BANGALORE: "Transformers: Age of Extinction"; Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles, Li Bingbing ; Director: Michael Bay; Rating: ***
"Transformers: Age of Extinction" is a blockbuster man versus aliens spectacle that deals with loyalty and honour, where "human freedom is at stake and innocent people die all the time".
The film is propelled with fuzzy logic that involves humans and two sets of giant shape-shifting mechanical creatures -- the Autobots and the Decepticons -- and it definitely evokes mixed reactions. Confusing for those uninitiated into "The Transformer" series, it proves to be an average yet exciting epic fare for others.
The narration begins with the prelude that cannot be differentiated from the main story and reveals that millions of years ago, when the dinosaurs roamed on land, an intergalactic alien invasion caused a near extinction with their superior ammunition that turned living organisms into "Transformium" - "a metal that makes Transformers".
The film then zooms into present day and takes off, years after the "Battle of Chicago" from its 2011 release - "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," in which the Decepticons were defeated by the human-robot alliance.
Optimus (voiced by Peter Cullen), the leader of the Autobots and his colleagues have been shunned by those in power for being a threat to humanity. Threatened, they go into hiding.
The U.S. government is hell bent on taking them off the planet for good and is assisted by the Central Intelligence Agency black ops team.
Meanwhile, KSI - a research group that hopes to build a "better Transformer" led by CEO Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci), finds a metallic dinosaur fossil in the Artic that could "change history". He collaborates with Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer), the man behind the black ops team, with an ulterior motive.
On the other hand, an ingenious inventor and scrap dealer Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) finds Optimus Prime, who is trapped in a truck mode, damaged almost beyond recognition. It's only after he does some work on the core unit of the truck, which stimulates it back to action, that he realises what he's found.
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