Betrayed by their human allies, the Autobots come together once again to protect mankind from a new threat that is neither Autobot or Decepticon while a mechanic and his family are caught in the crossfire.
After the initial Transformers trilogy came and went, I felt that there were so many stories left to tell and too many characters fans didn't get to see on the big screen. While the Transformers purist in me will always find flaws in every one of Bay's interpretations, I have come to see “Bayformers” as its own universe with its own rules. Approaching the films this way has made me enjoy them more and analyze them substantially less. However, that changed the moment I heard the Dinobots would be making their big screen debut. I followed their development and design very closely and while my inner fanboy was happy to hear they would be in the film, the purist in me prayed they wouldn't suck. Now before I get into that let's discuss the film.
Transformers: Age of Extinction ushered in what will be a new trilogy with bigger explosions, better actors and of course new Autobots and Decepticons. Gone was Shia LeBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and John Turturro who were replaced by seasoned action veteran Mark Wahlberg and newcomers Nicola Peltz and Jack Raynor who were all incredibly effective in their roles. Wahlberg's acting brought an interesting dynamic as it introduced a character who genuinely held his own alongside his robot costars which was a welcome departure from Shia yelling “Optimus” or “Bee” every five minutes. Peltz and Raynor had great chemistry as Wahlberg's daughter and her race car driver boyfriend, who, while at times when in danger actually added a bit to the story and did not really become detrimental to the narrative. Overall the leads worked well both together alongside the Autobots. Now I can talk about the “heroes” more but there was more to the film then Wahlberg and the kids. Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci added some great credibility to the cast and made the film not just about robots fighting each other. Tucci as usual stole every scene he was in and genuinely made me want to see more of his character on-screen which definitely was welcome.
A lot of reviewers complained that the film had no story, which is odd because the story stared you right in the face throughout the film. Let's flesh it out.
The film takes place after the battle of Chicago
Autobots and Decepticons are hunted by the government
Humans are working with a Transformer that has no allegiance to either side who wants Prime in exchange for something
Prime gets pissed off about the betrayal
Prime gets over it and fights back
Stuff gets blown up
Prime teams up with the Dinobots
Optimus Prime give post battle speech and credits roll
Last time I checked, we watch these flicks for the cool cars, explosions and amazing visuals which this film delivered on. Was the story great? It could have been better but it served its purpose, albeit with some substantial plot holes. These are not meant to be “deep” thought provoking films. While I liked the film I will say it did not need to be nearly three hours. This was an instance where less being more would have been acceptable. I will also say that some of the product placements were extremely forced as were some of the attempts at comedy.
So you are maybe asking “Rich, were the Dinobots awesome“? They were but they did not talk which bummed me out because hearing “Me Grimlock King!” would have been badass much like the Hulk saying “Hulk Smash” or The Thing saying “It's clobberin' time“. Having the Dinobots not speak was definitely a blemish for me as a fan since that would have been some great fan service .
While seeing the film is IMAX is the best way to see it, I will say that the RPX version was equally impressive. The film has amazing sound and impressive visuals so the big screen presentation is a must. Hardcore fans will definitely find their fair share of faults but if you are looking for a mindless escape I say give it a shot and enjoy the mayhem.No sense in making comparisons with the source material because in the end it will truly drive you nuts.
This will definitely be a reference level disc for both audio and video when it arrives later this year. You can actually preorder that now via Amazon if you choose.