Transformers: Age of Extinction
"Transformers 4 is, without a doubt, the worst cinema experience I have ever had. Never, has 3 hours dragged on so long for me. Never have I seen a more boring, predictable, manipulative, mindless, seizure-inducing money-waster of a popcorn flick. Everything that is wrong with modern cinema is represented in this film. Watching all three hours of this movie, was TORTURE."— PhantomStrider
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a 2014 American science fiction action film based on the Transformers toy line. It is the fourth installment of the live-action Transformers film series and a sequel to 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, taking place five years after its events. Like its predecessors, it was directed by Michael Bay and written by Ehren Kruger, with Steven Spielberg and Bay as executive producers. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles, Bingbing Li, Titus Welliver, and T. J. Miller. The film had its world premiere in Hong Kong on June 19, with a live concert by Imagine Dragons, and was released on June 27, 2014, in IMAX and 3D by Paramount Pictures. The sequel, The Last Knight, was released in June 2017.
65 million years ago, an alien race known as the "Creators" used devices called Seeds to cover Planet Earth with an alloy that will one day be called "Transformium". In the present, five years after the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons that leveled Chicago, humanity thinks that all alien robots are a threat. So Harold Attinger, a CIA agent, establishes a unit whose sole purpose is to hunt down all of them. But it turns out that they are aided by another alien robot who is searching for Optimus Prime. Cade Yeager, a "robotics expert", buys an old truck and upon examining it, he thinks it's a Transformer. When he powers it up, he discovers it's Optimus Prime. Later, men from the unit show up looking for Optimus. He helps Yeager and his daughter Tessa escape but is pursued by the hunter. They escape and Yeager learns from the technology he took from the men that a technology magnate and defense contractor named Joshua Joyce is part of what's going on, so they go to find out what's going on.
- This film is a bit unnecessary, as the third film had a satisfying ending to the series to begin with; with Sam and Carly getting back together again, Megatron is dead and the Decepticons are now leaderless, and humanity accepts the Autobots for Earth to be they're new home.
- Speaking of which, Sam was not mentioned at all in this film once!
- But to be fair though, it was Shia LaBeouf's decision to leave the franchise. So it could be implied that his character was killed offscreen by Cemetery Wind.
- Speaking of which, Sam was not mentioned at all in this film once!
- Just like the previous two mediocre Transformers movies, the movie keeps having a lot of the same problems from those films: it's filled to the brim with awful and ridiculous humor, poorly written dialogue, racial stereotypes, annoying characters, shaky camera movements, unnecessary government-related scenes, lots of exposition and backstories, WAY too many explosions, and the Transformers themselves not having enough screen time, unlike the human characters.
- The acting for the human-characters is horrendous; especially for Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, TJ Miller and most of the other cast members as well.
- TJ Miller in particular, despite being a very funny actor, is probably one of the most annoying characters in the entire franchise. He doesn't give a good performance and constantly gives out bad dialogue.
- Nicola Peltz is so terrible that even CinemaSins (The guys who make jokes about movies, instead of seriously finding flaws) even stated that they felt their performance as Tessa in this film was either slightly better or worse than her performance as Katara in The Last Airbender (another movie distributed by Paramount Pictures).
- Speaking of Tessa, she's nothing more than a stereotypical Damsel in distress who needs saving and is constantly screaming.
- Also it was very inappropriate from Michael Bay or the movie's executives to turn her into a "model-looking hot chick" (like Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and have camera shots of her butt and legs despite the fact that she's just a young girl!
- There was also this uncomfortable scene when Shane was justifying his relationship with Tessa to Cade, despite him being a young adult while she was still in her late teens. Shane showed that he carries a laminated card with a description that authorizes his relationship with a 17-years-old girl, and such was not only creepy but unnecessary in a film about robots.
- The new Transformer designs in this movie are very overly-complicated to the point where it barely even looks like they can transform.
- This movie can't decide on whether it wants to be a reboot or a sequel. It does both, but fails miserably.
- it's not really creative at all as it follows the same structure of the previous films: The human characters are introduced, there's government conspiracy happening around the Transformers, the Autobots and Decepticons arrive looking for something, there's a big battle by the middle of the story, more government conspiracy, the characters think of giving up but they decide not to, the big final battle with lots of explosions and where the heroes win.
- The movie's runtime is way too long for a Transformers movie, with the runtime being 165 minutes (2 hours and 45 minutes) and practically nothing interesting going on in this movie.
- Just like the next film, this film focuses on establishing sequels rather than being a movie or a story.
- The movie recycles way too many plot elements and tropes.
- One of the worst examples can be the scene where the Autobots are battling on a huge spaceship in Chicago, making the whole battle feels like a rehash of Dark of the Moon.
- False advertising: The Dinobots were very advertised in trailers and poster as a major part of the movie. However, the Dinobots barely got the amount of screen time in the film as they only appear in the final act.
- The pacing is pretty slow which makes the movie boring. It doesn't help the fact that this film is almost 3 hours long.
- There are lots of padding that makes the whole movie feel longer than it actually is.
- The movie's opening gives the Transformers way too much backstory which completely ruins what made them mysterious. On top of that it barely affects the plot.
- Too many unnecessary slow-motion scenes especially the scenes where they use a car to punch a human soldier (Yes this really happened).
- It still overuses a lot of explosions (and destruction) since it was directed by Michael Bay.
- Much of the events are still really pointless with several plot-holes and a lot of unexplained details everywhere.
- Why is there an Arctic officer aimed Darcy for no reason?
