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Film / Transformers: Age of Extinction

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Cade: That missile I took out, it nearly hit your power core.
Optimus Prime: We call it our spark. It contains our life essence and memories.
Cade: Yeah? We call that a soul.

The fourth film in the Transformers Film Series, directed by Michael Bay and released on June 27th, 2014. The film was intended to be the start of a new trilogy with a new Story Arc to it.

Five years after the events of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, most of the Decepticons seem to have left Earth and the Autobots were driven into hiding by anti-Transformer sentiment and unauthorized paramilitary action. Life has, more or less, returned to the way it was before the Cybertronians battled on their planet. Mark Wahlberg plays an inventor named Cade Yeager who happens upon an old, dilapidated semi-truck that turns out to be Optimus Prime. A new human conspiracy unfolds, and the arrival of a Transformer mercenary named Lockdown indicates something ancient and malevolent is setting its sights on Earth. With the help of their new human allies, Optimus has to gather the Autobots to save humanity even as they are being hunted on multiple fronts.

Nicola Peltz plays Cade's daughter Tessa and Jack Reynor plays her boyfriend. Kelsey Grammer plays Harold Attinger, the mastermind behind the human strike team. Stanley Tucci and Sophia Myles play Joshua Joyce and Darcy Tirrel, scientists who cracked the code to the Cybertronian biology. Also, John Goodman and Ken Watanabe join the cast as Autobots.

Despite harsh reviews from critics, the film became the first of 2014 to open at $100 million (although it's been disputed), and the only film in 2014 to gross over $1 billion, significantly due to superb ticket sales in China. At the time of its release, Age of Extinction was the 10th highest grossing film of all time.

The movie has a tie-in game, Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, which serves as an Intercontinuity Crossover with the War for Cybertron universe.

Check out the Super Bowl spot and the final trailer.

These aren't tropes. This is human extinction:

