Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
viewed at 400 Theaters in Rogers Park on Sheridan
Director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg return with a 4th installment of the science fiction action film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, based on the 1980’s cartoon. “Transformers…more than meets the eye.” This quote started it all. With each film, Hasbro engages audiences in bold 3 dimensional approaches making these blockbuster films, multimillion dollar successes at the box office.
In the 3rd installment “Darkside of the Moon”, Shia LeBouf, and Tyrese Gibson came back to Chicago and solidified themselves as pivotal characters. We connected with their characters and followed them through the series. Screenwriter Ehren Kruger decided to take a new perspective. This time around Paramonut Pictures added sexy eye candy veteran Mark Wahlberg and Academy Award nominated Stanley Tucci into the mix. This is far from the “Lovely Bones” dramatic thriller that we saw from them a few years ago.
Now, things are all-together different. Five years later, after the war with the Decepticons, Autobots are hunted down and killed by the CIA with the help of leader Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer). Optimus Prime summons the last surviving Autobots. They must once again stop the destruction of their race and our save our world. Bumblebee, Ratchet, Leadfoot, and Brains vow to help Optimus in his quest, regardless of the dishonorable treatment by the humans. Optimus calls for the original Transformers called Dinobots to assist him in his pursuit. A handful of rebel humans with the lead of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) aid the effort in keeping the Autobots from being destroyed and assist with finding the seed (a nuclear cyber-bomb).
A corporation called KCI decides to make Autobots out of a new element called transformium. While using Megatron’s brain, this corporation creates Galvatron and Stinger. While trying to control these newly created Decpticons, KCI Corporation soon discovers that they cannot control Galvatron, who is Magatron reincarnate. Havoc strikes as an attempt to capture Optimus Prime unfolds killing several innocent civilians and destroying cities along the way.
Transformers demonstrates stunning twisting, side-winding graphics and explosive, non-stop action-packed battle sequences that leaves the audience on the edge of their seats. Although, it becomes a bit overwhelming during the second hour; the plot and dialogue becoming dry, predictable, and cliche at times. By the end, I was looking at my cell phone thinking…. the movie should be over by now. While not one of best Transformer films I ‘ve seen and also lacking in plot development there is one expectation that is met by the end of the film. Michael Bay promises to entertain, putting forth a best effort to stimulate, creating an awakening of the both the auditory and visual senses.
For the past few years, Chicago has become a backdrop for these Transformer films bringing revenue, jobs, and cinematic attention to this growing Mecca, we call home. I was honored and fortunate to accompany, a visiting foreign friend to see the film, in which I gladly pointed out the historical landmark relevancies to the movie. The place where I viewed the film was in a nearby, quaint, renovated Rogers Park movie theater called The 400 Theaters. Local moviegoers from the neighborhood include but are not limited to; students and employees of Loyola University.
Overall, I would give this film 2 and half stars.