The new flick opens with the mass extinction of a species, the dinosaur. The film flash forwards billions of years and evidence of a unique dinosaur is found in the Arctic circle. DNA is taken from dinosaur bones and is used for nefarious means by a government agent Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer, in a chilling performance) and corporate entrepreneur Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci, in a goofy performance).
Meet entrepreneur Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a widowed father of high school senior Tessa (Nicola Peltz) who lives on a farm facing foreclosure in Texas. Cade converts trash into working Rube Goldberg machines. After tinkering with a beaten up old truck, Cade learns that the truck is really a Transformer. In fact, the beaten down truck is the alpha male Transformer Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen).
Since the last movie (Revenge of the Fallen), many heroic Transformers have become outlaws. Despite defeating the evil Decepticons, the heroic Autobots are treated with extreme prejudice for turning Chicago into a battlefield. Harold Attinger takes advantage of this situation by making a deal with the devil.
Transformers: Age of Extinction has many likeable moments and Easter Eggs for cinema academics. The Optimus Prime truck is found in an abandoned movie theater, which features posters of John Wayne classics. The Science Fiction elements acknowledge Michael Crichton, Arthur C. Clarke and H.P. Lovecraft. This film deserves its success for providing detail beyond the surface of battling giant robots on the big screen.
For those who want to continue the alternative universe experience, Irving Santiago will present UltraCon of South Florida next weekend (July 19-20) at the Broward Convention Center. Fans of Transformers, Star Wars and comic books will want to attend this fan-friendly convention.