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  • Aesop Amnesia: The trailers make it seem like the US government turned on the Autobots after the Battle of Chicago, yet again. But the actual movie shows that it’s just paramilitary organization Cemetery Wind that’s trying to wipe out the Autobots. The White House and the American public are under the impression that Attinger and his men are hunting Decepticons and that the Autobots have been given sanctuary. However, the film does make a point of showing—through the humans' reaction to seeing Optimus transform to various posters in Chicago—that the general public is afraid of the Cybertronians.
  • Age of Titles: Used as a subtitle.
  • Alien Invasion: Lockdown leads one, and whoever he works for wants Optimus back.
  • All There in the Manual: It's never remarked upon in the movie, but tie-in material establishes that, like his G1 counterpart, Drift is a former Decepticon.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Just like the original Dinobots, aside from Grimlock, all the known Dinobots so far have names starting with S.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Hound, who's a huge, gun-toting Big Guy this time around when he was a hologram-casting forward scout traditionally.
    • Swoop/Strafe the Pterosaur of the Dinobots has always been great for reconnaissance but not too powerful on its own. Here, it is a massive dragon-like flyer that dwarfs Bumblebee.
    • Lockdown was never a slouch at combat in either of his previous appearances, but here he's established to be on about the same level of combat as Optimus. The same Optimus who can fight three top-tier Decepticons at once and come out ahead.
  • Adapted Out: Some of the traditional Dinobot forms got replaced with different characters as different species or were given much different names. (Some of the names haven't been consistent across the adaptations anyway.)
  • Adaptation Name Change: The Dinobot names have generally had at least one or two changes with every new adaptation. Slug the Triceratops was originally Slag (although Snarl has also been another name for him). Strafe is generally considered an Expy of Swoop rather than the same character.note  Not that any of the name changes matter, since none of them are given names on-screen.
  • Advertised Extra: The Dinobots, in particular Grimlock. Almost every single piece of advertising showcased Grimlock prominently, but the truth is that the Dinobots only appear in the last 20 minutes of the movie. Of course, they do a lot in those 20 minutes. One of the cyber-wolves also got a toy named Steeljaw, likely only to provide some lead-in to Transformers: Robots in Disguise where the name was used for the primary, serious villain of the show.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Humans break all ties with the friendly Autobots and even kill several of them to make parts for KSI robots meant to protect American citizens fearing that Autobots cannot be trusted. The third act of the film has Galvatron waking up and using the KSI robots to start plotting the demise of humanity.
  • Alien Blood: Optimus spews some green blood when his right ear falls off in Cade's workshop.
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: When the main characters go to Hong Kong, it's hard to go several minutes without meeting a random Asian who doesn't know how to unleash a can of whoop-ass.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Downplayed. The KSI Transformers were explicitly designed to be superior successors to various Autobots, such as Stinger to Bumblebee. Stinger is even marketed as "Like Bumblebee, but better in every way," which is proven somewhat accurate when the two go head to head.
    • Hound, however, kicks all kinds of ass on his opponents. It can be said the KSI Transformers are slightly superior to the Autobots from the first two movies, but Optimus and Bumblebee have upgraded themselves since then.
  • Apathetic Citizens: In Chicago, Beijing and Hong Kong no one seems to be running or fleeing unless the giant robots are upon them. Firefights between government ops and flying spaceships are apparently not scary enough.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Optimus has to deal with Grimlock's stubbornness, and their entire fight Optimus is saying "Let me lead you!" *punch*
  • Arc Words:
    • "The rules have changed."
    • "Who sent you here?", which Optimus asks of Lockdown. The bounty hunter is said to be working for a much more powerful and dangerous villain than we see in the film, and this will be explored as the series continues.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Ratchet loses a leg while trying to flee. At that point he offers to surrender because of his injury, only to learn they had no intention of taking him alive.
  • Art Evolution:
    • Every returning character gets some radical new designs, based off mostly new vehicles. Justified because they are being hunted by human groups, forcing them to take on new alternate modes to hide. It's still recognizably the same character, just with new armor design based on their new form. Optimus is shown in a cab-over semi design reminiscent of his classic G1 form, already different to his long nose Peterbilt. He later turns into a snub nose Western Star. Each comes with a new robot mode design, although the cab-over's robot mode is only slightly modified from his design in the first trilogy.
    • The general look of the robots in this film seem to be slightly less complex and "gritty" and more sleek and stylized, moving closer to the art style of the Aligned continuity (such as Transformers: Prime), though it's still recognizably the Movie-verse.
  • Artistic License – Economics: Banks do not try to sell a house by sending a realtor before they foreclose.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Driving from Beijing to Hong Kong is almost the equivalent of driving from Los Angeles all the way to Quebec.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Joshua Joyce (while showing off what they can do with Transformium) creates a pistol (presumably loaded), that he points directly at Darcy Tirrel. Not to threaten her, he was just showing off. However, you never ever point a firearm at anything (even if it's unloaded) and Joyce, the CEO of a company that regularly works with the military and is shown to be hands-on while working, would know you don't do this.
  • Artistic License – Law: Not only does Shane misstate the Texas Romeo and Juliet laws by saying that they're safe because of the preexisting relationship (in actuality, the provisions are that the age difference is no more than three years, that neither party be younger than fourteen, that the two parties are of opposite sex, and that the adult is not a registered sex offender), but the point is moot since Tessa is actuality an adult in this respect (the age of consent in Texas is 17, and Tessa is 17). The law still applies to their relationship (they started dating before Shane came of age, and it's implied they never stopped), just not in the film's here and now.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: You can't carbon date something and find that it's 65 million years old. The half-life of carbon-14 is only 5700 years. Other dating methods are necessary.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: The opening has Psittacosaurus, heterodontosaurids, and Iguanodon at the end of the Cretaceous Period. Minutes later, the cyberformed remains of a Tyrannosaurus (Late Cretaceous North America) and a Spinosaurus (Middle Cretaceous Africa) are shown frozen in the same location. Aside from this, the dinosaurs themselves are mostly accurate. The Psittacosaurus is portrayed with quills and eating a fish, reflecting recent paleontological discoveries, and the other dinosaurs aren't on screen long enough for there to be any recognizable errors, besides pronated hands.
  • Ascended Extra: Lockdown originated as a minor villain in Transformers: Animated, a bounty hunter who had a popular rivalry with Ratchet. He got a movie toy in the later Revenge of the Fallen line, based heavily on his Animated appearance and characterization, along with a lot of minor appearances in other merchandizing. In any respect, no one expected him to be the Big Bad of one of the movies, a fact lampshaded in his TF Wiki article.
  • Aside Glance: When Optimus coerces the Dinobots to help them and Crosshairs sarcastically says "That's leadership... or brainwashing... or something." Drift looks at the camera with a smile and says "No, that's Optimus Prime."
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Optimus recruits the Dinobots by coming out on top against Grimlock (who's implied, like previous incarnations of the character, to be the Dinobots' leader) in a one-on-one match.
  • Awe-Inspiring Dinosaur Shot: In the climactic fight, Optimus busts out a group of warriors held up in Lockdown's ship, and asks them to fight alongside the Autobots. One of them steps forward, and immediately tries to smush him with a mace. They fight for a moment, and then the big one turns into a T-Rex. (That the Dinobots were involved at all wasn't much of a surprise, given most of the advertising about the movies was based on the fact this one had giant robot Dinosaurs).
  • Back from the Dead: Galvatron is not a remote-controlled drone, but is in fact Megatron's essence uploaded into a new man-made body by his own volition.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Hound, Bumblebee and Cade camp out to fend off the more numerous, more mobile Vehicons in Hong Kong until the arrival of Optimus, Drift, Crosshairs and the Dinobots.
  • Badass Boast: Galvatron makes a pretty good one when Optimus accuses him of having no soul by not only acknowledging he's right, but replying with "That is why I have no fear!"
  • Badass Bookworm: Cade, an absent-minded inventor with a perpetual "Whoa" expression, is also a damn good shot with an alien rifle and can more than hold his own in a fistfight with a professional CIA black book assassin. In the end he even fights Lockdown one-on-one briefly and actually does remarkably well.
  • Badass Bystander: The guy in the elevator that helps beat the snot out of the goons trying to catch Joyce.
  • Badass Driver: Shane, and justified by him having a souped up rally car that represented his life savings. Although even he expressed surprise at what he is able to do. He is later the official driver for the group.
  • Badass Longcoat: In one of the coolest uses of Transformers kibble, Crosshairs has his excess vehicle parts form a billowing coattail that is meant to evoke this.
