There are more subplots to “Transformers 4” than there are submenus on the latest smart phone; and so I will stick to the main plots or else this will be a very long review.

Because of what happened in the previous movie, all Transformers (the good Autobots as well as the evil Decepticons) are hunted down by the U.S. government.   But it’s not as black and white as keeping humans safe.   The government has a secret reason for hunting and destroying the alien robots: to use them as spare parts and for experimentation.   Corporations have partnered with government agencies to reverse-engineer the Transformers in order to gain knowledge of their technology, and ultimately be able to build their own Transformers.

Not wanting to go the way of most Native American nations, the few surviving Transformers hide from the humans.   Enter Mark Wahlberg, who plays a mechanic/failed robot inventor.  Spotting a wrecked truck, he buys it for salvage, and soon finds out that it is the badly damaged body of Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots.  Wahlberg fixes Prime so that he is at least functional — and just in time, too, as the government’s eyes and ears are always watching and listening; and the goon squad arrives at Wahlberg’s house to collect Prime, by any means necessary, including threatening to put a bullet in Wahlberg’s daughter, played by Nicola Peltz.

Wahlberg, Peltz, and Prime are now on the run, seeking help from the Autobots that are still alive.  They’ll need all the help they can get, because it’s not just humans that are after them, there are government-created transformers that are activated to destroy the Autobots; and there is an alien race that have come to collect and punish the Transformers whom they implied were created by the alien race.

One of my memorable, movie moments of “T4” is the scene that shows us the first appearance of the Dinobots.  Dinobots!  Remember them?  If so, then you’re at least as old as I am.  Oh, the memories of watching the “Transformers” cartoons after coming home from school.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the scene when Bumblebee (taking the guise of an old Camaro) is in the corporate headquarters of where Transformers are secretly being built.   Bumblebee’s driver looks at a mock-up of a corporate made Transformer, and mentions how good they look compared to the real thing.  Oops.  This guy obviously doesn’t know the Transformer he’s in is sensitive to remarks about the way he looks.  Bumblebee punishes the driver by shoving his steering wheel into his body.  Serves him right!

I’ve seen all the Transformers movies, and “T4” would rank last among the four.   That’s not to say it’s a bad movie.  I like “T4,” it’s just my least favorite of the four.   Typical of the other 3 movies, you have large, action sequences, humor, heart, great special effects, and a long running time.  It’s about 165 minutes, and I really felt it.   That’s a sign that something is not working right with the movie.  For example, one of the characters  —  who plays Peltz’s boyfriend — was not engaging.  His character needed more work to get the audience to care about him and root for him.  Then you have Wahlberg’s constant whining about how he just found out his daughter has a boyfriend, and the endless warnings to him about keeping his hands off his kid.  That got annoying very quickly.  But most of the problems of this movie is that some of the action sequences were too long.   It felt like a song that is overdone: you know, when a singer takes 10 seconds to sing one word, trying to show off her range and power.

Bottom line, if you enjoyed the previous Transformers movies, you should watch this one.  It’s not the best, but it’s still a good movie…better if you watch it at home so you can pause it and go to the bathroom and get snacks — you’ll need to do those things with a near 3 hour movie that drags sometimes.

I happen to have watched it at the drive-in, and that in and of itself makes “Transformers: Age of Extinction” more appealing.

— M

My friends and I at the drive-in theater to see "Transformers: Age of Extinction."

My friends and I at the drive-in theater to see “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

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