Michael Bay is back this summer, with his fourth Transformers movie in seven years, titled Transformers: Age of Extinction. This installment swaps out the human players from previous installments – incorporating some new Transformers along the way – and brings aboard the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammar, and Nicola Peltz (Bates Motel), instead.
Story-wise, the film involves the U.S. government harvesting Cybertronian elements to produce Transformers of their own, while hunting down the remaining Autobots in the aftermath of the destruction of Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Post-9/11 metaphors aside, the marketing angle for Age of Extinction has been relatively vague on plot and more focused on highlighting the Autobots and their new allies – the Dinobots.
The film’s latest international trailer – featured at the top of this article – contains both new footage and previously-released material featuring the heavily-teased Dinobot, Grimlock, in addition to an excerpt from Imagine Dragon’s original song “Battle Cry”, written for the film (also teased in a U.S. TV Spot that premiered online a few weeks ago). Here, we’re also presented with a fresh look at newcomer Autobot, Hound – voiced by beloved character actor John Goodman (Argo, Monsters University) – and his WW II general-inspired look and mannerisms (see: flicking his bullet “cigar” at Tucci).
As illustrated by the TV spot above, Grimlock is quite capable, when it comes to roaring like Jurassic Park‘s T-Rex; whether the character has any personality beyond that, is something of a secondary concern. Both Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are returning for Age of Extinction, of course – and judging by the latest footage, the latter has yet to tire of having to risk life and limb, making elaborate jumps in order to save the humans around him. As Wahlberg rightly puts it – after Bumblebee pulls off a death-defying move that involves swinging Tarzan-style onto a skyscraper – “You’re the best, B!”
Most of these plot/character elements feel either recycled or derivative of what’s come before in this film series, despite the new human cast members and the semi-reboot vibe of the proceedings in Age of Extinction. That said, Bay’s latest Transformers movie does look to be a more technically-accomplished and overall shinier variation on his previous work in the franchise – so, if you are still a fan, then there’s legitimate reason to be excited about seeing this next installment.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens in U.S. theaters on June 27th, 2014.