Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The film opens with our heroic Autobots in hiding or destroyed along with many of the Decepticons. Five years have passed since the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons that nearly turned Chicago into a pile of rubble. Many of the leaders in the U.S. Government still see the Transformers as a threat and fear that one day they will try to conquer Earth. While the government is trying to come up with a way to get rid of the transforming living robots, a technically savvy and brilliant, yet opportunistic business man looks for a way to duplicate the robots abilities for his own purposes.
Slow start because so much of the story has to be setup to explain how the AutoBots had to go into hiding. And this whole CIA in bed with a private corporation – both of which operate with complete autonomy might sound real to the world-conspiracy folks. However, having a CIA Black Operations director that is a psychopath disguised as a patriot and does not answer to the White House Chief of Staff or the President is requires the viewer to lower their IQ several points. Then we have the high-tech business owner with maniacal tendencies and visions of creating and controlling the very substance that allows the Autobots (heroes) and their nemesis, Decepticons to change shapes at will. He starts out as a bad guy who sees the light of goodness by the end of the story. Now for the real winner, a squirrely United States Chief of Staff that is intimidated by both the CIA Black Ops Director and the Business Owner.
Kelsey Grammer plays Harold Attinger, a Black Operations CIA Director, who establishes “kill team” with the ability to hunt down and destroy any Transformer, good guy or bad guy. But he can’t so it with human power alone, he makes a deal with an alien robot bounty hunter to help him hunt down and destroy whatever they find. Then the robot remains are taken back to the business owner played by Stanley Tucci. The big catch that they are hunting for is Optimus Prime, now a beat-up half dead truck bought as salvage by Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg plays Cade Yeager. Seeing Mark as the father to a teenager is almost funny because he still looks like an overgrown kid himself. Yet, that is fitting to his character in this plot. He’s an inventor that is financially broke living on a farm he can no longer afford, creating robotic inventions that no one will buy; hoping that someday he’ll create that one big money maker invention that will change life for him and his family.
Mark’s character buys an old truck and after getting it home and poking around a bit, he realizes that it's a Transformer. When he applies power to the truck, Optimus Prime awakens as he’d been in a coma with his last memories being those of battle. Mark’s partner in business hears of a reward for turning in a Transformer, so without Wahlberg’s permission his partner calls and reports the find. He thinks he’s going to get rich, but his reward is not at all what he hoped for. Of course Mark is not happy with his partner by this point.
When men from the CIA kill squad, led by agent Savoy, show up looking for Optimus, Yeager tries to lie and keep Optimus secret. The ruthlessness of the CIA team becomes quite clear from this point of the story through the end of the movie. Fortunately, Optimus decides to pop out of his hiding place and protect the Yeager family. This is where the kill squad learns that this is one alien that won’t fall down easily.
Titus Welliver plays CIA Kill Team Leader James Savoy. He may be a bad guy in this film, but he plays it really cool; and I’m not referring to the temperature. His character and performance is one of the positive elements of the film. He’s convincing and will get you to wince in your seat a little.
Nicola Peltz is adequet to the role of Wahlberg’s 17 year old daughter (especially since she is only 19 years old in real life).
Jack Reynor plays the boyfriend of Nicola. At first he seems like he’s going to be our typical young hero with a big moment in the film where we see him save the day – NOT so. I’ll leave it at that; it’s this actor’s only real moment in the film and I don’t to kill that experience for you.
Optimus Prime and his new friends begin their adventure to rebuild the old Gang in order to stop the bad guys, defeat the curious and mysterious alien bounty hunter and save the word – again. Something that it does not hurt to keep in mind is that this bounty hunter’s backstory and where he’s from is never revealed in this film. Instead, we are given just enough information to keep us itching for the next sequel to the Transformer franchise.
Top Aspects of the Film
- Special effects are a must in any Transformer film and the creators of this movie deliver. The visual aspects are just as good as the past films.
- The scene when the Kill Squad arrives at Wahlberg’s farm to hunt for Optimus: the interaction and intensity of the acting between the characters with the threat to the daughter are convincing.
- One of the best scenes comes late in the move when we watch a knock down drag out fight between Wahlberg’s character and Welliver’s character.
- The Dinobots, although not necessary to the story, are a nice addition to the action and visual excitement of the movie.
Although, the characters played by Thomas Lennon (as the White House Chief of Staff) and Kelsey Grammer are very grating and unbelievable, that’s about the worst of it. Other than that, this is a good movie and worth your time, especially if you are a science fiction fan and a Transformer fan; just be patient as the movie develops. Some of the bad points that the movie opens with are cleaned up a bit by the end of the film, leaving us ready for the next installment of the Transformer series. As I said, Mark Wahlberg’s character is not the usual protagonist, but he keeps a little humor going while playing the reluctant hero. He may start out slow but he finishes with a bang, I mean punch and kick.