- US government appears to want all Transformers, regardless of faction, off Earth. One scene includes Ratchet being "torn to pieces" by black ops team lead by Titus Welliver's Savoy with help from Lockdown.
- Optimus Prime, almost killed during an ambush, is locked in truck mode until bought and repaired by Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg).
- Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) is not just behind the anti-TF team but also behind Stanley Tucci's characters attempt to re-create TFs. He does this using dead Transformers, including Megatron's body, as source material. However to build an army he needs "The Seed" that will terraform a portion of Earth into "Transformanium". (Yep I groaned here too).
- Movie prologue "explains" what actually killed the dinosaurs
- Verified that Stinger and Galvatron are human made Transformers.
ILM just keeps getting better and better at bringing the robot characters to life, and there are so many of them now that I'm blown away at just how photo-real they are. This is that same cutting edge that Bay has tried walk with each of these movies, and he demands so much of the visual effects team here that I'll happily overlook a few shots that simply don't work in terms of realism. This is a film that is overstuffed with amazing images, many of them incoherent on a narrative level, but so remarkable that I simply can't get upset about how weird the story is. Thanks to Daniel V. for the links.
Bay knows that he's selling a product here, and he sells it with all the slick that he can muster. It is no accident that Bay is a TV commercial maestro. He is very good at selling, and "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" will indeed gets it hooks in deep in its target audience, and toys will fly off shelves, and the series will rake in another mountain of money both domestically and abroad. What I'm really curious about is whether or not they're going to pick up the surprising story threads introduced in the film's final moments when they make the next movie, because it suggests a film that would be utterly unlike anything else in the series so far.
Whatever the case, "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" more than delivers on whatever promises Bay makes to an audience at this point. Giant robots. Giant mayhem. Destruction on a global scale. You know what you're in for if you buy a ticket, and Bay seems determined to wear you down with the biggest craziest "Transformers" movie yet.
The Hollywood Reporter
...the bloat of this latest entry — at 165 minutes, the longest of the lot — suggests that Michael Bay and his team are struggling to rejuvenate the whole premise. Sadly, Age of Extinction is neither controversial nor disturbing, but mostly just dull and middling — which is just so not done with a sci-fi action blockbuster designed to blast and titillate. It has neither the first film's sporadic comedic pleasures born of the interactions between its humans and robots, nor does it attain the hyper-sensationalism that makes the second and third installments utterly over-the-top showcases of gratuitous demolition.
Being the only character whose personality arc actually changes within the film, Tucci is given a wealth of opportunities to ham it up, just like John Turturro, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand have done before; his clownish antics while racing for survival in a Hong Kong tenement block are probably the highlight of the film. The clatter of metallic mano a mano remains Bay's calling card, while the robot dialogue (from the good guys, at that) includes lines like "Die, bitch!" or "This one's for you, A-hole!" as they cannonade their targets into, well, extinction.
Though basically superfluous, the last 40 minutes of the film should please the Chinese co-financiers, including the state-owned China Movie Channel, as well as the authorities. For a change, there are no Chinese villains and the one significant local character, Joyce's English-speaking deputy Su Yueming (Li Bingbing, Resident Evil: Retribution), is presented as a swish executive and a dexterous fighter who saves her American boss.
Belying its ominous title, Age of Extinction barely skirts the idea that humankind and planet Earth are about to be totally annihilated. What is extinguished is the audience's consciousness after being bombarded for nearly three hours with overwrought emotions, bad one-liners and battles that rarely rise above the banal. A trio of editors make a technical marvel out of the fight scenes, but can do little to link the story's multiple threads into something coherent.
...helmer Michael Bay continues to evolve ways to make robotic shape-shifting look increasingly seamless and realistic in 3D. Extensive location shooting in Hong Kong and China provides a colorful new battlefield...
The affectionate bickering among the nerdy but overprotective dad, his bossy bombshell daughter and her hot-headed b.f. feels like a warm-up act before the rock stars come onstage. That happens when, in classic Western fashion, Optimus Prime summons the surviving Autobots — Bumblebee, Ratchet (Robert Foxworth), Hound (John Goodman), Drift (Ken Watanabe), Crosshairs (John DiMaggio), and later, Brains (Reno Wilson) — to form his own Magnificent Seven.
Optimus Prime’s charismatic leadership of his team, as well as his unwavering compassion for the humans, again makes him the movie’s moral anchor. Drift, with his samurai getup and Watanabe’s dignified line readings, strikes a neat balance with Goodman’s cigar-chewing, wisecracking Hound. Still, the character most likely to be beloved by audiences, especially tykes, remains Bumblebee, whose mischievous personality brings much-needed comic relief.
That visual overkill extends to even the shorter scenes of individual bot-to-bot combat, and several haphazardly staged car chases appear to have been inserted to satisfy the auto lovers in the audience. The aggressive sensory assault is borne out by the breakneck editing of William Goldenberg, Roger Barton and Paul Rubell, and also by the score by Bay’s regular composer, Steve Jablonsky, which achieves a thundering majesty whenever the Autobots make a dramatic entrance, but is otherwise drowned out by the din of the Dolby Atmos sound mix.