Hardcore fans may enjoy this fourth episode of the fighting robot franchise – but for everyone else it’s a long dull road to cinematic oblivion.
If you strip this film down to its component parts: alien robots, metal dinosaurs, spaceships and good performances by Marky Mark Wahlberg and Stanley Tucci, it should be a lot of fun.
But it’s mangled construction means that no amount of flashy explosions – and there’s an awful lot of them – can jump start the story into life.
Since the Battle of Chicago the surviving autobots (the good transformers) and the decepticons (the baddies) have been hiding from the authorities, particularly sinister CIA boss Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer).
He’s teamed up with corrupt millionaire designer Joshua Joyce (Tucci) and they’ve hired mercenary transformer Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan) to hunt down the robot cars.
They plan to use the alien technology to build their own indestructible army.
Meanwhile struggling inventor Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) rescues a broken-down truck which turns out to be autobot leader Optimus Prime.
Along with Yeager’s useless daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) and her idiot boyfriend Shane (Jack Reynor) they’re soon on the run from Lockdown.
Beneath the special effects sheen there’s a clapped-out engine of mechanical dialogue, shoddy plotting and a repetitive structure of chases and fights.
Devoid of excitement, logic or wit, it lasts a brain melting and bum-numbing two hours and forty five minutes – but seems at least twice as long.
It screams along in second gear at a hundred miles an hour, culminating in another huge battle which includes three dinobots.
As far as autobots go, I’ve watched far more entertaining episodes of The Octonauts.