Transformers: Age of Extinction 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
The fourth film in the Transformers franchise finds the series at a crossroads of sorts. The star of the first three films, Shia LaBeouf, called it quits and was done with the series. The lead actress of the first two films, Megan Fox, burned all off her bridges and the lead actress of the third film, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, was an all around embarrassment. But Michael Bay took a huge payday to return and somehow he managed to bring along A-lister Mark Wahlberg to help pump some life into the franchise. Wahlberg’s presence made virtually no impact as he somehow managed to not be the worst thing in the film. Instead, the film is riddled with various issues, most notably a completely unchecked Michael Bay.
We’re five years after the events in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON and the Transformers have basically disappeared. We pick up with Cade (Wahlberg), who stumbles upon the body of a camouflaged Optimus Prime, which thrusts Cade into the Autobots-Decepticon war, this time muddied with various humans and government operatives. The story feels like a one ton anvil on the backs of the audience as we constantly have to sift through various conflicts that take a long time to get going and then leave you with more questions than answers. I imagine someone told Michael Bay that the series needed some human interests and that’s why we get a terrible story involving Cade, his teenage daughter and her older boyfriend.
In some ways, it feels like the creative team is overly complicating the Transformers movies, but in other ways, it feels like they’re not complicated enough. The problem is that the script gets to weighed down with trivial scenes. It’s fine to establish Cade as an overprotective daughter, but we spent too much time with that trio and virtually every scene with them was groan-inducing. There were similar problems with the human villains that were out to kill Optimus Prime and all Transformers. It’s fine to have evil humans, but the world created in the fourth film was one where government agencies ran across the globe carrying out whatever evil agenda they wanted. It felt forced and out of place and when you combine that with the fact it took about hour to try and explain it, we were left with a lot of wasted screen time.
When Michael Bay finally does get going with the action scenes, it once again feels exhausting. There are stretches of CGI mayhem where I have no idea what’s going on and I found myself waiting for the scene to end so I can find out who won and what the damage was. It also feels like excessive violence and destruction for the sake of excessive violence and destruction, rarely impacting the plot or characters in any meaningful way.
It was clear with the third film that the Transformers series was coming to a close, at least in its current iteration. But Age of Extinction should have solidified that there’s no more blood to squeeze from this turnip, but instead that honor was given to The Last Knight. I love to defend Michael Bay, but he needs to quit the Transformers series and give it to someone else in a few years. Too many more of these clunkers and the series truly won’t be able to recover.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This marks my fifth and last 4K review of the transformers films and once again, we get another stellar transfer. These films look wonderful on 4K UHD and even casual fans of the series will be impressed with the improvements found in the video presentation. I think each film has used more and more CGI and each time, I’m impressed by how seamless and natural it looks on 4K. Sometimes 4K can make CGI look more fake than normal, but I’m happy to say that’s not the case in the Transformers films. Overall, these are great transfers and are very impressive.
Audio: And just like with the other films, the Dolby Atmos track sounds incredible.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no special features exclusive to the 4K, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film and you can read our review by clicking TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Blu-ray Review.