The Transformers returned to the big screen last week and over the weekend millions of people flocked to their local cinema to see whats been happening with those robots in disguise for the past three years. I was one of those people and let me tell you, they have returned in style.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is set 4 years after the war in Chicago from 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon. So if you’ve been doing maths in your head the film is actually set in 2015! It’s the future. Michael Bay knows something. Michael Bay returns to the helm of the Transformers ship to Direct them into pure anarchy, you know, like Michael Bay does. And with Transformers: Age of Extinction he doesn’t fail to deliver what everyone expects: gripping action scenes, and plenty of explosions. As you may remember there were some concerns if Michael Bay was going to return to direct as both him and star of the original trilogy, Shia LaBeouf said Dark of the Moon would be their final Transformers film. Apparently not Michael, Apparently not.
Now the stars of the film. As mentioned, LeBeouf never returned for the fourth installment and so we meet Cade Yeager, an inventor with no major inventions and a barn full of junk. He buys what appears to be an old truck to strip down for parts and sell to pay for his daughter, Tessa to go to college. It quickly becomes apparent that this truck isn’t junk, but in fact a Transformer. The truck transforms into an injured Optimus Prime who tells a tale of how he escaped a trap and had to go into hiding.
Mark Wahlburg being cast as the lead really does give a fresh start to the franchise. His character quickly guesses that the junk he bought is actually a Transformer. Unlike in the original trilogy where these robots were never seen before and people didn’t know what they were or what they were dealing with. In Age of Extinction though, knowing about the Transformers is a major thing as they are now being hunted. Since the war in Chicago, people want the Transformers to answer for what they did. Certain Autobots have been granted safe passage though and are allowed to stay on earth, hiding in plain sight. Or so they would have everyone think. Heading up an operation to destroy all Transformers is Harold Attinger, played by Kelsey Grammer. He set up a task force called Cemetery Wind to wipe out the Transformers with the help of intergalactic bounty hunter, Lockdown.
The visuals of the film are an action backed punch directly to the eyes. I saw the film in IMAX 3D and it looked really good. The colours were rich and bright but not so that everything looked happy fun time nicey nicey. That’s a technical term. With many of the Transformers taking on shapes and vehicles it was a chance to show them off in all their glory and Bay delivered enough that you could actually take in the Transformers. It sounds stupid but you could get a good look before they were off fighting.
There were some great moments of comedic relief in this all out action film a lot of it coming from Stanley Tucci’s character, Joshua Joyce. Even some humour coming from the Transformers. It was the light-hearted moments that kept the story alive for me. Even during the carnage around them someone would make a joke or say something funny and for that brief moment when your guard was dropped the action would come right back and appear even bigger than before, catching you off guard and throwing you back in at the deep end.
Although we had some familiar faces, albeit robotic, such as Optimus and Bumblebee they had changed them up enough to re-engage your love for them. Bumblebee is my favourite and when I noticed some of the new features they had added to him, like the cool new visor and what not, my love for him was rekindled. Just like with Optimus Prime, with a new sleeker look it was the same old Prime but different. If that makes sense. As for the new Transformers, the choice of cars were brilliant (check out the list of cars here) and the Transformers they turned into were even better.
My favourite of the new additions would probably be Hound. Voiced by John Goodman and described by Michael Bay, and Hound himself in the film, as “A ballerina with guns.” A truer description couldn’t be possible. One voice actor who I wasn’t as impressed with as I thought I would be was Ken Watanabe, voicing Drift. I just found him a bit annoying. Drift was cool though. Peter Cullen return once again as Optimus Prime, I mean imagine if he was your Grandad or something! Story time, all the time!
Although Transformers: Age of Extinction hasn’t had the best response from critics, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best Transformers film yet but it was brought back in style and has set up the next film nicely. It’s visually stunning, action packed, provides some funny moments, and has a pretty decent story behind it.
Would I recommend going to see Transformers: Age of Extinction? Hell yeah I would! It may be the longest one to date but if you’re into cool cars and robots punching each other in the face as you learn more exactly on the origins of the Transformers, this is the film for you! Also the Dinobots, they’re reason enough to go see the film. Optimus Prime raising his sword high as he rides Grimlock. Yeah exactly.
If you’ve seen Transformers: Age of Extinction tell us what you think and if you haven’t seen it, are you planning on it? Share all your thoughts in the comments below!