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YMMV / Transformers: Age of Extinction

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  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Even if he was an annoying Plucky Comic Relief character like Leo from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (and there's considerably fewer people who hate him than Leo), nobody was too thrilled to see Lucas being burned into a metallic corpse by Lockdown's grenade. Even critics who didn't like Lucas admit that it was a very brutal scene.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Drift, as described here. Given that Drift's backstory is said to be basically the same as his IDW counterpart, it's not too hard to look at his treatment of Lockdown's alien specimen (see Hypocritical Humor on the main page) as a sign that his Decepticon habits haven't died just yet. As explained in the link, Drift's samurai-like appearance and attempts of being virtuous can easily be read as him trying to move past his Decepticon persona; the fact that he slips up shows that it isn't easy to just change when one switches sides.
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    • Lockdown's disgust with the Autobot and Decepticon factions could be chalked up to derision at the idea of subjugating oneself to an ideal, which would fit nicely with his bounty hunter persona. However, there's plenty of room to interpret him as angered with them for the destruction the war has wrought on the Cybertronian race, particularly in his speech to Ratchet.
      Lockdown: Autobots, Decepticons... like little children, always fighting, making a mess out of the universe. Then I've got to clean it up.
    • People still argue about the details of Attinger's death; some believe that Optimus killed him for revenge in an Out of Character moment, while others think he only wanted to save Cade (this is backed up by the fact that Optimus even calls out Cade's name upon seeing him being held at gunpoint by Attinger) but simply didn't have any other options, as he was already occupied by a Combat Pragmatist who could use his every move to his own advantage. Note that the film never clarifies if Optimus even knew Attinger was behind his friends' deaths, and he did spare and forgive the people who recycled their bodies.
  • Applicability:
    • This movie has apparent themes that could be seen as parallels to treatment of immigrants, treatment of "enemy combatants", and some basic human rights questions.
    • Alternately, the it's fairly easy to see the ethics of humans toying with what is essentially the version of Transformer genetic material, as Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Galvatron is voiced by Frank Welker and has a more humanlike design that resembles a cross between Movieverse Megatron and the G1 incarnations of both characters. This is what many fans wanted Movieverse Megs to be like in the first place. In fact, as with tradition, he is Megatron Brain Uploaded into a new body. Consequently, this adds another Author's Saving Throw, where the Decepticon leader regains his famed badassery and power after two movies where he became more and more of an Autobot punching bag.
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    • In addition, the movie's more serious approach is seen as a welcome change after Revenge Of The Fallen's infamous barrage of Vulgar Humor. Dark Of The Moon was considerably better about it while including some non-vulgar comedy, but this movie's more serious approach has a broader appeal to older fans. You also have to wonder if the particularly horrific death of the main comic relief character is in reference to how badly his type went over before.
    • Just like with Muppets Most Wanted, the non-human characters (the Transformers) get more focus and characterization than the humans this time around, which critics hate and fans love. Fans seem sharply divided on whether the Autobots and Decepticons actually do get more focus than Cade, his family, and the literally dozens of human conspirators do. And a common Critic complaint of previous films was that the title characters seemed like secondary guest stars in their own film, an objection they shared with the fans, just for different reasons.
    • After three previous movies of the female characters being sexualized, this movie heavily tones down the fanservice and is even lampshaded with Cade snarking at Tessa's shorts.
    • Some people complained that fight scenes with the robot characters were difficult to follow due to the designs of the robots being too complex, not helped by their very muted color palette. This film heavily simplifies the designs of the robot characters, and the colors (especially those of the Autobots) were made far more vibrant to make them easier to tell apart.
  • Broken Base: It's Michael Bay, and Transformers. This was inevitable:
    • Optimus Prime's new body. Either it's a new, but still cool and very regal looking design for the character, or it loses a little too many of the "iconic" features (such as the window chest and grill-abs) and doesn't look much like it works too well in terms of transforming, compared to his previous designs.
    • The toyline. Ever since DOTM, there have been complains that the toys were simplified and downsized to save money, these complaints are increased with this line. Others are just pleased with the design of the toys, especially the Dinobots. Similarly, a movie-style Optimus that resembles his G1 counterpart has also been well-received.
    • The use of a new Imagine Dragons song, "Battle Cry", upset fans awaiting a new Linkin Park song, although some listeners thought it sounded good by its own standards.
