IF Michael Bay, director of Transformers: Age Of Extinction, were immortalised on-screen as a “robot in disguise”, his mechanised alter-ego might be Maximus Kaboom.
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For two decades, the Californian film-maker has been elevating wanton destruction to a blockbusting art form.
In Armageddon, he pitted Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck against a gigantic asteroid on a collision course with earth and orchestrated destruction to the sonic booms of Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor provided Bay with a turbulent backdrop to his 2001 war opus.
Since 2007, he has been ensconced in the Transformers fold, bringing bombast to live-action adventures of the bestselling Hasbro toys.
This fourth instalment is crammed with Bay’s usual visual excesses and motifs, including gleaming cars and a pouting female protagonist in hilariously short denim shorts.
Five years have passed since the Battle Of Chicago, which provided the pyrotechnic-laden climax to Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.
The alliance between humans and robots lies in tatters and an elite CIA unit named Cemetery Wind under the control of Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer) hunts Transformers without mercy.
On a family ranch, struggling inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) discovers that a rusty truck he has just purchased is battle-scarred Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen). Agents from Cemetery Wind soon descend on the homestead...
Screenwriter Ehren Kruger repeatedly defies logic to contrive outlandish scenarios for pyrotechnics and carnage, including an alien spaceship that sucks up metal then drops magnetically charged cars and boats onto terra firma.
Wahlberg punches and leaps through gaping plot holes, trotting out the concerned father routine as younger members of cast perform gravity-defying gymnastics without a graze or smudged lip-gloss.