  • Bash Brothers: Hound and Bumblebee, and later Optimus and Grimlock.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Optimus fires on members of the paramilitary in self-defense, but it is debatable if he actually killed them. He later expressed concern that he did NOT want to harm humans, regardless of what they had done, though he promises to kill whoever is responsible for hunting them. In the climax, he makes good on that promise by killing Attinger to protect Cade, even in the midst of fighting for his life against Lockdown.
  • Batman in My Basement: Or rather, "Optimus Prime in my workshop."
  • Been There, Shaped History: The Creators of the Transformers were the ones who caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Optimus gets really pissed when he finds out Ratchet was brutally slaughtered and being melted down for resources. He's in a sensitive place most of the movie (and has gotten angry before), but this is a complete snap.
    • Bumblebee also briefly succumbs to this once he and the other humans infiltrate the KSI lab where Stinger is on display. After watching an ad on one of the TV screens claiming that Stinger is "just like Bumblebee, but better", Bumblebee does an "oh hell no!" and proceeds to smash the man-made robot. As one of Joyce's senior employees come around to berate so called "grease monkeys" asking what the hell happened, we see 'Bee transformed back playing a sample of "U Can't Touch This".
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Lockdown and Harold Attinger, as they remain in partnership throughout the film.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Attinger and Lockdown count as both this and a Duumvirate, as while they work together they have very different goals and represent separate threats. A straighter example is Galvatron, who plays Attinger and never even interacts with either him or Lockdown.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Attinger. Lockdown and Galvatron remain as the heroes' more immediate enemies while Attinger is mostly ignored. In the climax, the heroes are more concerned about Galvatron's army and Lockdown's ship, while Attinger slowly loses what little sanity he had. Even Savoy, Attinger's henchman, gets more attention than him. It only takes Optimus a few seconds to kill him.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Autobots do this repeatedly throughout the film, from when Optimus Prime comes out of hiding in order to protect Cade and his family, and later when he arrives with the Dinobots to stop the Decepticons from acquiring the Seed so they could create an army from it. Just to underline this: Autobots. Riding. Dinobots. That's a pretty damn big sight.
  • Big Good: Once Optimus tames the Dinobots and calls the surviving Autobots to regroup, we get this awe-inspired exchange:
    Crosshairs: Ugh, you just want to die for the guy. That's leadership... or brainwashing... or something.
    Drift: No, that's Optimus Prime!
  • Big "NO!": Cade gets one when Tessa is accidentally netted along with Optimus and taken up to Lockdown's ship.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Cade had this reaction when Shane reveals that he's Tessa's boyfriend during the car chase.
    Shane: I'm her boyfriend.
    Tessa: He's my boyfriend.
    Cade: WHAT?! You're not her boyfriend!
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Joyce deliberately surrounded himself with these the first time we see him. And one token guy.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Lockdown coughs up some greenish fluid when Optimus skewers him.
  • Blood Knight: Crosshairs seems to be one. He certainly enjoys shooting up Decepticons in the trailers.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Optimus lands a killing shot on puny human Attinger, but instead of incinerating his entire upper torso, it merely leaves a burn mark on his chest.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Hound is this. He even gets comments from the crew calling him a jolly, bearded fat guy.
  • Bond One-Liner: Lockdown after killing Ratchet.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Humans have a pretty damn good reason for building anti-Transformer tech since the battles between them have razed cities and killed God knows how many people. This is made worse by the fact that they are actually innocent bystanders in a war between the Autobots and the Decepticons who just so happen to be warring on Earth... and let's not forget that it was an Autobot who started the Chicago incident. On the other hand, if the Decepticons were left unchecked, mankind would most likely be destroyed/enslaved, nor does it justify working with the aliens who created the Transformers or brutally murdering Autobots. This is not helped by the fact that the ones hunting down the Autobots are entirely the CIA, who are not only lying to the public, but also the president of the United States, about exactly who they are hunting. And they're willing to kill other humans just to get to them.
  • Break the Badass: Optimus Prime, big time.
  • Breath Weapon: Grimlock breathes fire.
  • Buffy Speak: Lucas uses this on occasion.
    Lucas: Scary cars are back!
  • But Now I Must Go: Optimus takes the Seed and heads into deep space alone, leaving the remaining Autobots on Earth, as he still has to confront his apparent Creators.
  • Call-Back:
    • Attinger, Joyce, and to an extent, Darcy see the Transformers as just another resource to be harvested. Sentinel Prime had the same sentiments about humans in Dark of the Moon.
    • The whole premise of humans being warlike, unworthy of existence, etc., that was stated by several Transformers (both Decepticons and Autobots) in previous movies gets a whole lot of justification here.
    • Bumblebee's sensitivity about being implied to be out of date or obsolete gets brought back.
  • Canon Discontinuity: After Arcee was unceremoniously killed off in Revenge of the Fallen, the tie-in comics of the film series by IDW Publishing made it so that she survived. This is confirmed to be not the case in this movie, where her picture is shown with an X over it, confirming that she is permanently dead.
  • Canon Foreigner: Scorn, as there has never been a Dinobot that took on the appearance of a Spinosaur (the species was made famous by Jurassic Park III).
  • Canon Immigrant: Lockdown makes his debut as a major antagonist (he already had a movie-styled toy way back in ROTF based on his previous appearance).
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Several times, such as when they are climbing across the cables to Willis Tower.
  • Celebrity Paradox: One of the voice clips Bumblebee uses is "I am calm" from The Big Lebowski, said by the character Walter Sobchak. Sobchak was played by John Goodman, who voices Autobot Hound in this film.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Bay announced that this installment would be less "silly" than the previous films, to the point where the trailers were almost completely devoid of comic moments. While the final film does still have quite a bit of humour, the Darker and Edgier theme bring this trope into effect.
  • Chekhov's Skill: At the beginning, Cade throws a football at Lucas, who gets hit on the head, and comments on how Lucas didn't make the varsity football team. Later on, when he and Savoy winds up crashing into a Hong Kong apartment, Cade uses the tenant's football to hit Savoy on the head, allowing Cade to then shove Savoy out the window.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Whereas heroic (if weird) Agent Simmons was initially distrusting of the Autobots but eventually warms up to them and was a member of Sector Seven, a subdivision of the FBI, Harold Attinger is a CIA agent, and utterly ruthless in his pursuit of getting rid of any and all aliens.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Hound; when he starts running out of ammo during the battle of Hong Kong (which takes a while), he resorts to destroying KSI drones with such methods as throwing his hat with enough force to kill, using his belt as a melee weapon, crushing his opponent by pushing a wall onto it, and using his "cigar" - actually a giant bullet - to shoot a drone in the face when it pins him down.
  • Cold Sniper: Lockdown's signature weapon is a nasty-looking, laser-sighted sniper rifle that transforms from his face. His preferred method of attack is to strike from afar while they are distracted, with rounds powerful enough to down even Optimus.
  • Collector of the Strange: Lockdown is said to have numerous strange artifacts, relics and Easter eggs aboard his vessel. He also has live specimens, one of which harasses Hound at one point. Another grabs Tessa with its Overly-Long Tongue.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: The Dinobots are never named in the film, and indeed the word "Dinobot" is never spoken by anyone.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Posters are seen reminding people about the Decepticon occupation of Chicago from DOTM.
    • Galvatron finally going rogue and exclaiming his name is similar to how he woke up from being frozen in the first movie when he was still Megatron.
    • Attinger has a set of playing cards showing various Autobot and Decepticon characters. A prominent one shows Ironhide with a red X over him, as he was killed in the last movie.
  • Continuity Snarl: We go from the AllSpark creating the Transformers in the first movie to the Creators turning dinosaurs into metal with the Seed to make them and the former artifact not even getting a passing mention.
  • Composite Character:
    • Hound has the name of a classic G1 character, but was a military jeep that made him among the smaller Autobots. The larger assault vehicle, heavier build, and apparently jolly attitude he has in this film makes him more like Bulkhead from Transformers: Animated and Transformers: Prime. He also has a few traits of another G1 Autobot, Kup, a veteran with a cy-gar in his mouth.
    • Grimlock's robot mode jumps away from the classic Grimlock appearance and takes a lot of inspiration from Predaking.
    • Stinger's color scheme and resemblance to Bumblebee call to mind Cliffjumper from the original series, while his status as 'Bee's rival is closer to Wasp/Waspinator from Transformers: Animated.
    • A somewhat downplayed example: Joyce initially wanted Galvatron to resemble Optimus, but with a black/gray color scheme. Because of Megatron's consciousness surviving in the armor, it ended up looking like the latter. This arguably makes Galvatron a composite of both him and Nemesis Prime.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: We get some hints regarding the Creators, and some dialogue from Lockdown concerning "knights".
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Lockdown beats the hell out of Bumblebee towards the end, flailing him by the leg and continuously slamming him into the ground.
    Lockdown: It's my fight! And you're all going to die.