    • Whether the major overhauls to the characters and tone noted under Win Back the Crowd will give Transformers a chance at Growing the Beard, or whether it'll just be more of the same. Almost nobody, even fans of the original trilogy, is upset about the overhauls, though.
    • Megatron being resurrected again, as Galvatron. A lot of fans appreciate how the character was brought back to being a genuine threat after two movies of Badass Decay, acknowledge it as part of Galvatron's traditional lore, and appreciate his greater similarity to G1 Megatron/Galvatron, but a few fans are accusing Bay of getting lazy with the villains.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: If you're even remotely familiar with basically any version of Transformers lore, it should come as no surprise that "Galvatron" is Megatron reincarnated. Even without knowing the lore, the similar names and the fact that "Galvatron" apparently keeps redesigning its body to resemble Megatron entirely on its own are enough to give it away.
  • Character Rerailment: Megatron finally goes back to being a solo antagonist, rather than working for another villain as in the previous two films, and is fully capable of fighting Prime on equal footing again.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Contested Sequel: Almost nobody considers Age of Extinction "the worst Transformers movie of all" (which would be really saying something), but consensus among most critics is pretty much "it's Transformers, so it sucks". A few critics (and a few more fans), on the other hand, believe that the numerous retools make for a better movie than its predecessors, and the general public having lower expectations also helps. However, a point of debate is how well it holds up to the other movies in the series, especially the first and third. Supporters point out the somewhat darker tone, lack of gratuitous potty humor, a strong villain and overall better characterized robots, and Wahlberg being a better lead than LaBeouf. Haters claim that the action brings nothing new to the table, the humans are only marginally better but still not good, the movie is simply far too long, and that most of the previous films' criticized aspects (flat story, pointless scenes, immature humor, offensive stereotypes, shaky-cam) haven't been improved upon.
  • Critical Dissonance: Critic reviews for Age of Extinction are quite negative; its Rotten Tomatoes score is similar to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but the reviews themselves aren't quite as vitriolic in tone (in fact, many reviews give the film an average score, but RT counts them as rotten). It also became the first live-action Transformers movie to receive zero Academy Award nominations. However, it has seen quite a bit less backlash from the fanbase than previous films, mostly due to Author's Saving Throw and Pandering to the Base as well as lower audience expectations than for ROTF.note  The film was also successful at the box office so far.
  • Ending Fatigue: The film clocks in at 2 hours and 45 minutes. This is one of the main complaints about the film from the critics. On top of that, we get a lengthy action scene in Beijing, which looks like it's going to be the film's final battle... before the actual final battle in Hong Kong.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Dinobots and Lockdown are massively popular characters in the rest of the franchise so naturally their appearance here has caused much rejoicing.
    • The Dinobots deserve special mention. Despite their Wolverine Publicity, they only appear during the last 15 minutes or so and don't even speak. However, many have said that they're one of the best parts of the movie, even for some people who don't enjoy the movie.
    • Galvatron and (especially) Lockdown get some of this due to being far more legitimate threats than previous antagonists. In Galvatron's case, a bonus is that he gives some badass cred to this universe's Megatron once again.
    • From the Autobots, Hound has to be getting this treatment. The fact he's voiced by John Goodman and that one of his most iconic lines is "I'm a fat ballerina!" certainly does wonders.
    • Crosshairs, too. Being a Deadpan Snarker in the vein of Rattrap helps, as does his awesome-looking kibble duster and skydiving scene.
  • Epileptic Trees: People have theorized that Unicron would be the Final Boss for the new trilogy that starts with this movie from the moment it was announced. Given that the movie is Darker and Edgier (as Unicron stories typically are), that it involves Galvatron who is traditionally Megatron resurrected by Unicron, and that both Galvatron and Lockdown (the Big Bad Duumvirate of the film) are both working for an unseen antagonist that is substantially more powerful than they are, it's plausible to some degree. Turns out Galvatron is indeed Megatron resurrected, but not due to Unicron - it's due to himself, with a little accidental "help" from the human government.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Drift is one of the offenders for many fans and IDW Generation 1 readers who were familiar to the original character: the Autobot is often accused as one of the heavily stereotypical Cybertronians since Skids ands Mudflap: He wears a literal yellow(-gold) Asian face, complete with squinty eyes, and wore a very stereotypical Samurai appearance. It barely helped that he almost always spoke out Haikus.
