Transformers: Age of Extinction
65 million years ago: the Cretaceous period, long before any known contact between Transformers and Earth – not Megatron, not the AllSpark, not the Fallen, not the Ark
. A world ruled by the dinosaurs, which was destroyed as hundreds of alien ships piloted by seemingly non-Transformer aliens arrive around Earth, unleashing strange metallic seeds across the planet that detonate and transform both the landscape and the stampeding dinosaurs that fail to outrun the blasts into metal.
The present day: an excavation site in the Arctic uncovers a pair of metallized dinosaur skeletons, a discovery that attracts the attention of Darcy Tirrel, representing the company KSI.
It is five years after the invasion of Chicago, and despite the Autobots emerging victorious, it was not a happy story for them. Anti-Autobot sentiment rose up among the populace that blamed all Transformers, and not just Decepticons, for the widespread destruction and death during the battle of Chicago. This had eventually caused the United States government to terminate all human-Autobot joint programs, and in place of NEST rose the organization Cemetery Wind, an elite CIA team intended to hunt down and execute the remaining Decepticons left on Earth… officially. Unofficially, however, Harold Attinger, leader of Cemetery Wind, is out for the blood of both Decepticons and Autobots, while the actual government seems to think that the Autobots are being offered sanctuary, and are operating covertly.
Cemetery Wind moves out on a mission, tracking down the Autobot medic Ratchet that has been hiding on an abandoned boat. Ratchet’s attempts to flee is brutally stopped Cemetery Wind blowing one of his legs off. The field leader, James Savoy, dismisses Ratchet’s pleas of innocence, citing that his sister was killed in Chicago, and brushes aside Ratchet’s replaying of a transmission of Optimus Prime that orders all Autobots to stand down and hide. Ratchet is swiftly and brutally attacked by a mysterious Transformer, Lockdown, who is neither Autobot nor Decepticon, and appears to be in league with Cemetery Wind. Lockdown demands to know Optimus Prime’s whereabouts from Ratchet, who adamantly refuses to give up any information. Lockdown rips out Ratchet’s spark, killing the Autobot.
In Texas, Cade Yeager looks around an old theater to look for materials to salvage. Cade is a inventor and a tinkerer, having filled his house with lots of strange mechanical contraptions, but he’s struggling monetarily. Cade finds a strange old truck in the theater, filled with artillery shells and generally being out of place, but buys the truck anyway, putting it in their garage. Both his daughter, Tessa, and his friend, Lucas, note the wastefulness of buying what they see as a heap of junk. However, as Cade tinkers with the truck’s engine to try and sell it, Cade finds out that the truck is actually a dormant Transformer. Cade’s suspicion is confirmed when their attempts to hotwire the truck replays a message ordering Autobots to hide from humans.
Lucas and Tessa both tell Cade to call the government and claim the huge reward that they post for Transformer sightings, but Cade refuses, wanting to work on the truck and get a technological breakthrough and find out how Transformers work. Cade’s attempts to figure things out ends up with him removing a missile from the truck’s core, and before Cade, Lucas and Tessa’s eyes, the truck transforms into a badly damaged and delirious Optimus Prime, roaring and threatening to “kill them all”. Cade gets Optimus to calm down, and Optimus replies that he needs to rescue his Autobots, because they are being hunted down by humans. Cade offers to repair the damaged Optimus Prime, and as he helps fix the Autobot leader as best as he can, the two bond.
In the Arctic, Attinger arrives via helicopter on Lcokdown’s spaceship, and have a terse discussion where they each blame the other for their part in failing to kill and subsequently losing Optimus Prime during a prior battle in Mexico City. Lockdown is outright dismissive of the humans, and is very much obsessed with hunting down Optimus Prime.
Attinger returns to Washington D.C., and receives a tip (later revealed to be from Lucas) that Optimus Prime has been located in Texas. Savoy’s team is dispatched and attack Cade Yeager’s barn, holding Cade, Tessa and Lucas at gunpoint, but when they investigate the barn, they find no trace of a Transformer. Attinger instructs Savoy to threaten Cade’s daughter to make him talk, and as Savoy is about to shoot a sobbing Tessa in the head, Optimus Prime, having hidden himself underneath the barn, erupts out and attacks the Cemetery Wind soldiers, allowing Cade, Tessa and Lucas to escape. During the battle between Optimus Prime and Cemetery Wind, the Yeagers’ house ends up getting destroyed. Optimus Prime leads the Cemetery Wind soldiers and Lockdown on a chase, while Cade, Tessa and Lucas are rescued by someone driving a white rally car – the driver of whom is revealed to be Shane, Tessa’s boyfriend (someone that Cade is not aware of) and an expert rally car driver. Both Optimus Prime and the humans manage to outrun Cemetery Wind vehicles on two fronts that eventually end at an abandoned factory.