  • Damsel in Distress: Tessa gets in trouble a couple of times.
    • The first was when the Cemetery Wind men were about to shoot her to get Cade to tell them were Optimus is. Optimus gives himself away to save her.
    • The second time is when she's caught in the net Lockdown used to bring Optimus to his ship. Though she ends up taking care of herself pretty well (even better than her boyfriend).
  • Darker and Edgier: Note Cerebus Syndrome; while there is still some humor among both humans and Autobots, it is far more subdued and no one could be considered there as just the Plucky Comic Relief (once Lucas bites it, anyway). The plot takes a very dark, IDW-Comics-ish turn on the series, with the good robots being mercilessly attacked by humans all the while begging for their life and professing to be Autobots on their side.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Cade is averse to Tessa having a boyfriend, especially one who's a lot (well, 3 years) older than her while she's underaged, for much of the film.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much every Autobot but Optimus, who is just very angst ridden at this point. Lockdown's no slouch at dry remarks either.
  • A Death in the Limelight: Ratchet is the one shown being hunted and killed, representing what happened to nearly all other Autobots on Earth. He has about as much dialogue in his one scene than the entire prior films combined. The TF Wiki noted that until then, he was the only first film Autobot who had never had a personal shot of him transforming (either transforming off screen or in a long group shot), and this film shows him going from vehicle to robot after getting struck by a missile.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Early on it appears that Cade, Tessa and Lucas are going to be the film's three primary human characters. Then Shane shows up to drive the trio to safety, and shortly after that Lucas gets killed, and Shane takes over his role in the story.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Grimlock is initially hostile to Optimus Prime. However, after he defeats Grimlock, he and the Dinobots join up with him and turn their rage on the Decepticons instead.
  • Defiant to the End: When Lockdown offers Ratchet a Hope Spot of letting him live on the condition that he reveal Optimus Prime's potential hiding spot, he just answers "Never!"
  • Demoted to Extra: Downplayed, but Bumblebee gets less focus in the film than in previous installments, being just another member of the Autobot ensemble, no more prominent than the others.
  • Destructive Saviour: The Dinobots are so big they can't help but cause destruction wherever they go. Every Decepticon killed is marked by severe damage to the surrounding buildings and architecture, a kaiju-handful of cars thrown through the air, and however many footprints it took them to reach there. As stated in a behind the scenes featurette, the movie particularly ephasizes the way the concrete is damaged under their feet.
  • Developer's Foresight: Of a sort. The video game adaptation of Dark of the Moon establishes that that film takes place three years after Revenge of the Fallen, placing it in 2012. With this film taking place five years later, in 2017, and released two years before the next presidential election, it’s the first movie in the series where the president isn’t mentioned by name.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Lockdown asks Attinger if he thinks Earth is the center of the universe. He also asks if Optimus actually thinks he was born, telling him that he — and, by extension, all Cybertronians — were built, and that their creators want them back.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Lucas says that Tessa is hot right in front of her father. When Cade is predictably not amused, he tries to backpedal by saying she's hot for a teenager; instead Cade is of the opinion that Lucas has just made it worse.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In retrospect, Joyce realizes that threatening to expose a former CIA assassin might not have been his best move.
  • Disney Villain Death: Savoy, after getting thrown out a window by Cade.
  • Distressed Dude: Optimus is captured by Lockdown. The Autobots quickly go and rescue him, also saving the Dinobots in the process.
  • The Dragon: Savoy to Attinger.
  • Dragon Rider: Well firebreathing robotic t-rex rider, but Optimus riding Grimlock sure counts.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Titus Welliver's character does this to threaten Tessa. Since the gun was already chambered, the ejected round flies dramatically across the screen.
  • Due to the Dead: Hound sadly salutes his fallen friend Leadfoot upon learning of his death.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Defied by Lockdown, who rants that no matter what world he lands on, the native inhabitants always assume this trope regarding their planet. Of course, Attinger arrogantly doesn't see it that way.
  • End of an Age:
    Attinger: A new era has begun. The age of the Transformers is over.
  • Enemy Mine: Attinger mentions the quote "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" to Lockdown on why they have a partnership in the first place, to which Lockdown responds with a quote of his own: "I don't care."
  • Environment-Specific Action Figure: As expected of a Merchandise-Driven franchise. The first of these are Silver Knight Optimus Prime, although most of the toys are a dull gray.
  • Expy:
    • Hound rather obviously takes the place of Ironhide as The Big Guy of the Autobots. As noted in Composite Character, he resembles Bulkhead, and is similar to Kup.
    • Strafe in an interview is cited to be this, being a pteranodon Dinobot substituting for Swoop, but various toy releases of G1 Swoop at the time using the Strafe name suggest Strafe is Swoop under a different name (likely for trademarks).
    • Galvatron includes some aspects of Nemesis Prime; Joyce even wanted him to resemble Optimus, but Megatron had other ideas...
    • The five main Autobots correspond to the original Maximal cast of Beast Wars:
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Savoy justifies his cruelty by mentioning a sister he lost in Chicago.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Joyce is highly reluctant to deploy untested KSI prototypes onto a crowded highway, and even more so when malfunctions result in considerable civilian casualties. He even has paramedics dispatched to the general area. This is the first sign that he's not as bad as his partners.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Whereas Drift in the comics was simply a sword-wielding Autobot with a bit of a samurai motif, Age of Extinction Drift's robot mode is heavily modeled after a typical samurai.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Stinger to Bumblebee. He's also an Evil Knockoff, because he was specifically designed to be like Bumblebee, except "better in every way", by KSI. At the end, the two get to fight across Hong Kong on Strafe's back, ending with Bumblebee decapitating Stinger, and feeding his head to Strafe.
      Bumblebee: I hate cheap knockoffs.
    • Cemetery Wind is basically an Anti-NEST: a human team that targets Autobots.
    • Harold Attinger is this to Agent Simmons, due to them being government agents from top secret organizations who had express paranoia and distrust of the the Transformers and are both wanting to seek recognition and glory for their patriotic actions for his duties as government agents. However, while Simmons was able to get past his paranoia and distrust in the sequels and became an ally, Attinger on the other hand is irredeemably unable to see the good in the Autobots and considers them to be as evil as the Decepticons. Also in terms of personalities, while Simmons was a Large Ham and does not bother to hide the fact he is a paranoid Jerkass the moment he made his debut, Attinger in contrast is The Stoic and mostly hides his paranoid Jerkass tendencies in a Faux Affably Evil façade until his Villainous Breakdown.
    • Attinger also seems to be a more threatening counterpart of the Jerkass Obstructive Bureaucrat Galloway from Revenge of the Fallen, due to them being paranoid government officials who view the Transformers to be a threat to Earth even if they are the Autobots.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Trying to reverse-engineer Decepticons to make your own Transformers? No, there's no way that can possibly backfire.
  • Evil Sounds Deep:
    • Lockdown has a very deep voice.
    • Galvatron, naturally.
  • Eye Scream: A non-gory one by the good guys. Yeager gives Savoy a left thumb to the eye to get the upper edge in their brawl. Surprisingly, Savoy is okay if a bit sore (with absolutely no visible damage to his eye) and recovers quickly enough to pull out a fighting knife.

