessa and her boyfriend, Shane (Jack Reynor) are along for the ride because they’re wanted for harboring an alien (Prime).
The third “Transformers” sequel is two hours and 45 minutes long. A lot of that is build up, but the battle scenes and carnage are top notch. Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci complicate matters as a CIA agent out for blood and billionaire inventor, respectively. They work together because Garmmer’s Harold Attinger provides Tucci’s Joshua Joyce with materials to create souped-up Transformers from scratch.
Naturally, things don’t go as planned. Robots go out of control, a huge war escalates and Prime counters by unleashing the Dinobots: Transformers who become humongous dinosaurs. The Dinobots were fan favorites in the original cartoon series and their presence in this film does not disappoint. To say the Dinobots clean house would be an understatement.
There are some conveniently loose ends that “Extinction” doesn’t tie up. The appearance of a major Decepticon villain is never resolved — in fact, it barely registers. We, as fans, want more because that conflict is never met so what does that mean? Sequel. Will Bay move on from the series he has done so well? Will it be in safe hands under a different director? As long as Transformers fight and bust stuff up, sequels will be made and box offices will sell lots of tickets.