  • Evil Is Cool: Lockdown was already getting this reaction from the fans just from the trailers. The guy's face turns into a giant gun. Galvatron/ Megatron too, especially considered that he managed to come back strong after his untimely beheading and dupe the humans who thought they had a brainless weapon on their hands.
  • Evil Is Sexy: With his deep voice and exceptionally well-defined physique (for a Transformer, anyway), Lockdown falls squarely into this territory.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show is very big in China. So big that it sold over 300 Million USD in there as of this moment, making it the highest-grossing film ever in the country. It also made more money in China than in the US.
  • Ham and Cheese: Like others such as John Turturro and John Malkovich before him, Stanley Tucci. In a voiceover role, John Goodman's Boisterous Bruiser performance as Hound.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: This movie retroactively makes the Ratchet/Lockdown emnity in Transformers Animated much harder to watch. In the same vein, a recent scene in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye has Pharma, Ratchet's nemesis, strip him down to just a head and spark as part of a torture routine.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
    • Given that Lockdown is seen taking his intact spark as a trophy and KSI never got a chance to finish melting his head, a large contingent of fans believe Ratchet may be poised to make a return much like Megatron did as Galvatron.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Movie Optimus is well known for killing Decepticons by either destroying their heads or taking their faces. In the movie, he's shot down by Lockdown, who has his face turn into a gun.
    • In DOTM, Epps exclaims with immense frustration over why the Decepticons always get "the good shit," whether it be Devastator or the Driller. Well now we have Optimus riding a monstrous Grimlock into battle, which sort of evens it all out.
    • Mark Wahlberg's first major film success, Boogie Nights, included a scene of him singing "The Touch". Seventeen years later, he's starring alongside the character whose unofficial anthem is that song.
    • In ROTF, Obstructive Bureaucrat Galloway mistakenly believed the Decepticons were on Earth to hunt the Autobots. Cue this movie, and Lockdown coming to Earth solely to 'hunt' Optimus Prime.
    • Frank Welker replaces Hugo Weaving's Megatron as Galvatron. In the G1 series, Welker's Megatron was (temporarily) replaced with Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron, and he voiced Sentinel Prime in this movie's predecessor.
    • Within the film itself, Optimus hides in a barn, has a discussion with a human on the concept of the soul, and flies into space at the end. Now, does that seem more than a little familiar?
    • Cade Yeager (say it out loud) is a human who goes up against Lockdown, who given his immense size and strength, can be fairly called a Titan.
    • An Autobot voiced by John Goodman, whose previous films include one where one of his more famous lines ("You're entering a world of pain.") is 99% identical to one of comics writer Simon Furman's frequently-used dialogue phrases ("Furmanisms") in Transformers Generation One comics.
    • "We shall meet again, Prime, for I am reborn!" considering that Mega's brief stint as Galvatron is not even mentioned in the next film.
  • It Was His Sled: Unless you know next to nothing about Galvatron or expected Michael Bay to throw a curveball, Megatron's return as Galvatron will not be a shocker.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Along with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, some people resent this movie for its impending massive international success despite its vastly inferior reviews to many of the year's other summer blockbusters.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: One word: Dinobots. Also Lockdown. Averted for the Transformers in general, though; this is their story, not Sam's or Cade's.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The aforementioned gunface has led to fanart of Transformers Animated Lockdown with a face-gun, as well as kit-bashers modding figures of older versions of the character to have a similar feature.
    • This image became a meme just hours after it was published.
    • Drift's brief appearance in the background of the shot of Grimlock breathing fire (and apparently the same scene as Optimus smacking Grimlock with his shield) inspired many a "Let them fight" memes, as an Actor Allusion to Drift's voice actor, Ken Watanabe's famous line in the 2014 reboot of Godzilla.
    • Rainbow Dash turning into a gun has become a cross-fandom meme.
    • Transformers Sex Tape.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Hound has been repeatedly compared to the modern depiction of Bulkhead pioneered by Animated due to the fact that he's fat and green. Other than that, he has nothing in common with that gentle, sweet and creative Autobot; Hound is otherwise borderline psychotic, trigger-happy, violent, and crusty, even if he is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Ironically, Hound's characterization is more in line with the first Autobot to bear the name of Bulkhead from Transformers Energon, who was a crusty, trigger-happy green Autobot.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • If he didn't cross it already (allowing Tessa to be threatened or refuse to allow paramedics during Galvatron's out of control rampage) Attinger crossed it big time when he allowed Savoy to kill witnesses and gave Lockdown the okay to level Hong Kong to hide his plans.
