If in doubt, smash everything to pieces – and be as noisy as possible.
Director Michael Bay recreates a Hasbro toy fantasy world in what is the best sequel so far to Transformers (2007).
In the first film two Cybertronian races – the good Autobots (led by wise old Optimus Prime) and the evil Decepticons (run by Megatron) – arrived to continue their ancient struggle on Earth where a teenage boy had found an ancient artefact that held the key to the battle.
Revenge of the Fallen (2009) featured kid Sam Witwicky (Shia Labeouf) leaving the Autobots and being targeted by the Decepticons.
The Autobots then learned of a hidden Cybertronian spacecraft during Dark of the Moon (2011).
In Age of Extinction, corrupt government agent Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) and tech god Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) hope a material called Transformium will create an army of controllable Transformers.
But the recycling business can be dodgy if some old Decepticon material ends up in the mix.
Meanwhile, Witwicky’s replacement is a new inventor hero called Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) who worries about his teenage daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz).
Finding an old wagon buried in a cinema, Cade asks her to see it as treasure – an understatement given that it’s Optimus Prime in disguise.
Targeted by a bounty hunter, the Yeager family go on the run with the Autobots...
Age of Extinction is a bewilderingly excessive, non-stop demolition derby that works because of the action’s juxtaposition against some of Earth’s most incredible landscapes.
The pure-white Arctic. Tick.
Monument Valley, the red rock playground of John Ford and John Wayne. Tick.
Beijing, steely home of 21st century investment money. Tick.
Hong Kong’s concrete slums, where east meets west in chaotic, half-finished (or should that be half-destroyed?) structures. Tick, tick, tick.
Executively produced by Steven Spielberg, Age of Extinction is the king of a new 21st century genre: photogenic mayhem.
Despite the bloated 165-minute running time, the clunky dialogue, restricted performances and plot dementia, I loved Amir Mokri’s gliding camerawork and his unquenchable thirst to declare an all-out war on video gamers by delivering the biggest and dumbest action movie ever made.
T4 lacks James Cameron’s edge-of-seat tension, but it’s got dinosaurs and the best machine is... a classic British Mini!
Like the pioneering technology of the Apollo moon missions, there must be some spin-off benefits to using up so much energy. We mortals just haven’t thought of them yet.