Saw this last night with an amazing group of people which if you can, I always highly recommend. It always adds to the movie going experience. I also recommend the 3D as Michael Bay and company were clearly catering to the 3D experience in several shots in this one. Lots of sparks and ash.
Premise wise Age Of Extinction takes place exactly 5 years after the events in Chicago where the city was toaster-caked by Megatron and Shockwave along with the help of Sentinel Prime. So naturally the humans get the tech they need from all the wreckage and have hunted down and killed all the Autobots and Decepticons they could find. This is the perfect split and a superb explanation for why Sam and the rest of the group (NEST) is no longer around and Bumblebee is no longer guarding Sam and Carly (see Dark Of The Moon). Now the humans have taken the alien tech and started making their own versions of the Autobots only with no “spark” or “soul”. This turns out to be a HUGE mistake and quite frankly the twist is just freakin brilliant.
Unlike previous installments the human element is taken UP a notch. Notice I said UP. That’s right, the first 50 minutes or so of this movie are all laying the human back story, and we have some excellently played characters refreshingly well done. If you are a fan of Chinese actresses at all it is impossible to not notice that Bingbing Li is in this thing and she is given some lines and action sequences that do her some real justice. If you don’t recognize the name, she was the evil white haired witch in THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM but she also took center stage in RESIDENT EVIL : RETRIBUTION. Not enough for you well how about Kelsey Grammer as a convincing villain or maybe you were one of the few that wondered what happens when you take time with a bad child actress and allow her to grow in her profession to wind up with a much more well rounded Nicola Peltz (look her up – she was in a movie that if I type it out, my computer might explode). The middle stanza and the final battle were as epic as they have ever been and we do get dinobots (and more than what is indicated in the previews).
The conflicts : Well for diehards of the original cartoon I can tell you this film does take a few departures from the cartoon movie. 1) Galvatron’s origin is different but to be honest completely fine with me. 2) The dinobots origin is different and not extremely well developed, but most fans will figure it out. I also think this was the only option the script gave itself after certain events in the film. In the original cartoon you may recall Wheeljack made the Dinobots. Wheeljack also saves Optimus like 20 times in the original series. 3) We also have the issue of Galvatron’s army…they are not quite the same as you will remember. In this movie the Decepticons and the films other main villain are pretty much unknowns which I do hope they fix in the 5th installment.
The achievements : This is perhaps the best film to film connecting I have seen in quite some time ,especially when you are purposely splitting the events of each film by 5 years. The acting is a VAST improvement, the action is taken to unbelievable levels and we even get some wicked car chases that are so much fun it’s almost impossible not to enjoy them.
The critics: I know I know — the critics you have read don’t like this movie and they could not be MORE wrong. This thing is just fantastic and you can not act like you didn’t know what you were walking into. Robots and explosions. I am going to say right now this movie gets a 6 out of 7 for me only because I wish we’d seen Bay play the storyline of Galvatron a bit more close to the best but even that wasn’t a huge deal. If you hate Michael Bay you know you have already been coined as a true hater or BAYTER in this case. Everyone has their own opinion but some critics unfairly have become so good at being BAYTER’s that we can now confidently categorize them as MASTERBAYTERS. My advice, sit down and enjoy the ride. This movie is outstanding. I also challenge you to sit once again through the first 2 seasons of the original animated Transformers series. You will quickly discover that although Bay has had his missteps, he is NOT raping your childhood he rescuing it. You just don’t remember your childhood all that well ie Powerglide almost marries a human girl, Starscream goes into a different dimension and winds up running into a warlock, and don’t forget the frog creatures from Atlantis (all actual Transformer episodes).
6 out of 7. Rating Definition – A SPECTACULAR MARVEL OF AWESOMENESS THAT MAKES CUTE CAT VIDEOS LOOK LIKE THE HUGEST WASTE OF YOUR TIME IN HISTORY. This is the movie that you will try and walk by at the store and not be able to. You will buy it forgetting you already have it. Then one day a friend will come to your house. They will tell you how much they love this movie and you won’t even tell them you have 2 in your collection. Because you can’t give it up. You have to have 2.