Raced over to see Transformers ~ Age of Extinction tonight as I was very curious to see how they were going to work Mark Wahlberg into the story, following on from Shia LaBeouf's departure. What I was not expecting was for the movie to be so long. Including advertising, I was in the cinema for three and a half hours.
Mark Wahlberg as always, plays the action hero well and there is no continuation from Shia's character. It is still all about the main characters, the Autobots and the Decepticons and the war between them that continues in a whole new Transformers movie. Good move from the director Michael Bey.
Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and the Dinobot leader, Grimlock 2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved
I can tell you straight away that I loved the visual effects and the camera work. Some scenes were stunning in its composition. However, I did miss the charm of the story involving a young lad just welcoming manhood, interacting with the robotic Transformers. That's not to say Mark Wahlberg did not fit into his character, however he's a father, seasoned and mature. There is no sense of awe or wonder from him in discovering Optimus Prime, and that's the interaction I loved watching, which Shia portrayed so well.
Optimus Prime in the guise of an old truck, damaged and not fully operational. 2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved
Cade Yeager is a single dad, living with his daughter Tessa in a house he is being evicted from, for being behind in the rent. He's a sort of backyard inventor who spends a lot of time tinkering with his inventions, forcing his daughter to become the adult and take care of him. Little does he know he was going to be embroiled in a three-way conflict between the CIA, the Transformers and a business tycoon, when he buys an old run down damaged truck from one of his employers.
Kelsey Grammer as Harold Attinger the CIA boss who believes there is only US and THEM 2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved
Earth has moved on four years after surviving the invasion of the Autobots and the Decepticons, and the war between them that killed thousands of people. Humans have washed their hands off the remaining Autobots and are hunting them down.
This is evident via signage on the roadside reminding humans of the invasion in Chicago and to call the government if ever they come upon an Autobot. Humans have now learned to create their own Transformers by deriving their knowledge of alien technology from a severed Transformer head that holds data. With the the help of 'Lockdown'; of human creation and one of an army of Transformers, they hunt the Autobots down.
The three-way conflict is realised when Cade discovers the old truck he bought is actually a very damaged Optimus Prime and CIA Operatives under the command of their boss, Harold Attinger, hunt him down to capture Optimus Prime for extinction.
Cade must now infiltrate the CIA to find out who is involved and what their true agenda is, so he can get his life back. Otherwise, there will be no peace for him and his daughter. On top of that he has to deal with finding out his daughter has a boyfriend who is a professional driver and becomes an asset in Cade's quest to get to the bottom of things. There is also the matter of the 'seed' he has to keep away from the Decepticons.
Tessa raised tough by her backyard inventor dad Cade 2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved
Joshua Joyce, the business man who owns a technology firm (Kinetic Sciences Institute) and works hand in hand with the CIA, manufacturing the updated Transformers, is caught up in his own importance, forgetting his conscience and blind to the impact his creations will have on a global scale and what it means for the human race.
Keeping the SEED safe and out of the hands of the Decepticons 2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved
I found the film un-necessarily long and thought they could have done without the whole Beijing section of the movie. The meeting between Optimus Prime and the Dinobot felt like it fell short of becoming more than it was. The Dinobot could have been given a bit more character than just being a piece of machinery that becomes a dinosaur. For me, the injection of many scenes that tried to add to the storyline did not reach full potential in its execution and could have been left out.
2014 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved
All in all, it is a watchable movie, but does not have the 'oompf' I was looking for. I give it six out of ten. However as I mentioned in the beginning, I thought the camera work was amazing and some of the scenes breathtaking. I also enjoyed and remain in awe of the technology and creativity behind the Transformers.
If not for the storyline, the dialogue or the acting, I would still have checked out the movie for the camera work and breathtaking scenes alone, and to watch two particular characters. Titus Welliver who plays a mesmerising CIA operative, and the always great actor Stanley Tucci, who plays the business tycoon Joshua.