In his fourth turn as director in the ‘Transformers’ franchise, Michael Bay delivers ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ with a bang to theaters this weekend. This time out there are changes in casting as Mark Wahlberg takes the helm in this epic franchise reboot.
As the story opens, we learn that four years ago, the world was saved after an epic battle between the Autobots and the Decipticons. Sadly, Chicago was left torn and the Transformers (Autobots and Decipticons) are now hunted as enemies of the state. As humanity picks up the pieces, a covert group (CIA) reveals itself and enters an alliance with a menacing ancient figure in an attempt to control the direction of history.
During these trying times, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) a local inventor/repairman in Texas discovers a damaged artifact that soon puts him and his daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz) on a course of adventure. Ultimately, they are swept up in a war of good and evil, eventually leading to a climactic battle across the world.
Mark Wahlberg who is known for his action roles is right at home in this movie. Even with mediocre dialogue, he is able to infuse a franchise with his wit and charm. His role as an overprotective father adds humor to the action packed scenes. For example, when he learns that his daughter unbeknownst to him has a boyfriend (Jack Reynor/Shane) and who happens to be Irish, he starts calling her intended 'Lucky Charms.'
Michael Bay has worked his usual magic and included loads of CGI infused scenes along with fast paced combat and harrowing action provided by Autobots riding into action on Dinobots. After all, this is what the fans of the franchise have come to expect and ultimately want to see as things are blown up and destroyed in a Michael Bay film.
Kelsey Grammer heads up the CIA operation to eliminate Autobots from existence. He partners with KSI a robotics company whose not so fearless leader; Joshua Joyce is portrayed by Stanley Tucci. He is fueled by more than altruistic motives of God and country and more by monetary gain. Grammer delivers a villainous take no prisoners performance as the head of the CIA Harold Attinger who forms an alliance with an alien figure who wants to capture Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen).
John Goodman lends his unmistakable voice and likeness as Hound a Transformer who resembles a World War II soldier complete with a smoking cigar (that has a few hidden tricks).
The Transformers turn into sleek new models right before your eyes. Bumblebee's conventional yellow Camaro transforms from a 1967 vintage Camaro to a super new model that will have you yearning to get behind the wheel. Even Optimus Prime has had an overhaul with a bigger truck complete with flames painted on its doors.
The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, Li Bingbing, T.J. Miller, Han Geng, Titus Welliver, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, John DiMaggio, Mark Ryan, Robert Foxworth, and Reno Wilson.
Make no mistake; this is a long film with a running time of two and a half hours (time your bathroom breaks wisely). However, the action is so incredibly visceral that you will not want to miss a moment.
'Transformers: Age of Extinction' is the movie that fans of the franchise have waited for with loyal enthusiasm and is sure to exceed all their expectations. It is the best so far of the franchise because is it bigger and badder than its predecessors.
It opens nationwide in theaters Friday, June 27 in Real D 3-D and IMAX 3D. It has a MPAA Rating of PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo.