Transformers: Age of Extinction
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 are pursued by the hunter. They escape and Yeager learns from 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 feels very unnecessary as the previous film felt like a satisfying ending to the series despite that latter of the franchise being mediocre.
- Just like the previous two terrible 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, unnecesary goverment-related scenes, lots of exposition and backstories, WAY too many explosions, and the Transformers themselves not having enough screentime unlike the human characters. CinemaSins (The guys who make jokes about movies, instead of seriously finding flaws) even stated that they felt Nicola Peltz's performance as Tessa in this film was worse than her performance as Katara in The Last Airbender.
- Speaking of Tessa, she's nothing more than a stereotypical Damsel in distress who needs saving and is constantly screaming.
- Also it's was very inappropriate from Michael Bay or the movie's executives to make her look like 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 authorises his relationship with a 17-years-old girl, which was not only creepy but unnecessary in a film about robots.
- This movie is not really creative at all as it follows the same estructure of the previous films: the human characters are introduced, there's goverment 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 goverment 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 acting from the human characters is horrendous, especially for Stanley Tucci and TJ Miller and most of the other casts 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 gives a terrible performance, and constantly gives out bad dialogue.
- The movie's length/runtime is way too long for a Transformers film, with the runtime is 165 minutes (2 hours and 45 minutes), with practically nothing going on in this movie.
- The 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 is the scene where the Autobots got on a battle on a huge spaceship in Chicago, making the whole battle feels like a rehash to 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 get the amount of screen time in the film and they only appear in the final act.
- The pacing is very slow which makes the movie boring. It doesn't help the fact that this film is almost 3 hours long.
- 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 which makes it look like a Zack Snyder film, 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.
- Plot-holes, and a lot of unexplained details, everywhere.
- Why 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 is suddenly back to normal.
- How did the human characters manage to get through a fast-moving fan engine?
- 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 lazy that he didn't fix some errors in the movie, such as scenes going in the day, then night, and then day again, and the location of American buildings in Hong Kong.
- 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 product placement from Hasbro that Rainbow Dash appears from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as it turns Rainbow Dash into a gun.
- When the film was being filmed in Hong Kong, extra cars could be seen behind Galvatron 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 entire movie was made to pander to the Chinese government and Chinese people, as most product placement in the movie are Chinese and there's a scene where the Chinese government says the government will do anything to protect its people.
- The CGI is still great, much like the previous films.
- Top-notch sound design, also just like the previous films. 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 trying to destroy the world, he's a bounty hunter trying to capture Prime and stop anyone in his way.
- Ratchet's death was really sad.
- Mark Wahlberg is easily one of the best parts of the movie who actually gets involved in the action. His character: Cade Yeager is a tolerable protagonist, he's not deep or tragic but out of all the cast, he's the most likeable.
- Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs are great new characters.
- Just like Dark of the Moon, the Transformers do almost get a lot of screen time, which still makes it feel like this is a Transformers movie.
- Decent final battle at Hong Kong.
- We get a good look at how Transformers change from one car to another.
- Optimus Prime being angry over his dead friends was kind of chilling.
- The fighting 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 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.
- Decent editing.
- Hound's "fat ballerina" line is hilarious.
- Re-introducing Megatron as Galvatron can please some fans (at least until he returns as Megatron again in the next film).
Transformers: Age of Extinction received negative reviews from critics, audience, and fans of the series for its runtime, 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 Expandalbes 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)