Blu Ray/DVD Review: Transformers – Age of Extinction (USA, 2014)

Transformers-Age-of-Extinction-Grimlock

The home release of Michael Bay’s latest foray into the iconic Transformers franchise is here just in time for Christmas, and home release is as epic as the blockbuster itself, with a barrage of features to demystify the blockbuster blend of cutting edge visual effects and masterful production. The Iris’ Carina Nilma reviewed the film upon it’s cinematic release, arriving at the conclusion that it was an action film that improved upon Bay’s previous, often criticised installments, and that is more than enough to place this as one of the more entertaining home releases of the year. An excerpt of Carina’s film review for Transformers: Age of Extinction can be found below:

The characters are their usual one-dimensional stereotypical selves, but again, in films like this we don’t expect them to be profoundly interesting. Since we are meeting a whole new group of characters (aside from Optimus and perennial favourite Bumblebee) we’re given the extra screen time to establish the relationships – particularly that of Cade and Tessa’s. Tessa is the perfect depiction of what we imagine teenagers to be, and suffering the same issues as all teens do, such as wanting to go to college, spend time with her friends and have a relationship with a boy. Cade is overbearing and overprotective, infuriatingly so, considering that his daughter seems to have a better grip on adult notions like budgeting money than he does. There is a whole heap of their to-ing and fro-ing going on in the film and it makes for amusing moments but it also grows a little bland after a while. Frustratingly the character of Optimus Prime is the one who initially starts out interesting but once again fails to deliver. Considering that he begins the film as barely functional and requiring Cade’s assistance to survive, our normally supercharged superhero is on the back foot.

Further to this, his attitude changes once he realises that the human race he trusted and protected are now turning on him and his kind. Boldly stating “We swore to play by the rules …but now the rules have changed”. He even goes so far in saying that if he meets the human who killed his friends he will kill them, which is a big deal since Optimus always played by the “no killing” rule. But once again by the end of the film it’s all Optimus monologuing about the need to protect humans and their planet. I actually enjoyed the idea of Optimus becoming a real hard ass and deciding that humans needed an Autobot beat-down, or at the very least him being a little less trust-worthy so quickly and only helping those who helped him. I just don’t get it? For an advanced race they sure do seem a little backward. I do have to give an honourable nod to Kelsey Grammer’s portrayal of obsessive patriotic win-at-all-costs shady Government guy Harold Attinger, that was right on the money and I enjoy seeing a good actor not entirely wasted. Also John Goodman who does the voice for Hound, they even made his Autobot version on the portly side to resemble him a little, and he gets some of the best comedic lines.

But not everything is so bad, once again we can always rely on Michael Bay to deliver so many Baysplosions and fireballs and car chases and timed slow-mo scenes and aerial shots that we’re not left wanting for visual stimulus. Also we’re given a bevy of new vehicles to ogle over in their transformed states. A Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray, a Lamborghini Aventador, a Pagany Huayra and even a Bugatti Veyron. With so many fast cars on the bill we’re given some brilliant car chase sequences and speed scenes, that it’s basically a Top Gear fan’s wet dream. Lastly, Dinobots, it’s been a while coming but we finally get to see them, and they’re pretty damn badass. Their arrival in this film is a vast stretch from how they came to be in the original Transformers series, so that might enrage some of the true nerds who prefer a little more purity be kept. But to be honest, seeing Optimus Prime riding Grimlock the tyrannosaurus rex in the trailer alone got me excited for this film, and we get Slag the triceratops and Strafe the pteranodon thrown into the mix too and they basically bring some heavy firepower with them as they tear Hong Kong apart.

This film served its main purpose of having a whole bunch of robots beating up other robots and things exploding and cities being destroyed. Admittedly it could have been vastly improved with some heavy editing (at least half an hour’s worth) and a simpler plot. I enjoyed it more than its predecessor, but not as much as the original Transformers film, so it sits somewhere in the good but not great but at least it wasn’t god-awful zone.

Film Review Score: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Carina’s full review can be found HERE

Blu Ray Exclusive Content:

Bay on Action
Evolution Within Extinction
Just Another Giant Effin’ Movie
A Spark of Design
T.J. Miller: Farm Hippie
Trailers

Transformers: Age of Extinction is currently available on home release in all formats