The Michael Bay Transformers series has never been looked upon with respect due to its mindless action and poor writing, relying only on CG visuals and sexy women. I think we were all relieved to hear the Shia LeBeouf was no longer part of the cast, and it maybe gave the 4th installment a glimmer of possibility of actually being good. I even had some hope for the film, despite my cynical outlook on the franchise. Boy, was I way off. This film ended up just being like the other films, except 4 times worse.
The beginning of the film was promising: Mark Wahlberg is an inventor (by title only) named Cade Yeager, finding no real financial success through his work. Yeager finds himself going through an abandoned theater looking for scrap metal, when finds an old truck oddly enough. The truck ends up being Optimus Prime, who has been injured in an offscreen battle apparently. Meanwhile, a transformer named Lockdown is assisting the CIA in hunting Autobots despite them being earth's friends. We don't know who Lockdown is, but that's okay because everyone else in the movie apparently does. (His face transforms into a gun) Cade Yeager and his daughter end up getting mixed up in the hunt for Autobots when the CIA discovers that they are harboring Optimus.
Once that whole story starts getting underway, it completely loses traction. Optimus calls upon the Autobots to fight against the one who has been hunting them (after the execution of Ratchet), and suddenly four Autobots show up, sliding down mountains for some reason to help. The four include Bumblebee and three Autobots you've never heard of, but you're supposed to know who they are. (One of them being Asian?) What you get is no character development, besides the father who doesn't want his daughter to grow up, and Autobots that just want to get revenge for the deaths of their friends. Other than that, it's difficult to really pinpoint a specific direction the plot was trying to go.
Also, Joshua Joyce, a billionaire who has a government contract, picked up some of the metal that the transformers are made of, referring to it as "transformium" (seriously). He and his scientists tap into the power of transformium and created clones of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime. So when the Autobots, Wahlberg and daughter, and the CIA all end up in China, they get to fight an army of Autobot clones. The battle seems to be lost, since the clones are more advanced, which means that Optimus must call upon aid from Dinobots. After a quick fight scene between him and the Dinobots they become friends and suddenly help with the battle against the clones. Confused? Yeah me too.
Michael Bay continues to do great things with CG visuals, but after a certain point it just becomes shaky noise. Once you've seen one Transformer, you've seen them all because they are a difficult to tell apart at times. They are almost too complex looking. Another trend I didn't like was when there came a point, maybe it was the second film, that all of the sudden Transformers had green ooze spray out of them when they were hit or damaged, almost like blood. The first one didn't have any of that, it was more robotic, with parts flying everywhere. I don't know why they felt they needed to add that touch, but it just looks stupid and exaggerated.
Bottom line, these movies should end, but won't as long as people continue to flock to them. Transformers 5 has already been announced, which means we're just going to get more mindless summer robot movies from Michael Bay. The best you could do is spend your cash on a better movie or you know, food.