While tapping our toes in anticipation until Michael Bay's fourth Transformers film, "Transformers: Age of Extinction," hits theaters on June 27, we've been satiating our Dinobot-driven curiosity with hints from the film's producer and secrets gleaned from our set visit – and now, on the heels of the film's Hong Kong world premiere, the first reviews are out.
So what are critics saying about Mark Wahlberg's turn as a mechanic who discovers a dormant Optimus Prime and unwittingly sets off a string of Michael Bay-directed action?
The Machines Trump the Men
"...it’s the robots — endowed here with character-rich physicality and almost human-scaled facial features — who give the film its emotional heft. Optimus Prime’s charismatic leadership of his team, as well as his unwavering compassion for the humans, again makes him the movie’s moral anchor. Drift, with his samurai getup and Watanabe’s dignified line readings, strikes a neat balance with Goodman’s cigar-chewing, wisecracking Hound. Still, the character most likely to be beloved by audiences, especially tykes, remains Bumblebee, whose mischievous personality brings much-needed comic relief."
- Maggie Lee, Variety
Stanley Tucci Shines
"Being the only character whose personality arc actually changes within the film, Tucci is given a wealth of opportunities to ham it up, just like John Turturro, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand have done before; his clownish antics while racing for survival in a Hong Kong tenement block are probably the highlights of the film."
- Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter
The Robots Look Better Than Ever
"ILM just keeps getting better and better at bringing the robot characters to life, and there are so many of them now that I'm blown away at just how photo-real they are. This is that same cutting edge that Bay has tried walk with each of these movies, and he demands so much of the visual effects team here that I'll happily overlook a few shots that simply don't work in terms of realism. This is a film that is overstuffed with amazing images, many of them incoherent on a narrative level, but so remarkable that I simply can't get upset about how weird the story is."
- Drew McWeeny, HitFix
And until more critics weigh in, here's our own Josh Horowitz with interviews straight from the set.
Are you excited to see "Transformers: Age of Extinction"? Let us know in the comments!