  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Ratchet gets his leg blown off and then has his spark pulled out of his chest by Lockdown.
    • Lucas is mangled, exposed, and solidified by Lockdown's grenades.
    • Savoy thrown out of a window screaming as he fell to his death.
    • Attinger has an obvious burn mark or hole in his chest after being blasted by Optimus.
    • Lockdown dies by getting bisected by Optimus from the middle of his chest all the way up to his head. He even vomits a bit of Alien Blood before falling over.
  • Fantastic Racism: Everything involving the work of Harold Attinger and Joshua Joyce treat the Cybertronians as a science project. Joyce explicitly calls Optimus "simply metal," which is enough encouragement that Optimus is ready to leave Earth to their own fate afterwards.
    Attinger: There are no good aliens or bad aliens, Yeager! It's just us and them. And you chose them.
  • Fanservice: Par for the course, with Tessa providing the most eye-candy. But it is more subdued than in previous installments, limited to mostly women wearing tank tops and/or short shorts since she's underaged. But somewhat lampshaded by Cade, asking his daughter why her shorts were disappearing (complete with almost a parody of a Between My Legs shot) and later suggesting she choose loose-fitting, baggy jeans from some clothes that he got at a church donation.
  • Fearsome Foot: We get two closeups of Grimlock's feet, which cause powerful earthquakes as they stomp in front of the viewer: the first just after he smashes the arch (which causes dirt to splatter against the camera), and again right after he tramples the pickup truck.
    Cade: Cold water and air-dry, please! ...So they don't shrink further.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: Hound's introduction; he's so overjoyed at Optimus's return that he lets off several rounds. Later, he runs out of ammo. Probably should have shown more self-restraint.
  • Foreshadowing: It's noted aloud that while Galvatron is designed to look like Optimus, "He keeps coming out looking like Megatron!" Also, when Galvatron is deployed and given the command to transform he does so by switching lanes and smashing right through civilian vehicles causing casualties. When Joyce asks if they programmed him to do that, an operator responds "Yes. (Beat) Mostly..." Soon after, he fires several missiles unprompted, blowing up numerous civilian vehicles. This sets up the reveal that Galvatron is a reborn Megatron who was only pretending to be under control.
    • That and the fact that Galvatron speaks, when they had no programming to allow him to do so. You would think that the entire project would be brought back to scratch at that point, but KSI was fully holding the Idiot Ball at that point.
  • For Science!: Many of Joyce's researchers appear to be this regarding their research into Transformium. They do seem to genuinely have noble goals for it, but unfortunately they're working from Decepticon remains, specifically Megatron's. A bit of foreshadowing takes place as well when Joyce asks his researchers why the prototype Galvatron keeps looking like Megatron instead of Optimus Prime as was the original intention after several attempts at the design.
  • Freudian Slip: Cade referring to the truck he found as "him" in front of Cemetery Wind.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Galvatron. Compared to Lockdown, he doesn't have as much characterization and just wants to use the Seed to recreate an army to destroy humanity. Justified in that he's really a rebuilt Megatron, whose character and motivations have already been established in the previous films.
  • The Ghost:
    • We don't really know what the Creators look like. The only hint we get of their appearance is in the prologue; there's a brief glimpse of a a pink, organic hand operating the controls of a spaceship.
    • Aside from Galvatron, no actual Decepticons appear in this film, though they do get some mentions.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Joyce has a minor breakdown, with hysterical laughter, when he learns the destructive potential of the Seed is "Like a tactical nuke, LOL", while holding said Seed.
  • Government Conspiracy: Harold Attinger of the CIA has a secret black ops team called Cemetery Wind that kills all Transformers, including Autobots, without the public knowing and is secretly in league with Lockdown, a Transformer bounty hunter, so that he can replace Autobots with drones made from Transformium that can protect America from another invasion.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Whoever Lockdown is working for, who are stated to be the creators of the Transformers.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Bumblebee gets quite agitated when watching the KSI promo video for Stinger, and they repeatedly state that it's an "improved" version of the former. He eventually knocks the display down, then turns back into his car mode, causing Shane to get blamed for knocking it down when some KSI employees show up.
  • Guns Akimbo: Crosshairs.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Lockdown gets vertically slashed into two at the end courtesy of Optimus.
  • Happy Ending Override: For Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Mankind turned on the Autobots pretty quickly, driving them into hiding, and Megatron is Only Mostly Dead with humans to blame for his survival and revival.
  • The Heart: When Optimus went into hiding, the rest of the Autobots scattered. Even when they regroup, it's noted that the Autobots are much more pushy with each other than normal because they don't have Optimus to keep them in line.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Drift pulled one prior to the events of the film, defecting to the Autobots.
    • KSI's CEO Joshua Joyce has one when he realizes he's just a pawn for forces and entities beyond his control.
  • Heel Realization: Joyce realizes his pursuit of progress may have gone a bit too far once Galvatron reveals his true colors. He spends the rest of the movie keeping the Seed away from Attinger and Galvatron, and ends up joining up with the Autobots.
  • He Knows Too Much: Attinger aggressively pursues Cade because he contradicts the official story, and only gains more knowledge he shouldn't have as the film progresses.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Cade admits it was wrong of him to intend to sell Optimus out to Cemetery Wind for the reward money when Optimus calls out all of humanity (including Cade specifically) for making such horrible mistakes that cost the lives of multiple Autobots.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Joyce and Attinger think they have Galvatron under their control; Galvatron is in fact Megatron and is actually manipulating both of them into bringing him the Seed and building him a new Decepticon army.
  • Hold the Line: Done a few times throughout the film, particularly in the last third of the film when the Autobots attempt to prevent the Decepticons, or rather, KSI Prototypes, from acquiring the Seed.
  • Hollywood Provincialism: A notable aversion of the age of consent version.
  • Honor Before Reason: While in a narrow fight with Lockdown, Optimus sees Cade in trouble and takes a moment to kill Attinger to protect him. This gives Lockdown an opening which he uses to incapacitate Optimus, saying he shames all Cybertronians for that weakness. Cade in turn opens fire on Lockdown alongside Bumblebee, while Tessa and Jack help get back up to finish the fight. Optimus' final response, "Honor to the end."
  • Hook Hand: Just like his previous incarnations, Lockdown sports a serrated hook on his right arm. However, this one is retractable rather than replacing his right hand.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The Seed converts a specific area into transformium, from which Transformers can be built. Attinger barters with Lockdown for one since they can only harvest so much transformium from the Transformers on Earth, and a great many were used on Earth to provide raw materials for the Creators, killing off the dinosaurs as collateral damage. Galvatron plans to hijack the Seed and detonate it in a major city, from which he can build an army.
  • Humans Are Special: A side plot involves Cade trying to convince Optimus that humans, while capable of bastardy (see below), are just as capable of becoming better than what they are.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Optimus Prime himself has started to gain this sentiment, after spending so much time building them as allies and trying to protect them only to be hunted down out of fear and Fantastic Racism. He's aware not all of them are bad, but is more than ready to fight when they pull guns on him.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: Inverted, surprisingly. While the human cast is very much present, the Autobots get much more characterization and focus.
  • Humans Need Aliens: When Optimus declares that retrieving the seed will be the very last mission he will have the Autobots carry out before leaving Earth to take refuge in space, Cade objects that humans can't survive without the Autobots. Optimus brushes this off and chews out Cade for humanity backstabbing the Autobots after spending the last 3 movies fighting wars on Decepticons and risking their lives for humanity.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • When infiltrating Lockdown's ship, Drift insists that violence should be their last resort. Within seconds he slaughters a random thing that comes out of the wall.
    • Combined a bit with Hypocrisy Nod, Joyce acknowledges that he's basically kickstarted the apocalypse, then criticizes Cade for bringing his family along.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Optimus gets this a couple times from Lockdown. Once when he gets captured, Lockdown uses his Hook Hand to drag Optimus to a cell by his leg, then in the final battles he uses Optimus' own sword to stab him through the chest. And then at the end, Optimus impales Lockdown with the same sword and bisects his upper torso and head by pulling it out.
  • Implacable Man: Lockdown moves in a calm stride that is eerily similar to the Terminators.
  • The Infiltration: Cade and Shane do this about halfway into the film, infiltrating KSI in order to see what that company is up to regarding the Autobots. Optimus Prime goes berserk when he finds out one of his Autobots being melted down there, and proceeds to trash the place as a result.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Downplayed, as Shane just tries to surrender, and when he drops the alien gun, it goes off, taking out their attackers.
  • It's All About Me: Crosshairs' main ideology. When buggered by Cade for assistance in finding Tessa in Lockdown's ship, Crosshairs' response is "What's in it for me?"
  • It's Personal: The reason Savoy takes such savage glee in hunting Transformers is because he lost a sister in the battle of Chicago.
  • Joker Immunity: Come on. Did you really think that Megatron would disappear from the series forever after Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Megatron becoming Galvatron is practically a trope in itself by this point...
  • Just a Machine: How many of those working at KSI view Cybertronians, which is why they have no problem melting down their dead bodies for resources. Joyce's assistant Darcy even confides in Cade (whilst the latter is disguised) that she only saw them as metal, only for him to state that they're not, but instead living beings. Even when informed that Ratchet was an Autobot instead of a Decepticon like she'd been told, she is unfazed. Of course there are others who seem perfectly aware Cybertronians aren't simply machines, but just don't care.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: When Cade discovers the beat-up truck he bought is a seemingly-dead Transformer, he wants to study it in the hopes of adapting its technology, a venture he feels would be far more profitable than simply reporting it for a $25,000 check. Later on, when he gets his hands on the alien sword-gun and marvels at its power, he immediately adds that he intends to patent it.
  • Karma Houdini: Thanks to his late movie Heel–Face Turn, Joyce gets off virtually unscathed despite his collusion with the CIA to murder Autobots, harvesting their bodies for spare parts, and creating Galvatron. Given how much he invested into a product that went completely rogue, however, his company's likely to take a rather big hit.
  • Karmic Death:
    • Lucas. He phoned the hotline for reporting Optimus (against Cade's wishes), and ended up getting killed in the ensuing melee.
    • Attinger gets blown up by Optimus, just as he promised he would do for hunting and killing the Autobots and forcing Cade, Tessa, and Shane to lose everything and go on the run.
  • Kick the Dog: Savoy specializes in this, but his taunting of Ratchet while killing him is just abominable.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ratchet and Leadfoot, who both survived Dark of the Moon are now deceased as of this film. Dino was killed off in the novelization and comic book adaptation for DOTM while Sideswipe was revealed to have been hunted down and destroyed by Cemetery Wind in the Topps Europe collector cards.
  • Killed Offscreen: Presumably all of the Autobots who survived Transformers: Dark of the Moon but don't return for this film. The Last Knight reveals that Roadbuster, Topspin, and Wheelie survived, however.
  • Knight in Shining Armor:
    • The Dinobots' robot modes seem to be based off this trope.
    • Optimus's new design is very knightly as well. When he activates the Dinobots, he even pulls a sword out of a rock-like object, while activating some kind of wristguard that makes his hands and arms look like gauntlets. The toyline even gives Optimus a variation called "Silver Knight".
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Optimus starts out very bitter and angry over humans trying to kill him and his fellow Autobots. The film includes an arc about Optimus regaining his faith in doing good.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • Lockdown, his first scene involves him tearing Ratchet's spark from his torso and throughout the movie is shown to be a truly frightening and dangerous threat to the Autobots.
    • Attinger. He doesn't have a single humorous scene or line in the whole film.

