Transformers Age of  Extinction movie poster. Extinction? Not!

We all thought the Transformers franchise would become extinct after the dismal last two installments. The thought of another film seemed depressing. But if anything, Transformers: Age of Extinction resurrects the story and the characters; bringing it to new cinematic heights. Bottom line: this is one action packed thrill ride. Gone are the familiar faces of the first three films (LaBeouf included) but remaining at the helm is Director Michael Bay; along with his nifty new IMAX video camera. What he does with that thing is create one of the most incredible looking, larger than life, gigantean robot films ever.

The storyline is solid plus the balance of wit, humor, and action are well knit. In this one a self-proclaimed inventor (Mark Wahlberg) in a small Texas town is trying to get a handle on being a single father of a teenaged girl (Nicola Peltz) and trying to get enough work to not lose the family home. When they get entangled with the Autobots and a corrupt CIA leader (Kelsey Grammer) they may end up losing their lives. The Autobots are on the run and trying to survive while a brilliant corporate mogul (Stanley Tucci) is creating his own brand of Transformers. It all clashes in one heck of an action fueled showdown.

The father daughter dynamic is fun in this one and Wahlberg is great as the overbearing yet loving dad who really has no clue what to do. When he discovers his daughter has been secretly dating a young man (Jack Reynor) behind his back he has that to deal with along with everything else. The three survive one event after another with Reynor and Wahlberg verbally sparring the whole time. This adds a balance to the constant explosions and "run for your life" moments. It is also sort of sweet to watch the two guys try to one up each other in the "who will be a hero" department.

This film must be seen on the largest IMAX screen you can find. You will literally feel like you are submerged in the chaos. Bay is an expert (this time anyway) at capturing each action moment in such detail and clarity. You will wish you could pause each frame just to study all that is in it. Often he will slow motion a moment and your jaw will drop trying to figure out how he got that shot. The sights and sounds in this one are easily the best you will see this summer.

The action is full bore from beginning to end. It is long at nearly three hours and you may get a bit worn out. But there is certainly no dull moments. The fight scenes, car chases, and ultra-explosions are exactly what you would expect Bay to bring. Yet they all feel perfectly choreographed. What he does to major cities would make Godzilla shake his head in wonder.

Transformers: Age of Extinction is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language and brief innuendo. The main thing that parents may be discouraged by is the foul (and unnecessary) language. There are expletives (though most mild) from start to finish. It is a little sad that the Transformers curse. As an evolved species it sort of dumbs them down. The violence is never bloody and as always the bad guys can never seem to hit the good guys when shooting. Of course Bay has to get in his long sweeping shots of leggy blondes. I give it 4 out of 5 mother boards. Without the language it would probably be a perfect 5. Certainly this one launches the franchise to the top of the blockbuster mountain. A perfect film to grab a large popcorn and enjoy a few hours of escape.


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