    • Any sympathy Savoy would want people to show him die out when he threatens Tessa to make Cade give Optimus Prime's location.
    • Lockdown crosses it in his first scene by coldly murdering Ratchet.
  • Narm: See here.
  • Narm Charm:
    • When Cade asks Savoy if he has a warrant Savoy replies with "My FACE is my warrant!" The line is incredibly stupid, but after saying that you're not gonna mess with Savoy.
    • When Cade asks Optimus if they'll see each other again, Optimus replies with "Whenever you look to the stars, think of one of them as my soul." The line is so ridiculous it wouldn't look out of place in a Disney film, but Peter Cullen delivers it with such dignity and conviction that it sounds awesome.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The unsettling age gap romance between Tessa and Shane - and the latter literally carrying a printed version of a law explaining why it's okay - is probably one of the only things that some of the fans remember about the movie.
    • To many fans of the original Generation 1 Optimus Prime; they're ultimately scarred by the fact that Optimus, the heroic Autobot leader himself, actually killed a human. No matter if said human completely deserved it and it was to save another human.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: The (now defunct) mobile game inspired by the movie was regarded as a genuinely fun Third Person Shooter. Rise of the Dark Spark, on the other hand
  • Older Than They Think:
    • People only familiar with the live-action Transformers franchise at times complained about robots having human faces, cloth-like kibble, chewing on cigars, samurai robots, dinosaur robots, and all sorts of things that have been a part of the brand for ages. It provided for a nice Hilarious in Hindsight-moment, as back when the first movie was in the works, the insect-like Transformers designs had lead to such a huge counterattack from older fans that some had to be redesigned mid-production.
    • There are a few who've criticized Prime's request of loyalty/help from Grimlock while holding a sword to his head, noting that this goes against his "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" speech. However, in the original series, on their first appearance, Optimus ordered the non-loyal Dinobots to be sealed away in a tiny cave, with no plans of ever letting them get out. Apparently, beating someone in a duel is worse than burying someone alive.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Tessa gets a lot of flak for constantly blaming her father and the Autobots for nearly every bad thing that happens to her even when they are attempting to keep her safe from Lockdown. Nicola Peltz's Dull Surprise acting does not help.
    • Shane is hated for reminding Cade of the former's relationship with Tessa even when they are under attack. The fact that he carries a card with a description of a law that authorizes his relationship with a seventeen-year-old girl in his wallet like a condom certainly rubbed viewers the wrong way. Saying lines like "I'm not here to save your daughter, you're here to save my girlfriend" make people side with Cade on wanting him away from Tessa.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: One person, group or event does not speak for an entire civilization, nor does it justify hatred or harm. As in what happened in Chicago does not speak for the Transformers and what Attinger, Savoy and all of Cemetery Wind had done does not speak for all humans.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • While the effects for the most part are well done, the transforming Rainbow Dash doll is clearly a CG object, as evidenced by the movement of the doll being out of sync with the scientist holding it.
    • Galvatron slicing a car in half is also suspectnote , as are most of the KSI-made robot transformations.
      • Several scenes with the Autobots also look unfinished and weirdly lit. This is most obvious during the scenes of Prime in Cade's shed and Drift transforming into his helicopter form.
    • When Tessa is in Lockdown's incinerator room, the green screen can be seen in the background.
    • Another faulty green screen/composite job also pops up during the escape from Lockdown's ship via its anchors.
    • The blink-and-you'll-miss-it scene as the car lands on the ramp from the factory clearly displays that the car hasn't been shaded very well.
    • The Sears Tower isn’t edited out of the background in one shot supposedly set in China.
    • The physical model of the KSI drone moves and looks like a poorly made puppet, to the point where you can almost see the rod it's attached to.
    • At one point during the final battle, Cade hides behind a broken wall. Then, we get a closer look, and it's clearly a different wall. Then, Lockdown blasts it...and debris showers Cade along with some strange guy who appears out of nowhere. The actor's shots were all cut except for the expensive explosion scene, with no effort made to digitally paint him out.
    • Ratchet's head in the KSI building is very clearly an unpainted prop in certain shots.
    • The air conditioner that Cade knocks down is simply a facade, as it leaves no hole in the wall.
    • More of an editing failure, but the scene where Lucas bites it cuts from said character still alive to a split second of him already being charbroiled before the actual blast.