Optimus Prime and Lockdown battle, while Shane leads the Cemetery Wind forces into a chase that makes great use of the tight spots, including a leap out the side of a building, which causes the Cemetery Wind forces to crash. However, Shane’s stunts end up wrecking his own car. Lockdown lobs a grenade towards the humans, which begin to transform the ground around them into metal. The humans run towards Optimus Prime, but Lucas is caught in the blast and transformed into metal. The Yeagers and Shane manage to enter Optimus Prime, who helps them escape.
Optimus Prime leaves the humans at an abandoned gas station while he scouts out any potential pursuers. This gives Cade ample time to confront both Tessa and Shane for keeping this relationship secret from him, but Tessa herself is furious that Cade’s obsession with inventing had caused all of them to be put in danger. While tension between Cade and Tessa is high, they stick around as a group and travel alongside Optimus Prime. Cade hacks into a Cemetery Wind drone he stole during the earlier fight and finds out that, yes, they are being monitored by Cemetery Wind, as even attempting to draw money from an ATM causes a group of Cemetery Wind soldiers to arrive.
Optimus Prime drives towards Monument Valley, scanning a brand-new truck cab alternate mode in the process. As he arrives there, he meets the other surviving Autobots – a ragtag bunch consisting of Bumblebee, Hound, Drift and Crosshairs. It’s clear that the group is dysfunctional without Optimus Prime leading them. Crosshairs, in particular, is very eager to shoot the humans for betraying the Autobots, but Optimus gets him to stand down, noting that these particular ones are allies. Cade hacks into the Cemetery Wind drone, and manages to recover footage of Cemetery Wind hunting down and executing Autobots, with Ratchet and Leadfoot’s deaths being prominently seen. The sight of his comrades butchered causes Optimus Prime to note that while he had sworn to not kill humans… whoever is responsible for this betrayal will die
Cade’s investigation of the drone leads them to a company in Chicago called KSI, run by Joshua Joyce. Joshua has been in contract with Attinger to create artificial transformers to be used by the military, having access to the remains of Sentinel Prime, Megatron, the dead Decepticons of Chicago… as well as the Autobots that Cemetery Wind has been hunting. As Ratchet’s corpse is melted down for its components, Joshua gives a demonstration that they have synthesized the metals that allow the transformers to transform, dubbing it Transformium. When given proper commands, Transformium can instantaneously morph into various shapes and objects. Joshua shows off several of his projects – first, a drone that transforms into a sports car named ‘Stinger’, modeled to be a superior version of Bumblebee, and one that is modeled after Optimus Prime, named ‘Galvatron’. However, Joshua’s attempts to create a friendlier, Optimus-Prime-esque form continues to mysteriously fail, with Galvatron’s face constantly rendered into a visage that resembles Megatron.
Bumblebee, Cade and Shane work to obtain fake ID badges, allowing the two humans to infiltrate KSI under the guise of sports car transporters. Shane and Bumblebee hang out in Stinger’s showroom, causing Bumblebee to be enraged at the promotion that boasts Stinger being better than Bumblebee in every conceivable way. Cade infiltrates the inner workings of KSI, and the footage he sends back to Optimus Prime of Ratchet’s head being melted, and the tiny Autobot Brains being enslaved and locked in a cage, causes the Autobots to fly into a rage.
Cade is captured by KSI personnel and is confronted by Attinger, who claims that all this is done for world peace, before interrogating Cade about Optimus Prime’s whereabouts. The Autobots, however, are already there, and attacks the KSI facility. Bumblebee (having scanned a new alternate mode in the way) and Drift rescue Cade from Attinger, while the others, led by a furious Optimus Prime, tear apart the KSI laboratory, destroying a large amount of their equipment and liberating Brains in the process. Joshua walks up to confront the Autobots laying waste to his property, and despite Prime’s rage at using his friends as parts, Joshua declares that what’s done is to prevent any kind of transformer-related damage, that the humans have taken their own fate into their own hands and do not need the Autobots any longer. Prime and the Autobots leaves the facility in disgust.
The Autobots leave the facility, but Attinger forces Joshua to activate the two drones that are battle ready to hunt down the Autobot terrorists. Despite Joshua’s reluctance, he eventually secedes to Attinger’s demands. Galvatron and Stinger are activated, and are remote-controlled by KSI agents as they pursue the Autobots down a highway. However, Galvatron begins to launch missiles without permission, and upon transformation, destroys several civilian cars for no real reason. Bumblebee’s attempts to battle Galvatron is met with the KSI-created Transformer simply disintegrating into floating clouds of liquid Transformium, before reforming elsewhere. Optimus Prime deposits the humans riding him onto the ground, before doing a one-on-one battle against Galvatron. As the two fight, Galvatron reveals himself to be far more than a mere drone, able to retort to Optimus’s words with those of his own.
In the middle of fighting, Optimus Prime is shot from behind by Lockdown, who arrives with his ship. Lockdown talks to the injured Optimus that he is built, not born, and that his Creators want Optimus Prime back in one piece. Lockdown drops a net over Optimus, which also captures the nearby Tessa, and lifts the Autobot leader into his ship. Cade and Shane are helpless to do anything to rescue Tessa there, but resolve to get her back. In Lockdown’s ship, Optimus Prime is placed in a cage, and Lockdown shows off his collection of captured aliens, including several Cybertronian warriors. Lockdown also reveals that his ship was originally the Knightship Temenos
, a ship used by a group of legendary Knights (which apparently included Prime himself). The sight of Lockdown’s ship triggers panic in the streets of Chicago, which Attinger tries to solve. The capture of Optimus Prime signals the end of the deal between Lockdown and Cemetery Wind, and Lockdown honours his side of the deal by giving Savoy what was agreed for their assistance in Prime’s capture: a Seed.
While Lockdown’s ship prepares to leave Earth, the Autobots, Cade and Shane manage to get on board the ship, but are quickly separated from each other. While Crosshairs sabotages the ship’s manual anchors, Drift and Hound go off to rescue Optimus Prime, while Cade and Shane look for Tessa. Tessa, on her own, narrowly avoids near-death encounters with strange-looking drones abroad Lockdown’s ship, a tentacled alien and several of Lockdown’s underlings. Drift and Hound locate and free Optimus Prime, and commandeer a section of Lockdown’s ship that could separate from the main body.
Cade manages to appropriate a tiny Cybertronian sword from an armory that opens up to reveal a gun. Wielding the weapon like a rifle, Cade manages to shoot down several of Lockdown’s henchmen, and eventually rescue Tessa. Pursued by a group of wolf-like creatures called Steeljaws, the humans are forced to run down the unstable anchoring wires to get off the ship and onto the buildings that it’s moored to. After their attempts to pursue Cade’s group gets thwarted by Cade’s Cybertronian gun, the Steeljaws tear through the anchors, dropping the humans several hundred feet from the sky, if not for Bumblebee’s intervention, capturing the trio of humans before slowing their fall onto the side of the building. Crosshairs, having stolen a gunship from the Knightship, picks Bumblebee and the humans up, but are quickly engaged in a pursuit with several more gunships piloted by Lockdown’s forces. Bumblebee manages to destroy some of the gunships, and Crosshairs gives Cade and Shane a crash course in using a Cybertronian gunship’s guns, while Crosshairs himself leaps out into the air and takes down several of the gunships himself.
The Autobots regroup at an abandoned train yard, with Optimus Prime noting that he sensed Megatron’s presence while fighting Galvatron. Brains explains that KSI forced him to decode the dead Decepticon brains, and during these interfaces, Brains discovers that Megatron’s mind is still alive, and had planned to transfer itself into Galvatron’s body, and any information that KSI obtained from it was all in Megatron’s plan to build him a more powerful body and a new army. Optimus and Hound explain to Tessa that the Seed she saw being handed over to Savoy is a weapon used by their Creators in the past to convert organic material into metal for the purposes of harvesting Transformium. As the Autobots board their shuttle, Optimus explains that the Autobots will travel to Hong Kong and get back their Seed… but after that, humanity will be on its own. During the flight back, Cade attempts to appeal to Optimus Prime and try and make a case for humanity.
Meanwhile, KSI has moved all their equipment to their Beijing facility, while Joshua is absolutely pissed off at the performance of the Galvatron unit. Cade calls Joshua to warn him about Galvatron, trying to appeal to their shared professions as inventors. Joshua appears indifferent and shuts Cade off, but installs increased security around Galvatron nonetheless.
In space, Lockdown discovers the absence of Optimus Prime and the smaller ship, and promises vengeance as he returns back to Earth.
Meanwhile, Joshua meets up with Attinger and Savoy, who brings him the Seed. Joshua intends to detonate it in the Gobi Desert to create a huge source of Transformium to harvest, but proposes they take their time in developing this technology. Attinger is angered by this, but before anything concrete can happen, Galvatron activates himself, bringing himself to life, and activates the legion of KSI transformers that have been constructed. As Galvatron and the newly-minted Decepticons rampage, Joshua takes the Seed and heads off with his associates Darcy and Su to hide the Seed in Hong Kong.
