DETROIT (WWJ) – “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is now in theaters. It follows in the footsteps of the original film, “Transformers,” released in 2007; “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” released in 2009; and 2011’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

One noticeable difference with this fourth installment in the popular long-running film franchise is that it features an all-new cast. Instead of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his girlfriend, Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox) teaming up with Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee and the rest of the Autobots to protect mankind, it’s Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg).

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Yeager, an inventor, befriends the Autobots after just happening to come across Optimus Prime, the Autobots’ leader. He shares his discovery with his daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz), and with Lucas (T.J. Miller), his friend and business partner.

“You guys, I’ve never seen a truck like this before,” Yeager says. “Get in here. Lock that door.”

“It doesn’t have a lock,” Lucas responds.

“Look; look at the hole in the radiator,” Yeager continues. “Look at the size of it! Somethin’ blew a hole in it … it’s not normal steel. The shrapnel in the engine; it ripped all the connections apart. And watch … you’re gonna love this. When I hook this back to a working battery …”

“Calling all …” the voice that comes from the truck says. “Calling all Autobots …” the voice says again before fading out.

“I don’t think it’s a truck at all. I think we just found a transformer.”

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While working to save Earth, Yeager is also an over-protective dad to Tessa, which doesn’t go over well with Tessa or with her boyfriend, Shane (Jack Reynor). But with all of them going up against the evil Galvatron and a corrupt government official (Kelsey Grammer), you’d better believe they have to find a way to get along.

With a runtime of two hours and 45 minutes, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” starts to feel a bit long. In order to cut it down some, Director Michael Bay probably could have shortened some of the battle scenes, but overall, it’s fun seeing my – and everybody else’s – favorite Autobots back on the big screen. If you’re a fan of the Transformers, don’t miss it because – based on the ending – Transformers #5 is most assuredly on the way!

On a side note, since LaBeouf didn’t return for this go-round, Wahlberg was a good choice to pick up where he left off, but LaBeouf – your presence was definitely missed!

Detroit connection: besides filming for several weeks in Detroit, making his motion picture debut in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is GM executive Ed Welburn as the director of the CIA.

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday at 2:40pm for my weekly look at the movies with Midday Anchor Jackie Paige.

See you at the movies!

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