  • Strawman Has a Point: While it was obviously wrong for Earth's governments to turn on the Autobots after everything they've done, it isn't entirely unjustified. Despite fighting to defend humanity, the Autobots are partially responsible for bringing the war to Earth in the first place. A war that has caused incalculable damage and endangered Humanity again and again. After the Decepticons attempted to destroy Earth to restore their own planet, with the aid of a rogue Autobot, its easy to see why the government would decide to stop trusting either side and just Kill 'Em All.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Some preview footage shown several months before the movie's debut showed Galvatron being remote-controlled by Joyce, which fans took offense to. In the actual film, it turns out Galvatron is faking it.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Many fans of Drift (including his creator, Shane McCarthy) have expressed disapproval of his portrayal here, feeling that his stereotypical samurai traits have been elevated to Ethnic Scrappy levels.
    • Lockdown's new design has gotten some complaints due to looking nothing like his original incarnation. While some don't mind the look of his new robot mode, the change from a muscle car to a sports car has been less well-received. His characterization and personality, however, have been generally acknowledged as being faithful to the original character.
    • Even though Hound is easily one of the most popular characters to debut in the film, a minority of fans have given backhanded praise to him since they think he should’ve been named Bulkhead due to being fat and green. This is despite the fact that otherwise Hound has nothing in common with the modern take on Bulkhead.
    • At least one fan invoked this in regards to the decision to make the Dinobots (especially Grimlock) The Voiceless.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The Dinobots, despite their Wolverine Publicity, don't talk and only appear during the half-hour or so of the movie with no prior build-up. While it's pretty clear that Bay was saving them for the climax (possibly to make their appearance "extra-special"), some fans still feel cheated.
    • Galvatron. While he does manage to reclaim the glory that Megatron lost in the previous sequels, he ultimately doesn't do much in the climax aside from ordering his troops around. It seems like they're saving him for the sequel, but compared to Lockdown, he just comes up a bit short.
    • Embodied with Ratchet. Fan outcry at his death was huge.
    • The fact that Drift is a former Decepticon goes completely unmentioned in the film, despite being an easy way to flesh out his character and conflict between him and the other Autobots.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A major source of complaint about this film — specifically, the constant teasing of what seems like build-up to some good character moments — and then cut to the next scene before there's any payoff. For example, any real arc of Cade warming up to Shane, or of Cade having a nice heart-to-heart with his daughter, or of Optimus and Cade discussing their common problems, etc. are sadly relegated to offscreen.
  • Too Cool to Live: Ratchet, Leadfoot, and Lockdown.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: For a given measure of "bad", there are a few examples:
    • Some reviewers have argued that Kelsey Grammer, despite the film being lackluster, is downright chilling as Attinger. Of those reviewers, many have said that he would have been better playing that character in a film such as Die Hard.
    • Lockdown is downright terrifying, in no small part due to his creepy and badass portrayal by Mark Ryan.
    • As usual, Peter Cullen and Frank Welker give it their all as Optimus and Galvatron.
  • Unexpected Character: More than a few people were not expecting the newly-introduced Animated Canon Foreigner Lockdown to make an appearance.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: It goes without saying that once more the film has out of this world special effects.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Everything seen about the film so far seems like it's trying to do this. A number of fans are hoping the announcement that the film will be more serious (and that the new trilogy will have an actual overall plot beyond Autobots punching Decepticons) means the creators are trying to restore the franchise's respectability on the silver screen. The inclusion of Dinobots and replacement of teenage Sam Witwicky with adult Cade Yeager as primary human protagonist is also very appreciated. The Transformers themselves getting more screentime and unique personalities is viewed to be a step in the right direction by many. In addition, the visual style of the robots is expanded upon, making them easier to tell apart and becoming almost pretty to look at.
  • The Woobie: All the Autobots could qualify, but especially Optimus Prime. He spent years fighting for the humans, gave his life for them (and was prepared to do it on at least one other occasion), helping protect them, teaching them to fend off the Decepticons, and being their strongest supporter even when his team had doubts. In return? The humans decided to wipe out Autobot and Decepticon alike, killing off many of Optimus' teammates and comrades, and forcing the survivors to go into hiding. Though, to be fair, it seems like it was less humanity than it was a secret cabal of CIA operatives and corporate bigwigs stonewalling the rest of the government and the general public to hide the fact that they were hunting down the Autobots as well. Even the president of the United States was under the assumption that Optimus Prime was still working with the CIA on undercover ops.


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