  • The Last Dance: Hound essentially does this at the end while attempting to protect the seed from the Decepticons. He literally fires everything he has at them, then resorts to chucking grenades, vehicles, and his helmet, and finally tries to go into slice-and-dice mode. He eventually runs out of fumes and Cade's attempt to get him back up doesn't work. Fortunately Optimus Prime arrives to perform a Big Damn Heroes moment with the Dinobots in tow.
  • Le Parkour:
    • Both Cade and Savoy show some fairly impressive parlour skills during their final confrontation in Hong Kong
    • Cade also makes use of this briefly in the KSI headquarters when trying to escape from KSI guards
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Optimus and Grimlock go at each other; in general mythology Grimlock has a history of butting heads with Optimus. Optimus later rides Grimlock into battle.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Technically applies to most of the Transformers, given their size and speed. But Grimlock is an absolutely massive Dinobot big enough for Optimus to ride, and is exceptionally quick despite his size.
  • Mecha-Enabling Phlebotinum: They're all made from a programmable metal called Transformium
  • The Medic: Ratchet, technically. But without him around to repair Optimus, Cade offers to help. His knowledge of machines and robotics is useful, but the most he can really do is some welding and patch work. He seems to do a good enough job that Optimus' natural repair systems are able to take over from there.
  • Minovsky Physics: Transformium provides an explanation for how transforming robots, which have traits of both machines and biological entities, can exist, with some surprisingly robust rules and consistency. The short of it is that Transformers are built out of "living metal" protoform forged by alien creators out of organic matter, whose "genome" was in turn can be cracked, reprogrammed, and manufactured to create stuff that transforms into whatever it's programmed to be. It exists in limited supply and is generally harvested from other robots throughout the film, but The Seed can create more of it — it just requires a lot of planetary matter.
  • Missing Mom: Tessa's mother died sometime before the events of the film.
  • Motive Rant: Attinger gets a couple short ones.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tessa, although she's downplayed compared to Carly and Mikaela.
  • Mysterious Employer: Lockdown is just a bounty hunter. He was hired to come to Earth by beings who "created" the Cybertronians, and who really, really want their creations back.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Joyce has this reaction after Cade tells him that the former was being manipulated by Galvatron.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Optimus starts out in the film with a form that whilst very similar to his previous design in the trilogy, is essentially a Movie-fied version of his G1 appearance.
    • There have been several humans in past incarnations who have worked to make their own Cybertronians. EU material for the first film had Sector Seven managing to do so with limited success. Transformers: Prime had the human paramilitary group MECH do the same thing in a manner very similar to Attinger's group.
    • Optimus Prime's new look, especially with the sword he gets later, smacks of the Generation 2 "Laser Optimus Prime" figure, down to having a similarly shaped if differently colored appearance and alt-mode.
    • The Transformers Are Dangerous viral marketing site has a newspaper clipping mentioning that San Francisco is taking measures to prevent any Cybertronian attacks. In various continuities, San Francisco is one of the cities constantly caught in the midst of an Autobot-Decepticon battle.
    • Just the mention of the Creators of the Transformers, referencing the Quintessons from G1 lore.
    • Similarly, the mention of "knights" appears to be a reference to the Knights of Cybertron, a fairly new concept introduced in the comics.
    • Megatron's rebirth as Galvatron is a continuation of a long standing tradition in Transformers lore.
    • Megatron being revived by manipulating a human who found his severed head is similar to how it happens in Transformers: Animated.
    • While Bumblebee still uses sound bites from his radio, he can also now "speak" with his broken voice in a manner similar to his portrayal in Transformers: Prime. The alliance between Lockdown and Attinger is also similar to the one formed by Airachnid and Silas from that series as well.
    • As established by Transformers: Animated, Ratchet and Lockdown have a history together which Lockdown violently brings to an end, and Lockdown came to Earth because he has been hired for the purposes of capturing Optimus Prime.
    • Also, Lockdown transforms into a Lamborghini, yet his robot mode is big. As tall as Optimus himself, in spite of the movie continuity's greater emphasis on keeping the robot mode sizes more approximate to the mass of what they transform into. Generally, Lockdown's previous incarnations have always been far taller than their vehicle modes would suggest. This was even emphasized by their toy releases where the two past Deluxe (the standard size class) figures of Lockdown ended up being taller than quite a few Voyagers (a larger size class). Somewhat justified as Lockdown's robot mode physique is quite a bit leaner than the other Transformers.
    • This movie isn't the first time that the idea of dead Transformers being melted down for raw materials is used. The idea actually came up back in the original cartoon, with Optimus himself being the dead one. The episode in question is called "The Return of Optimus Prime" for those wondering.
    • KSI's drones have been referred to as Vehicons. Vehicons first appeared in Beast Machines, where they were spark-less Transformers made from melted down Cybertronians and under the command of Megatron. Not only are the film's Vehicons also made from melted down Cybertronians, but Galvatron later reprograms them into his new Decepticon army.
    • The Dinobots are Transformers who took the form of prehistoric animals during the age of the dinosaurs, as in Beast Wars. Also, like in the Marvel comics, where they took the form from the dinosaurs that inhabit the Savage Lands.
    • Lockdown's ship sucking all the metal is similar to the opening scene in The Transformers: The Movie where Unicron is devouring the planet Lithone.
    • Also from the source mentioned right above: a group of Autobots detach an independent, self-propelling part of Lockdown's ship without their enemy noticing it, in the same way that Ultra-Magnus and Springer did with an Autobot spaceship to fool Galvatron in the 1986 animated movie.
    • It is shown that the Battle of Chicago convinced humanity that all Cybertronians were dangerous. Only a few years ago, IDW used a similar plot point in The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, where the destruction of New York ended with humanity coming to the same conclusion.
    • When Optimus scans another truck and finally regained his colors, the original cartoon sound effect of the Transformers transforming can be heard when the Autobot symbol shows up.
    • Speaking of Prime's new truck mode, it has six chrome-plated exhaust pipes, like G1 Rodimus Prime.
    • Joyce's chief scientist has the G1 cartoon's scene-transition tune as his ringtone.
    • When fighting in China, Grimlock is seen in T. rex mode, impaling a 'Con on his tail before biting him in two. This is a similar killing move he used in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.
    • Speaking of killing moves, the scene where Lockdown rips out Ratchet's spark is possibly based on how Megatron was originally supposed to kill Jazz in the first movie.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Cemetery Wind. Also doubles as a Meaningful Name; Cemetery Wind is one of the codenames of the Intelligence Support Activity (ISA), an elite secret unit that is tasked with intelligence acquisition.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The interstellar jet-boots Optimus uses to fly away and search for the Creators in the end would have come in handy earlier. Some fans have noticed that the sword Optimus picks up during the film caused a brief change in the color of his arm. During the final battle, you could briefly see Optimus using the jet boosters when leaping off Grimlock so it is likely that the sword installed a few things.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lucas upon discovering that the truck Cade had in his barn/research lab is in fact a Transformer, and tells him the government is paying big money for any sightings of them. While Cade has him go buy supplies, he also makes a phone call to the CIA, who then rush to Cade's farmhouse and nearly shoot Tessa in the process. He later swears he didn't think any of that was going to happen.
  • No Endor Holocaust: What damage was done to Chicago in the previous films (although very few buildings were outright leveled) was apparently rebuilt in the five years since then.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Age of Extinction changes the status quo established by the first trilogy. The Autobot-Decepticon war has ended and the Autobots have been declared enemies of humanity, forcing the Autobots to go into hiding. A new Myth Arc is developed involving the Cybertronians' Creators, who want the Cybertronians back. At the end of the movie, Optimus leaves Earth in order to confront the Creators, leaving the remaining Autobots in charge of protecting Cade's family.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Boston native Mark Wahlberg plays the Texan Cade Yeager, and makes no attempt whatsoever to use an authentic Texan accent.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Cade bemoans dealing with Tessa's rebelliousness.
    Optimus: I went through the same thing with Bumblebee.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Harold Attinger will insist as violently as possible he and Cemetery Wind are Earth's protectors from the Transformers. But it's clear they are all corrupt, volatile and motivated by Fantastic Racism or Greed.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Galvatron pretends to be remote-controlled by humans before revealing his true nature, though he blows the ruse at several points.
  • Off with His Head!: Stinger's fate
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Cade, Tessa and Lucas have this reaction when Savoy orders Cemetery Wind to detain them for hiding Optimus Prime. Cemetery Wind later have one of their own when Optimus reveals himself to them in order to save Cade and co.
    • Cade and Shane when Lockdown shows up during the fight between Optimus and Galvatron.
    • The entirety of the KSI team in China when Galvatron awakens.
    • Every citizen in Hong Kong has this reaction when Lockdown uses the magnet on his ship to destroy the city in order to search for Optimus.
  • Old Hero, New Pals:
    • Optimus Prime not only has the Yeagers aiding him in place of the Witwicky family, but is leading a brand new team of Autobots, with only Bumblebee, Ratchet, Leadfoot and Brains returning. And Ratchet dies early in the movie, alongside Leadfoot who dies in recorded footage.
    • The Dinobots join forces with the Autobots for the finale as well.
  • Ominous Floating Spaceship: The Creators have a whole fleet, as shown in the prologue. In the present day, Lockdown has only one, but it can still do massive damage.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Optimus's first spoken line in this film? "I'LL KILL YOU!" said to a human.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Lockdown's employers are concerned that the intermingling of species and worlds is upsetting the balance of the universe.
  • Our Dark Matter Is Mysterious: Lockdown's ship is powered by dark matter.
  • Our Souls Are Different: There is some slight discussion about Transformer sparks, their soul analogues. Joyce insists that they cracked the code to Transformer physiology, but they are without sparks and thus actually more unpredictable and easily controlled by Galvatron once he reveals his true colors. Galvatron is explicitly Megatron reincarnated, acting on his own will but does not have a spark. What this exactly entails is not elaborated upon, but may be touched on in future movies as Optimus goes to confront the Cybertronian Creators.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Joyce realises something is not quite right about Galvatron after the latter speaks during his fight with Optimus, something he wasn't programed to do.
  • Outrun the Fireball:
    • Four humans try to outrun the bomb that turns living matter into transformium. One isn't so lucky.
    • The dinosaurs from the beginning try to outrun the blasts from the ships. Most of them get incinerated.
  • Overly-Long Tongue: When Tessa is sneaking around on Lockdown’s ship, she tries hiding from some guards and comes across a caged alien with a really long tongue. Once its tongue begins wrapping around her leg, she uses a sharp weapon to stab it.
  • Pet the Dog: It's implied at the end that Joyce has offered to pay for Tessa's tuition and has given Cade a stable job, and likely rescued Cade's house from foreclosure.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: The Dinosaurs were wiped out by the creators of Transformers trying to terraform the Earth into Transformium.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Lockdown transforms from a relatively small Lamborghini into a slender robot that's still notably shorter than Optimus, but in part due to Combat Pragmatism he ends up being one of the most difficult enemies Optimus has ever had to fight in the films, including such powerful warriors like Megatron and Sentinel Prime.
  • Precision F-Strike: Dropped by Joyce in a funny scene when he, Shane and Tessa get stuck behind a trio of slow old ladies while trying to get the Seed out of Hong Kong.
    Joyce: How do you say "Get the fuck out of the way" in Chinese?
  • Precursors: Lockdown reveals that his mysterious employers apparently created the Cybertronion race. Given that they've sent a vicious bounty hunter to reclaim one of their creations, they're definitely Abusive Precursors. We only get one fleeting glimpse of them, at the very beginning of the movie, a pinkish arm operating a panel.
  • Product Placement: On par for every Transformers film. Even putting aside the Dinobots and the other new toys/GM cars. We've also got:
    • Drift's alt form, which is a Bugatti Veyron.
    • Special mention goes to the prominent shot of Bud Light truck being destroyed with Bud Light bottles all over the place, one which is drunk from by Cade.
    • There's a Victoria's Secret bus in Hong Kong getting smashed in slow motion and in perfect focus, since Bay directed a commercial of theirs back in the day (complete with explosions).
    • One of the products Joyce uses Transformium to make is the Beats Pill portable speaker and he refers to it as such.
    • The ATM that Cade uses (via drone) is a Chinese Construction Bank ATM. And the ATM is a rest stop somewhere in the western United States!
    • The protein powder that Shane and Tessa shoplift is also shown to be a Chinese brand.
    • A brief shot of a Transformer whose alt mode is apparently an Oreo vending machine.
    • A lingering shot of the brand of bottled water Bingbing Li is drinking.
    • While hiding on a rooftop in Hong Kong, Joyce snags some sort of boxed drink from a nearby fridge, and it's shown with a fair amount of detail as he enjoys it. Doubles as a Continuity Nod; Jerry Wang from the previous film enjoyed the same brand.
    • Some FLIR equipment is shown near the beginning of the film.
    • Many of the guns used by Savoy and his henchmen are custom made by Salient Arms International. LVOA rail system produced by War Sport industries also makes prominent appearances on the custom AR-15s seen in the film.
  • The Purge: The Autobots were driven into hiding by human forces after the Chicago occupation in DOTM, after the dissolution of their military alliance (NEST) allowed Attinger to target the Autobots under the guise of still tracking down Decepticons. It is especially harsh because the Autobots spent the last three movies training human military how to defend against the 'Cons using themselves as "sparring" partners (an almost sacred trust) and with it being turned against them.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: While every bit as vicious as every other Cybertronian antagonist we've seen, non-aligned bounty hunter Lockdown has been said to be only on Earth for his target, before he intends to just leave and collect his payment from his employer.
  • Put on a Bus: The entire previous human cast is nowhere to be seen as well as the Decepticons, only a few Autobots like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Leadfoot, Ratchet and Brains return. With the only returning Decepticon being Megatron.

