– by Linda Tran
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Kelsey Grammer, Stanly Tucci and Li Bingbing.
Voices: Peter Cullen, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, John DiMaggio, Mark Ryan, Frank Welker and Reno Wilson.
Set in the years following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, this installment shows the consequences both Autobots and Decepticons have to live with after destroying Chicago and inadvertently killing innocent human lives during the Dark Of The Moon battle. This is a time where all Transformers, whether Autobot or Decepticon, are being hunted and civilians are encouraged to report any sightings or pass on information for a large cash reward. However Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a single father who spends his time inventing and fixing trinkets, discovers that a rusting truck he had planned to strip down for parts is actually a Transformer on the run. Following this discovery, he and his family join the Autobots in their plight to find out what really happens to Transformers after they are captured. All the while, battling with an ancient and powerful Transformer menace who has his sights set on Optimus Prime.
Listening around the cinema before the film started, I heard some concerns about “the new set of humans” and how they might not match up to Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox or Josh Duhamel. Nevertheless Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and Jack Reynor truly step up and prove their worthiness to be in a Transformers film. Personally, I find this group of humans more likeable and believable than the previous ones (no disrespect to LaBeouf’s group intended). Wahlberg’s character, Cade, is a protective father who is driven to provide for his daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz). So when government officials or other Transformers threaten the life of Tessa, it seems credible that her father’s concern would kick in and he would do anything to make sure she’s safe (as seen in Taken with Liam Neeson).
It is refreshing to see new faces, but even more refreshing that Michael Bay cut back on overcasting ‘comedy relief’ characters. I found that in previous Transformers, there were way too many characters trying to make you laugh that it became more cringe-worthy than funny (such as Mr and Mrs Witwicky or Simmons). However in this installment, the comedic lines were kept to an appropriate number of characters and weren’t insultingly consistent throughout the movie.
Michael Bay is infamous for his overuse of explosions at every chance possible, and this film is no exception. So whether you’re a fan of this or not, don’t say you weren’t warned. The only problem I personally had with the action scenes was that this film was set up in the premise that humans were not happy with the destruction of Chicago (from Transformers: Dark Of The Moon). Yet by the end of this film, when half of Hong Kong is destroyed from not only an Autobot vs Decepticon battle, but also a human vs human battle and Optimus Prime vs Lockdown battle, the humans just seem fine with it.
This is a sequel to the previous Transformers, but it can also stand alone in its own right. If there are more sequels to come, it will follow Age Of Extinction’s storyline, whilst completely forgetting (or ignoring) the Witwicky family. As always, the ending was left open enough to continue the Autobot vs Decepticon clash for future storylines. There have been mixed reviews on this installment, and as you can see, I am on the side of “it’s better than the previous ones.” So to find out which side you’re on, grab your friends (whether they are Team Autobot or Team Decepticon) and go see this film!