I have been known to relish in the cliché of a big budget action movie. Give me a Marvel movie and I’m a happy man, something set in space or that has a large magical element will usually guarantee a satisfied me. I love a good explosion as much as the next guy – but does ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ take the concept one step too far?
Set some years after the events of the last movie in the franchise, we find Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) in a small Texan town as the go-to fix-it man. When out on the job to restore an old projector, he discovers an extremely “inconspicuous” truck and decides to strip it down for parts. Don’t be too shocked to discover that this truck is none other than Optimus Prime - Leader of the Autobots. From here, it's a series of potentially earth-destroying events until an ultimate battle – so very familiar territory.
This is a real coming-of-age for the franchise, not only in Wahlberg as the stalwart father, but in terms of films themselves. They know exactly what type of movie they are, and now there is nothing to hold them back. There is an American flag in almost every scene, unsublte product placements and explosions. Oh so many explosions.
The supporting cast as brilliant, if numerous, with Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammar at the helm. Sadly there is just too little for them to do in terms of acting – with most of their lines (and everyone else's) being rather clunky and expositional and seemingly just an interval before the next robot battle can begin. An unfortunate piece of acting (or potentially writing/direction) was employed in giving Shane (Jack Reynor), the young romantic lead, an apparent Irish accent - which wasn’t clear until it was completely explained.
This is a real coming-of-age for the franchise.
'Age of Extinction' delivers on all its promises, namely the unending and intense Robot battles and the amazing cars on show, which will definitely keep the fans happy. The 3D and the visual effects are stunning, so you can almost forgive the reliance on them. It is an absolute shame they gave up on using the brilliant “Trans - 4 - mers” potential title that would have been a pun I’d be proud of. While ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ does deliver on all its promises of action, but it's unfortunately too long and, let's be brutally honest, explosions can only carry a movie so far.