  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Autobots that are left don't get along very well, and in some cases are one bad word away from trying to kill each other.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lockdown seems fond of giving these.
    • He gives two in one scene: first to Attinger for allowing Optimus to get away in Mexico City, and another one (indirectly) to every known intelligent life-form in the universe for thinking they're the "centre of the universe".
    • He also gives another indirect one to both the Autobots and Decepticons for engaging in a civil war and leaving him to clean up the remains.
    • Tessa gives one to Cade for putting their "family" in danger.
  • Reforged into a Minion: The fate of all the KSI Drones late in the film, thanks to Galvatron hacking into their servers.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: All of the Dinobots are pretty big. Scorn (the Spinosaurus) is the biggest of them all, being bigger than Grimlock. Just for scale, Grimlock, according to Bay, is "150 feet long from tail to nostrils, 63.5 feet tall from the ground to the top of his horns, and weighs 850 tons". That's 1,560,000 lbs.
  • Retool: Given the Grand Finale tone of Dark of the Moon, the only way to continue in the same continuity would be to do something of fresh start. This involves introducing new human characters and new Decepticon villains, as well as an aesthetic revamp.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Drift, Hound, and Crosshairs are new to the films, but Optimus and Bumblebee already know them. It's implied that they arrived on Earth sometime after the last film.
  • The Remnant: At the beginning of the film, Attinger mentions there are "less than a dozen" Decepticons still in hiding. And even less Autobots. Drift outright states that the five Autobots present for this film are the only ones left on Earth, with no sign of any others.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: Cemetery Wind are revealed to be this; originally a CIA Black-Ops Taskforce that was assigned to hunt down the remaining Decepticons following the end of the previous film. Only for Cemetery Wind to go rogue and prioritize hunting down the Autobots instead and killing anyone of their human supporters in the process. All the while leaving their superiors in Washington in the dark to what they were actually doing.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Being a soft reboot lets them introduce new characters and, because of The Purge, the sheer number of Autobot characters are reduced. In addition to a reduced Decepticon roster, this brings us back towards the smaller, more intimate cast with more distinctive personalities like they had in the first movie, with the focus on building relationships instead of just action scenes.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Optimus leads a truly terrifying one when he learns that Ratchet was killed and is being melted down for parts.
    Optimus: They slaughtered Ratchet! I'LL TEAR THEM APART!
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Cade's friend and employee Lucas is killed/roasted by a firebomb thrown by Lockdown that the others just barely managed to escape. It is karmic, as he was the one who alerted the authorities to their place cause he wanted the money prize for handing over Optimus.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Ratchet is among the casualties of The Purge, and the only one shown, though Cade later extracts video footage from a drone of Leadfoot being killed as well.
  • Sassy Black Woman: The realtor who attempts to sell Cade's farm to a married couple. Cade refers to her as "Purple People Eater".
  • Savage Wolves: Lockdown has a couple who appear technorganic. And they don't exactly look friendly. They try to kill Tessa, Cade and Shane.
  • Scenery Porn: The Monument Valley scene.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: After Brains is rescued from KSI, he gives an expository speech, declares he doesn't want to get caught up in another war and promptly disappears from the film.
    • Optimus and the rest of the Autobots share this opinion. Being betrayed by the same humans they've fought and died for in the last three films is enough to sour even Optimus's opinion of them. With their main goal being to simply secure a ship and leave.
  • Secret Relationship: Shane and Tessa, because Cade doesn't want his daughter dating. Discovered when Shane comes to the rescue.
  • Self-Deprecation: When Cade and Lucas are going through an old movie theater for stuff they can buy for salvage, the owner bemoans modern cinema with all its sequels and remakes.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: We spend a lot more time in China here than in Egypt in the second movie.
  • Sequel Hook: Galvatron is unfettered by losing this time, as he just goes off to make further plans. Optimus leaves Earth with the seed to search for the creators, but asks the other Autobots to stay and defend humanity, while the Dinobots run off free into the wilds of China. In addition, Lockdown was extracting Autobot sparks, not outright killing them...
  • Shapeshifting: The KSI Transformers, Galvatron included, are closer to this than Transforming Mecha. Though they come with the same robot/vehicle form pair, they swap from one to another by dissolving into a cloud of metal and reforming.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Yeager's partner Lucas is horrifically killed by Lockdown in the first third of the film, and Brains vanishes from the plot as soon as he's rescued from KSI and delivers an Info Dump.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Ratchet is shown being hunted and killed in brutal detail. The knowledge that medics are to receive some leniency in combat makes this even more of a Player Punch.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Played with. Cade, shortly before going off to what might well be his last stand (he's meaning to help Optimus fight Lockdown and knows the chances of his coming back alive are slim) makes Shane promise to take care of Tessa "forever and ever, until the end of time." Not exactly a wedding, mind you, but Cade is holding an alien gun when he does this and given how he feels about Shane...
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: While in the wrong time period, the Psittacosaurus from the opening is depicted with quill-like feathers on its tail. The heterodontosaurids are also portrayed with a partial covering of feather-like filaments.
  • Sizeshifter: The previous films took care to try and avoid mass shifting among the robot characters, with the All-Spark from the first film as a magical exception. This film takes giant steps away from that mandate, with Lockdown transforming from a Lamborghini into a robot nearly the same size as Optimus, and Optimus himself taking on a much smaller semi-truck vehicle mode for the first half of the film (his original Peterbilt was chosen specifically to give him a larger robot mode versus the classic cab-over), resulting in a notable "shrinking" effect when he goes from robot to vehicle. The KSI transformers do not convert in the traditional way, disintegrating into a cloud of metal particles before reforming, which makes it more difficult to assess proper size and scale in relative forms.
  • Sociopathic Hero: The Dinobots only fight for Optimus because he forces them to; otherwise, they have very little stake in the final battle. They couldn't care less about the lives of any humans they're saving if they aren't important to the mission, nor about keeping Hong Kong intact. They are more than willing to stomp on vehicles, trample through streets full of cars and alleys full of pedestrians, and charge straight through buildings and architecture as they pursue the Decepticons throughout the city, adding unnecessarily to the collateral damage which they could have avoided effortlessly.
    • Many of the Dinobots' plans and maneuvers simply don't take the humans into account at all. Multiple civilians and soldiers are crushed when Scorn sideflips onto his back to defeat a group of Decepticons. They easily could have saved some lives or avoided millions in damages had they been more careful, but they just don't care.
    • It's not a good sign for civilians that the Dinobots simply enjoy using their brute force. Grimlock smashes through an ancient arch, which he could just have easily ran around or jumped over. His very second step on the streets of Hong Kong is to smash a random pickup truck that he made tumble down the hillside as he slid down. Strafe grabbed nearby cars in his beak for no reason as he writhed around in the streets, trying to shake off a Decepticon.
      • In a Behind the Scenes featurette, we see that Grimlock was originally supposed to smash through a large residential building, complete with civilians implied to be inside (a car is parked in the driveway beside it).
    • Even after the battle is over and Optimus lets them leave, the Dinobots still cause considerable destruction in their wake. Slug and Grimlock slam into the concrete below them as they transform, fracturing it. As Grimlock, Slug, and Scorn run away into the woods, their path intersects with the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, and they crush and topple some of the promenade's characteristic wind chime pillars. They carelessly topple trees with their powerful legs as they run off (though only in non-IMAX releases). As a testament to their destruction, the Dinobot's trails of giant footprints are seen extending into the forest off to the side as Optimus flies away, with a few trampled roads in their path.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Bumblebee is not happy to see Stinger and the marketing campaign "Like Bumblebee, only better." Being Bumblebee, among his ranting is a literal "What the [bleep]?"
  • Spit Take: Joyce spits out his drink when the Autobots first attempt to retrieve the Seed in China via their hijacked spaceship. He was just expecting a helicopter at the time.
  • Spotting the Thread: When trying to deny any knowledge of Optimus to Cemetery Wind, Cade refers to Optimus as "him". Attinger, listening through the drones, realizes that Cade must have spoken to Optimus if he's using gendered pronouns to refer to him.
  • Starfish Aliens: There's one in a cage on Lockdown's ship that Hound and Crosshairs come across. Hound considered it too ugly to live. There's also the mysterious aliens in the beginning of the film (The hand we see from these Creator aliens is somewhat human-like in its structure, but has pink string skin and multiple appendages).
