With a two hour and forty-five-minute runtime and having seen it in theatres just 12 weeks ago, screening the “Transformers: Age of Extinction” Bluray didn’t seem like such a good idea. About 30 seconds in, I forgot all about that worry. In fact, I could watch director Michael Bay’s four-quel again today … and I just might.
“Extinction” is aided greatly by a human cast reboot. Mark Wahlberg is no Shia LeBeouf, and I mean that as a robust compliment. Out with the pencil-necked man-boy geek and his buffoonish parents. In with Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) a proud Texan and single dad who knows his way around electronics and has no patience for a federal government infringing on his God-given American rights.
In the five years since “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” the country’s attitude towards the Transformers has soured. The Autobots, who fought by our side, are now seen at best as unnecessary, and at worst as every bit as dangerous as the Decepticons. With the help of intergalactic bounty hunter Lockdown, a black bag CIA outfit called Cemetery Wind is hunting down and killing giant robot friend and foe alike.
Although this is all being executed in the name of national security, the real agenda is to grind the Transformers up and use the material to create a private Transformer army. The brass ring is Optimus Prime, who ends up in Yeager’s barn. And so our story begins…
Thanks to just enough plot, “Extinction” succeeds at holding your interest in-between one incredible action sequence after another … for nearly 3 hours. Wahlberg’s likable presence helps enormously. The script also tosses out the sometimes awful and over-the top humor that frequently stopped the original trilogy in its tracks. Stanely Tucci’s powerful but insecure CEO, and T. J. Miller’s decidedly un-Texan Texan, are a huge improvements in the humor department.
The action is spectacular, especially once the setting lands in China. Thanks to a legitimate plot, there’s an actual point to all the mayhem, which is the difference between an exciting battle sequence and one that shrivels your soul.
You don’t need me to tell you how great “Extinction” looks and sounds on Bluray. And if you dig extras, there’s an entire disc devoted to three hours of them.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC