Story

At the end of the lastTransformers movie – Transformers: Dark of the Moon – a battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons ended with the destruction of Chicago. The few surviving Autobots were given sanctuary and the Decepticons were to be hunted down and destroyed. But the Autobots were betrayed by CIA agent Harold Attinger (Kelsey Grammer). Since then Attinger, with the assistance of a bounty hunter named Lockdown (voice of Mark Ryan), has been systematically hunting down and destroying the remaining Autobots.

In Transformers: Age of Extinction, Texas motor mechanic Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) are finding it hard to make ends meet and are about to be evicted from their farm. Yeager brings home a wrecked truck to strip down and sell as parts, and discovers that it is Autobot Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen). Prime has been hiding out after being wounded in an ambush orchestrated by Attinger. There is a reward of $100 000 for information leading to the capture of Autobots, so it doesn’t take long for word of Optimus Prime’s location to reach Attinger. He and a team of mercenaries arrive at Yeager’s farm to capture Optimus Prime. Luckily Optimus Prime, Yeager, Tessa and Tessa’s boyfriend Shane Dyson (Jack Reynor) escape and head to Monument Valley, where they join up with Autobots Bumblebee, Crosshairs (voice of John DiMaggio), Drift (voice of Ken Watanabe), and Hound (voice of John Goodman).

Determined to find out why they have been betrayed by humans, the Autobots – with the assistance of Yeager, Tessa and Shane – discover that a technology company owned by Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) has been conspiring with Attinger to create a new and improved Transformer using a recycled metal called Transformium. At the same time, Lockdown is on a mission of his own to capture Optimus Prime and has offered Attinger and Joyce a device called the ‘Seed’ for Prime’s capture. The Seed is capable of devastating an area the size of a large city and harvesting metal to make into Transformium. The Autobots and their friends must stop this from happening.

Themes

Aliens and alien invasion; betrayal; secret government organisations

Violence

Transformers: Age of Extinction contains some brutal action violence, reported deaths of hundreds of civilians and the destruction of property on a massive scale. There is one scene of particularly gruesome death. For example:

  • A man threatens a woman with a baseball bat, charging at her and swinging the bat at her.
  • Throughout the movie there are fights between giant Transformer robots. Transformers are hit by exploding rockets and automatic weapons fire. One Transformer has his leg blown off by a rocket, pleads for his life and is then impaled through the chest with a gigantic sword. A second Transformer plunges his fist into the wounded Transformer’s chest and rips out the sword.
  • CIA agents manhandle two men and a teenage girl, pushing them to the ground and pinning them down. One agent presses a handgun to the girl’s head and threatens to shoot her unless her father tells him what he wants to know. The girl cries and screams in fear. An agent gives the order to shoot and the gun is fired into the ground next to the girl.
  • Throughout the movie, there are several reckless and perilous car chases that involve damage to vehicles and buildings with people inside.
  • A Transformer in car form speeds along a highway and transforms into a giant sword-wielding robot that uses its sword to slice through several cars, leaving the cars in pieces scattered across the highway. There are no images of the cars’ occupants.
  • A blast from a weapon engulfs a man, instantly burning him up. There is a disturbingly gruesome image of the man’s corpse left in a running pose, blackened and still burning.
  • In a brutal battle, two Transformers punch each other in the head and body, and slam each other into the ground.
  • During a fight, two men and a woman punch and kick each other in the head, stomach and body. At one point one of the men brutally throws the woman against metal pipes while one man slams a metal hose reel into the other man’s face.
  • An alien spacecraft sucks up numerous vehicles, including large passenger ships, and then drops them on to the city below. By the end of the movie, large parts of a major city are left destroyed.
  • A man chases another man across rooftops. The two men fight and nearly fall from the buildings. They crash through the window of a high-rise apartment and continue fighting inside the apartment. The fighting continues until one man punches the other through a window and the man falls to his death, crashing through several balconies before landing on the pavement.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, there are scenes and characters in Transformers: Age of Extinction that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • One scene aboard an alien spaceship shows a robotic arm with a clawed hand picking up pieces of metal.
  • There is a pack of menacing and slobbering Transformer dogs with yellow saliva.
  • A bat-like caged alien hangs upside down in a cage. The creature wraps its long tongue around a girl’s leg and tries to pull the girl into its cage. The girl severs the creature’s tongue and it bleeds green blood.
  • There is a yellow-skinned creature that looks like a giant spider with long fangs.
  • There are gigantic dinosaur-like Transformers including a fire-breathing tyrannosaurus, a two-headed pterodactyl and a stegosaurus. They rip apart other Transformers with their teeth and eat their heads. 

From 5-8

Children in this age group will be disturbed by the violent and disturbing scenes and characters mentioned above. 

From 8-13

Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the violent and disturbing scenes and characters mentioned above. 

Over 13

Younger children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes and characters mentioned above. 

Sexual references

Transformers: Age of Extinction contains low-level sexual references and innuendo throughout. For example:

  • A man ogles two young women wearing short shorts and low-cut tops that reveal cleavage. He says, ‘Look at these two June bugs. Mamma!’
  • An older man talks about seeing dancing girls with ‘big cha-chas’.
  • While video-chatting with her boyfriend, a teenage girl tells him that he is ‘looking hot today’ and asks him to take his shirt off.
  • A man tells another man that jellyfish are erotic and deadly ‘like women’. He makes a crude reference to his ex-wife.
  • A young man tells the father of his girlfriend that he wants to get some mouthwash because he wants to be fresh when he makes out with the man’s daughter. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Transformers: Age of Extinction shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Adults drink socially.
  • A truck spills a load of bottled beer and a man picks up a bottle, opens it and takes a swig.
  • One of the Autobots constantly has a cigar in his mouth. 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity and sexual activity in Transformers: Age of Extinction. For example:

  • Throughout the movie, Tessa wears short shorts that partially expose her buttocks and tank tops that reveal cleavage and abdomen. In one scene the camera angle looks from her feet up under her shorts.
  • Most women in the movie wear tight and revealing clothing.
  • A young man puts his arm around his teenage girlfriend while sitting on a sofa. The girl’s father says, ‘Excuse me there’s no smooching around here’.
  • A man moves in to kiss a woman, but she shoves him away.
  • Tessa and her boyfriend kiss passionately. 

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Transformers: Age of Extinction:

  • vehicles including Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Range Rover, Mini Cooper and Dodge
  • drinks including Coke and Budweiser
  • electronic products including Samsung and Epson.

The Transformers franchise is based on Hasbro Transformers toys, which are popular with and marketed to children who are not old enough to see Transformers: Age of Extinction. There is also an app based on the movie, which is being marketed as suitable for children aged over nine years. Read a review of the Transformers: Age Of Extinction app

Coarse language

Transformers: Age of Extinction has coarse language and name-calling throughout. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Transformers: Age of Extinction is the fourth movie in the Transformers series. It’s a science fiction action adventure targeting adolescent boys in particular. The movie has several stereotypical characters and objectifies its female characters. It contains non-stop intense action and violence, which becomes repetitive, especially as the movie has a running time of 165 minutes.

The movie’s M rating is appropriate. It isn’t suitable for children under 13 years, who might want to see it because they like Transformers toys. We recommend parental guidance for children aged 13-15 years. In addition to the constant violence, there are several disturbing scenes and scary characters.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Technological development left unchecked can be dangerous.
  • Opportunities for learning and advancement can come from the mistakes that humans make.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include selflessness. For example, several of the movie’s characters put other people’s welfare before their own. They’re willing to put their lives on the line to protect the people they care for.

You could also talk with your children about the stereotyping of the movie’s main characters and the way that the movie objectifies women.