  • Start My Own: The human villains are making their own drones out of "Transformium", and view the Autobots as unnecessary.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Attinger through and through. He shows Fantastic Racism towards all Transformers yet allies himself with one, claims to want to protect humanity from Transformers but will gladly sacrifice millions to cover his own ass, and goes on at length about protecting his country yet is only working with Joyce because he wants a fat payday when he retires.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Joyce and his assistants are disturbed when their allegedly remote-controlled Galvatron speaks. It's later revealed that Megatron's mind has persisted in the new mech.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Optimus's solution to Galvatron making the drones his new allies and Lockdown coming back to finish what he started? Let the Dinobots loose.
  • Tempting Fate: In the background of a scene featuring Stinger, there's a sign proclaiming him "safe and secure". Three guesses how that turns out.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Cade forbids Tessa from dating until after she graduates high school, pointing out that both him and Tessa's mom spent the day of their graduation in the hospital because the latter was giving birth. He doesn't want Tessa making the same mistake; unfortunately, Tessa was the baby in that scenario, which results in her thinking her dad is telling her that she's a mistake.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Drift throws his sword through a Decepticon near the end of the film.
  • Token Romance: Shane and Tessa, following on the footsteps of Sam and Mikaela/Carly.
  • Trailers Always Lie:
    • One of the TV spots showed Tessa dancing with Hound and Bumblebee, but this was cut from the film.
    • Some trailers make it seem the ships from the beginning are coming to attack Earth in the present day.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Brief shots of Ratchet being attacked and killed is shown in nearly every trailer. More acceptable than usual for this trope, as the death takes place at the beginning of the film.
  • Tranquil Fury: Bumblebee insists he's perfectly calm as he tips over Stinger's statue.
  • Trilogy Creep: Dark of the Moon was intended to be the last of the live-action films under Bay, with a lot of wrapping up character arcs and a rather conclusive victory. But the movies made so much money and everyone involved had so much fun making them they almost immediately started production of a new trilogy. Bay surprised himself by returning, saying that it felt like letting a child go.
  • The Unfettered: Attinger simply smiles when Cade brings up how he ordered his henchmen to kill Tessa.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: When Attinger insists on deploying the KSI prototype Transformers against the Autobots, Joyce initially refuses on the grounds that they've never been field-tested. Attinger presses the issues and the prototypes are launched, revealing that they aren't quite as reliable as Joyce would have liked.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Humanity formally broke off joint military operations with the Autobots following the Battle of Chicago, followed by Attinger and Cemetery Wind hunting down the Autobots so they could trade Optimus to Lockdown for the Seed. Even in general, humanity seems to regard Transformers as a whole as alien killing machines, rather than some being good and others being bad, with billboards even advising the populace to report any Transformers to the authorities. The President, at least, seems to have a fair opinion of them, and Cemetery Wind's operations depend on their activities remaining a secret. After what's happened in the end, it may change.
    • Tessa has a moment of this in the wake of Lucas's death, essentially blaming her father helping Optimus as the cause of everything, even going so far as to imply they should have turned him in and none of their misery would have happened. It's likely that she was just speaking from emotion and not thinking things through clearly enough, as it was made perfectly clear that Cemetery Wind would have killed them all anyway, especially since they had spoken with Optimus and knew who he was, breaking the cover story they had. Still it is somewhat remiss of her to say this, considering Optimus saved their lives, breaking cover the moment Savoy gave the order to shoot her. Also, technically the entire thing was actually Lucas's fault anyway, since he called in Optimus's location. Even when Cade said the government doesn't just give away free money, he should have listened .
    • Grimlock also. Optimus frees him after millennia of captivity, and Grimlock's first reaction is to swing a spike-laced club at him, as he refuses to be Optimus's own Androcles' Lion in repaying his debt by helping Optimus save the Earth from extinction and stop Galvatron.
  • Unobtainium: "Transformium", the KSI trademarked name given to "self-regenerating molecular alloy" discovered in the first film that Transformers are composed of and a big reason why Attinger is hunting them down. Joyce wants it so they can make an army of KSI built Transformers, using the raw matter from their bodies. The MacGuffin is a device called "The Seed", which can terraform an area on a small scale by converting local matter into Transformium, which would give Joyce more than enough material for their projects.
  • Unpredictable Results: Despite making major advances in creating Transformer-based technology, there are still some major hiccups. Joyce is quite upset that their Galvatron project is supposed to be a replica of Optimus Prime, but no matter how they tinker with the settings Galvatron looks like a modified Megatron...
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: The KSI Transformers versus the Autobots, with Stinger and Bumblebee being the most obvious example. This isn't completely straight since the KSI models that are supposed to be upgrades to the autobots but are themselves prototypes sent into the field earlier than intended while the autobots have been upgrading themselves for three straight movies.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: While battling Lockdown, Optimus sees Cade Yeager being held at gunpoint by Harold Attinger. Optimus kills Attinger to save Cade, but this brief distraction allows Lockdown to attack Optimus and pin him to a wall using the Autobot leader's own sword.
  • Villain Ball: Galvatron arguably would have succeeded had he not felt the need to act of his own free will while being 'controlled' by KSI. A few acts of dog-kicking gave Joyce enough doubt that Cade convinced him to hide the Seed, thus screwing over Galvatron's whole plan.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Galvatron buggers off during the final battle, when the Autobots kill Lockdown, and a Chinese airstrikes wipes out any KSI bots Galvatron was controlling that were missed but the auto and dinobots. Galvatron remarks, "We shall meet again Prime, for I am reborn!"
  • Villain Override: Once Galvatron breaks free in KSI's factory in China, he reprograms all of the KSI Drones including Stinger to do his bidding.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Attinger gets progressively more desperate to silence Cade as the film progresses, to the point that he's willing to let Lockdown level Hong Kong if it means covering up the truth.
  • The Voiceless: All the KSI Transformers, minus Galvatron.
  • Walking Armory: Hound. The toy comes with eight separate weapons, a triple-barreled Gatling Gun, two Sawed Off Shotguns, two Submachine Guns, two pistols and a combat knife. In the film proper, not one of those goes unused.
  • Wham Line:
    • Attinger's response when Cade asks if he intends to have them killed by his Mooks or do it himself:
      Attinger: What's your preference?
    • From Lockdown: "You think you were born? You were built. And they want you back."
    • When Galvatron speaks for the first time, revealing to Optimus he isn't some man-made drone, but in fact Megatron reborn.
      Optimus: You have no soul!
      Galvatron: That is why I have no fear!
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Sam and all the other human characters from the previous three movies are not only not present. They aren't even mentioned.
    • Brains disappears without explanation after his expository speech midway through the film, though his last line says he's had enough of the war and is getting out of here.
    • It is never explained what happened with Cemetery Wind after the whole movie. Both their leader and co leader got their just deserts but the rest of the Red Shirt Army seems to've gotten off scot-free for the most part.
  • What's In It For Me?: Crosshairs asks this to Cade when he orders the search for his daughter on Lockdown's ship to continue. Hound then points a gun at him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Cade gives one to Tessa for breaking the "no dating" rule after Shane comes to the rescue and revealed that he's 20 years old while she is 17 years old. Tessa responds with her own, blaming him for Lucas' death for not giving Optimus Prime to the government when he had the chance and sarcastically congratulates him for taking care of her before storming off. This makes Cade realize how much danger he put his family in.
    • Lockdown also gives one to Optimus Prime during the final battle after the latter saves Cade from Attinger, claiming he bought shame to the Cybertronian race.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: The Chinese elevator rider, who is largely minding his own business at first. But after he witnesses Su getting knocked down by one of the CIA thugs while she is attempting to protect Joyce, he immediately drops his bags, and unleashes Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs into the guy, saving her and Joyce.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Crosshairs deadpans this in response to the Dinobots showing up behind Optimus. A TV spot cuts this in response to Hound, Bumblebee and Tessa dancing, which doesn't happen in the movie.

"There are mysteries to the universe we were never meant to solve. But who we are and why we are here are not among them. Those answers, we carry inside. I am Optimus Prime, and this message is to my Creators: leave planet Earth alone...'cause I'm coming...for you."


Video Example(s):


Cemetery Wind

A CIA Task Force assigned to hunt down the Decepticons, only for them to break off and start hunting down Autobots as well while somehow leaving their superiors in Washington completely in the dark as to what they're actually even doing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / VanHelsingHateCrimes

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