- When they got away from their house as the whole house explodes, the house from the previous shots suddenly is back to normal. But how?
- How did the human characters manage to get through a fast-moving fan engine?
- How did Shane know that Tessa and her family are in danger at the beginning?
- Many of the action scenes tried so hard to be fun, and exciting, but most of the action scenes were generic, and mediocre throughout the movie.
- Michael Bay was so underworked that he didn't fix some errors in the movie, such as scenes going in the day, then night and then day again.
- Even the location of American buildings in Hong Kong aren’t fixed either.
- The sub-plot of Galvatron using the seed to destroy the planet feels pointless and feels like it only added to make Megatron (reborn as Galvatron in this movie) be a villain.
- It has numerous product placements everywhere across the film, especially for CNN, Oreo cookies, Goodyear, Victoria's Secret, Waste Management, etc. Some of these can be barely noticeable but others are extremely hard to not notice, such as the Pill from Beats. And of course, that unnecessary close up of Bud Light bottles.
- What's more, whether you liked My Little Pony or not, there is a very shoehorned and shameless Hasbro product placement with Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic that turns her into a gun. That kinds of makes sense since both Transformers and My Little Pony are both owned by Hasbro.
- When the film was being filmed in Hong Kong, extra cars could be seen behind the Aston Martin and McLaren artificial Decepticons and Stinger. This made fans believe that they were going to be new characters. But this ended up being false as they were rarely in the movie and didn't even transform. This begs the question, "Why were they even there if they weren't going to be used in the first place?!".
- The redesigns of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee look nothing like them at all from the previous three movies.
- The entire movie was made to pander to the Chinese government and Chinese people, as most of the product placement in the movie is related to Chinese companies and there's a scene where the Chinese government says the government will do anything to protect it´s people (yeah, as if).
- While Optimus Prime is not as violent as he was in the first two movies, his flanderization is still a problem in this movie as he's still overly dark.
- The CGI for the Transformers still is awesome.
- Unlike the other Transformers movies, this movie doesn't kill a bunch of known and beloved Decepticons, instead the Autobots kill a bunch of generics and the Re-introducing Megatron as Galvatron can please some fans (until he returns as Megatron again in the next film).
- Top-notch sound design, also just like the previous films.
- Not to mention, the Blu-ray (both the 2D and 3D releases) was the first to utilize Dolby Atmos audio.
- The cinematography isn't too bad, even in the IMAX 3D version.
- The change of characters and setting is kinda nice.
- The dark tone of humanity betraying the Autobots was brilliantly executed.
- This might also explain why most Autobots from DOTM are missing, as they might've been killed off-screen.
- Lockdown is a decent villain, instead of being Megatron's boss or someone who's trying to destroy the world like in other movies, he's a bounty hunter trying to capture Prime and stop anyone in his way.
- Ratchet's death is really emotional and sad with Optimus Prime being angry over his dead friends especially with Ratchet was kind of chilling.
- Mark Wahlberg is easily one of the best parts of the movie and he actually gets involved in the action.
- His character, Cade Yeager, is a more tolerable protagonist than Sam Witwicky, he's not deep or tragic but out of all the cast, he's the most likable.
- The movie shows you how a transformer can change from one car to another car.
- Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs are great new characters.
- The Transformers do almost get a lot of screen time, which still makes it feel like this is a Transformers movie.
- The short fight scene between Optimus Prime and Galvatron does look cool.
- Some of the dialogue is memorable:
- "You have no soul!"
- "That is why I have no fear! You die!!"
- "I was expecting a giant car!"
- Decent final battle at Hong Kong and the fight scenes are still cool, even if they're not as good as the previous films.
- The soundtrack that was performed by Steve Jablonsky and Imagine Dragons is absoloutely spectacular and is easily the best-selling point to this movie.
- Great voice acting for the Transformers, especially Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime, who adds a lot more human emotion into his performance this time and same goes for John Goodman as Hound as well as Mark Ryan as Lockdown.
- Despite sadly not appearing much in-film, Grimlock is an awesome and intimidating character who has single-handedly made the movie better every time he appeared, and his redesign is absolutely badass as well.
- Not to mention, it's upsetting that he and the other Dinobots didn't appear until the end of the film, as well as how he can no longer talk.
- Optimus Prime is a lot tolerable in this movie as he was in the first movie despite still being dark.
- The editing is decent, and is a little bit better than the next movie.
Transformers: Age of Extinction received negative reviews from critics for its excessive runtime, some performances, screenplay, and direction. Some praise was given for the editing. The film has an approval rating of 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 212 reviews, with an average rating of 3.96/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "With the fourth installment in Michael Bay's blockbuster Transformers franchise, nothing is in disguise: Fans of loud, effects-driven action will find satisfaction, and all others need not apply.". Metacritic scores the film a 32/100 based on 38 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
The film was a box office success, grossing over $1.104 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film of 2014, the second-highest-grossing film in the Transformers series, the 19th film to gross over $1 billion, and the 29th-highest-grossing film of all time. It was the sole film to gross over $1 billion in 2014.
Awards and Nominations
The film was nominated for seven Razzie Awards, only winning 2 for Michael Bay for "Worst Director", and for Kelsey Grammer for "Worst Supporting Actor (for this film and The Expendables 3, Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, Think Like a Man Too), while losing the rest of the five to Saving Christmas, Megan Fox for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), and Annie (2014).
- During the release of Ambulance, Michael Bay has revealed that he regretted making this film.