Robotic heroes in Transformers franchise are starting to creak

Transformers: Age of Extinction is an adventure 65 million years in the making – and one that feels almost that long to watch.

I’m sure that the shady aliens referred to only as the ‘Creators’ had little idea just what they were unleashing when they used special ‘Seeds’ to alter Earth with their transformable metal.

The epic Battle of Chicago (detailed in Transformers: Dark of the Moon) saw the heroic Autobots led by Optimus Prme fighting to save us from the evil Decepticons.

Now the transformers of all shapes and sizes are in hiding – being hunted by the government having been deemed a threat to the planet. One day plucky inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) obtains an old truck to strip it for parts, but it’s not just any old truck. It’s actually Optimus Prime!

Cade repairs the boss Autobot but unwittingly ends up becoming a target for a shady government kill team backed up by a terminator-like Transformer bounty hunter called Lockdown. The few remaining Autobots, namely Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs, band together to try and thwart Lockdown and fight the renewed threat of man-made transformers led by Galvatron – who is harbouring the personality of Megatron.

The plot always takes a back seat to the action in Transformers films, but Age of Extinction is the weakest and most laborious yet.

Alas the action is pretty lacklustre too for the most part, only really redeemed (for Transformers fans at least) by the climax that sees Dinobots thrown into the chaotic mix. It’s hard not to be impressed by the sight of Optimus riding in to battle on the back of metallic fire-breathing dragon – gigantic sword in hand.

Director Michael Bay though seems to have lost some of the love he has previously shown for his spectacular robotic heroes. Sure they still look superb and occasionally even draw gasps as the special effects kick in with things we’ve never seen on screen before.

The Transformers franchise shows no sign of slowing down, and Age of Extinction delivers some heavy metal action thrills, but let’s hope that Part 5 makes amends for the overblown familiarity on screen here.