Update: June 24, 2014 Dragonlord's Review of TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Bottom Line: Not only is Transformers: Age of Extinction the worst film in the franchise but unbelievably makes you almost wish for the Shia LaBeouf good old days. Four years have passed since the events of Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the few remaining Autobots are now hiding after being hunted and destroyed one by one by a shadow government agency. Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg), a single father and struggling inventor, stumbles upon an injured Optimus Prime and helps him recuperate. They soon uncover a collusion between the human government and Decepticon, as well as learning a scientist (Stanley Tucci) has discovered the secret of creating man-made Transformers. If they stuck with this premise, reduce the Decepticon bounty hunter storyline and drop the tedious Hong Kong third act, then Age of Extinction would have ended up being decent. Unfortunately, they overplayed their hand and the result is an obnoxious, noisy, convoluted mess. Wahlberg is a slight improvement over Shia LaBeouf as the new lead but his character is conveniently written. He goes from simple townsfolk inventor to orchestrating a complicated caper to bust in a tight security research facility to blasting Decepticons left and right as well going mano-a-mano with a highly-trained special forces. There's something slightly disturbing how Michael Bay transforms Nicola Peltz from the little girl in The Last Airbender to a full-blown hottie wearing slutty attire. What's even more disturbing is they devoted a whole scene where they try to rationalize her underage character is having sex with a much older man. Peltz's pretty much useless most of the time, either frozen in shock or waiting for somebody to rescue her. Jack Reynor as her boyfriend was bland and their romance subplot was equally flat. The mistake was making them a couple already instead of developing their love story in the middle of the adventure. One of the few consolations is that the lame juvenile humor Bay has instilled in his previous Transformers films have been substantially toned down in here. The cringeworthy moments do resurface during later as Tucci's character becomes more unhinged and delivers some embarrassing attempts at comedy. Some of the dialogue is absolutely horrible. Even Optimus Prime is acting out of character, delivering atrocious line, yelling a dreadful "kill them all!" at one point during the climax. Out of all the major human characters, Kelsey Grammer and Titus Welliver, both playing the bad guys, are the only two that do their jobs well. The special effects as expected are outstanding. Say what you will about the first three Transformers films but one thing they did exceptionally well was staged some exciting and stirring action moments. Age of Extinction's script is just shoddily written and lacks focus that the action scenes just feel empty and exhausting. By the time third act comes, I was already suffering from action fatigue. The Dinobots are cool initially but the novelty wears off since they weren't given any personalities and just appear briefly. The Autobots at least are designed well, giving each of them a distinct look while Galvatron, the new Megatron, is just horribly and blandly put together. The new Decepticons also have a new crappy pixelated method of transforming which gives off a cheap vibe and robs audience of the fun of watching a proper lucid conversion. With a confounding running time of 165 minutes, Bay unabashedly sold the last third of the movie to China, devoting unnecessary scenes pandering to the Chinese market. They even transformed Li Bingbing from an unimportant minor character to a kickass fighting heroine in the Hong Kong scenes. These tactics don't normally bother me but the product placement in here was so blatant and tachy. They also rehashed the illogical strategy of giving a human the mcguffin everyone is after instead of giving it to an Autobot for safekeeping. If you're planning on seeing a fun, superb sci-fi action blockbuster this summer, skip Transformers: Age of Extinction and go watch the sensational Edge of Tomorrow instead. Rating: 3/10 More musings and thoughts (spoilers): It always kinda bothered me that the Transformers can easily scan an object or vehicle and instantly copy it. If that's the case, the Autobots should just scan a lot of flying vehicles and put it in their file so that they can just transform into a jet plane later on if they're being chased by the bad guys. In the end, Optimus Prime leaves Earth to confront his creators using internal rocket boots and jet pack. If he had this option, why couldn't he just have used this mode of transportation earlier instead of running away from the bad guys in his truck form.