However, Cemetery Wind is now hunting after Joshua as well, who views him as a traitor. Joshua manages to get help from Cade, and after getting separated from his associates while trying to escape Cemetery Wind agents, Joshua is a step away from boarding the Autobots’ ship with the Seed. Bumblebee, Hound and their human allies end up falling out of the ship onto the rooftop with Joshua, while the ship, with the rest of the Autobots in it, is sent careening away into a valley outside Hong Kong.
The army of KSI Decepticons, led by Stinger, besieges the group and engages Bumblebee and Hound in battle. Attinger and Savoy go out on their own to retrieve the Seed from Cade’s group. Cade leads Savoy away from the others, and the two of them fight as they fight across the rooftops of Hong Kong’s high-rise apartments, crashing into houses and getting into a vicious melee. However, Cade eventually gains the upper hand, and Savoy falls out of the building, down several stories and dies.
Hound, Bumblebee and the humans do their best to fight their way through the legions of KSI-built Decepticons, but are severely outmatched. In the valley, Crosshairs advocates leaving the humans to their fate and just escaping, but Optimus Prime enters the crashed ship, pulling out one of the swords from the armory, and freeing the other Transformer captives within the ship. Optimus Prime introduces the four gigantic imprisoned Transformers as legendary warriors, and tries to convince them to fight alongside them. Their leader, Grimlock, does battle with Optimus Prime, and after a brutal fight, Optimus Prime defeats Grimlock and demands that the warriors will protect his family or die. Their allegiance secured, the Dinobots allow the three Autobots to ride them, as they charge into Hong Kong.
While Bumblebee and Hound hold the ground against the seemingly endless army of KSI drones, Optimus leads the army of Dinobots and Autobots as they charge through the Decepticon forces, absolutely crushing through them with sheer brute strength. The airborne Dinobot Strafe picks Bumblebee up, but not before he is attacked by Stinger. Bumblebee and Stinger do battle as Strafe flies through the skies above Hong Kong, but eventually Bumblebee triumphs and destroys Stinger. At the sight of his forces being destroyed, Galvatron retreats. Optimus confronts Joshua for his actions, noting that everything that has happened is his fault. He gives the Autobots the order to escort the Seed out of the city.
However, Attinger activates a homing beacon he had planted within the Seed, allowing Lockdown to track down Optimus Prime. Lockdown’s Knightship activates a massive magnet, which begins to pull up giant chunks of Hong Kong cars, trains, buildings and ships and dropping them elsewhere, something that wreaks havoc with the Autobots’ attempt at transport. The humans are separated from the Autobots during the chaos as the car they are in is trapped in a building. As the magnet catches the Dinobots and Optimus Prime in its influence, Optimus Prime opens fire into the heart of the magnet and destroys it. Optimus Prime gives the Autobots the order to get the Seed out of the city, while he deals with Lockdown personally. The Dinobots and Crosshairs hold down a position at the bridge, while the other Autobots escort the Seed out of the city.
Optimus Prime drives towards a nearby factory, while Lockdown descends, and the two begin to do battle. Cade leaves Tessa with Shane and the Autobots, while he follows Optimus Prime, intent in fighting alongside the Autobot leader. However, before Cade can do anything to contribute in the fight, he is held at gunpoint by Attinger, who accuses him of betraying his own race, but Optimus protects Cade, shooting and killing Attinger. This moment of inattention causes Lockdown to gain the upper hand over Optimus, impaling him with his own sword and pinning him to the side of the factory. Before Lockdown could deliver the killing blow, however, Cade distracts the mercenary with his Cybertronian gun.
Tessa convinces Bumblebee and Shane to turn around, and the three of them join the battle against Lockdown. With Bumblebee battling Lockdown while Cade covers him with gunfire, Tessa and Shane manage to hook up a tow truck to the sword pinning Optimus Prime down. As Lockdown is about to kill Cade, Optimus Prime is freed from the sword, and he uses it to impale Lockdown in the chest and slice his upper body in half, killing him. With Lockdown dead, Optimus Prime activates one of Lockdown’s grenades to destroy the remaining KSI drones, before activating rocket boosters to get himself and the humans out of the way of the blast… though Galvatron survives to stalk off, promising vengeance.
The Autobots and their human allies regroup near the river. Joshua notes that he will help the Yeagers out with their destroyed home, and Cade accepts Shane as his daughter’s boyfriend. Prime allows the Dinobots to roam free, and they leave the Autobots. Optimus Prime notes that the bounty on his head placed by their mysterious Creators will paint a target on Earth itself, and he leaves Earth and the Yeager family in the protection of the Autobot soldiers, before blasting off into space with Lockdown’s Seed. As he leaves Earth and enters space, Optimus Prime sends a message to his Creators: leave planet Earth alone… because he’s coming for them.