Tonka: Infinite Ultimatum is a 2009 American science fiction action film based on the Tonka toy line by Hasbro and video game series by Sega. The film is directed by Paul Greengrass, produced by Michael Bay, Stephen Sommers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and written by . The film features an ensemble cast, starring Pete L. J. Dickson, Missy Peregrym, Nicola Petlz, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, and Cory Monteith.
The film centers on the plot of Tonka Joe, his sister Suzy Sparks, their friends, Soda, and Blaze who join Tonka, an elite Military Delta Force callsign Tonka, that is partnered with alien robot trucks who can disguise themselves by transforming into everyday machinery (this was inspired by Transformers). Tonka employed both regular 70mm film cameras and specially-developed 3-D cameras. Shooting took place from May to November 2008, with locations in Hawaii, Toronto, Texas, New Mexico, and Jordan. The film was rendered specifically for 3-D, and the visual effects involved more complex robots which took longer to render. At the time of it's release, the film had made greater use of computer-generated imagery (CGI); it remains one of the few live-action/animated films to have been shot in anamorphic format.
Tonka: Infinte Ultimatum premiered at Calgary, Alberta, Canada's Telus science centre on August 5, 2009 and went into general release on August 7, distributed by Paramount Pictures. Exclusive early premieres in select 3-D and IMAX theaters took place August 6, 2009, one night before worldwide release in 2-D and 3-D (including IMAX 3D) formats—each featuring Dolby Surround 7.1 sound. Critical reception of the film was mostly mixed, with several critics praising the film's visuals and 3-D action sequences, but criticizing its writing, acting, and length. The film grossed US$375 million worldwide. A sequel, Tonka: Revelation, was released on June 5, 2015.
The film starts in 1961 during a late period of the Cold War. A marine named Thomas Blackstone (Robert Patrick) finds a group of intelligent mechanical vehicles which they dub themselves as Sentinel beings and learns about an on-going war between two forces from a planet called Volantis.
Fifty years later, weapons master Imran Lazaretto (Jason Statham) creates a powerful biological weapon called the FALL, a giant satellite capable of destroying an entire city with nanomites. The nanobots can only be stopped by activating the kill switch. His company M.I.K.E. (Military Industries Kinesis Electronics) sells four satellite warheads to NATO, and NATO troops led by American soldiers Joe (Pete L. J. Dickson), and his friends, Blaze (James Maslow) and Pops (Carlos Pena, Jr.) are tasked with delivering the warheads. Joe's older sister Suzy Sparks (Missy Peregrym) is a police officer of Toronto PD investigating a crime wave by a clan of unknown thieves. After her latest lead; a dock worker, refuses to give her information, she returns to the dock at night only to witness the unknown foes raiding the cargo containers. They are attacked by an unseen vigilante, which Suzy fails to capture on her phone's camera but notices a symbol left behind.
Joe, Blaze, and Pop's convoy is ambushed by the Raven (Christina Aguileria), whom Joe recognizes to be his older Marie. Joe, Blaze and Pops are then rescued by Tonka trucks Axle, Bolt, Dunes, Fins, Roach, and Ghost along with human allies Dirk, Twitch, E-Brakes and Zap and are taken back to Tonka headquarters in South Africa where they meet the rest of team;.
- Pete L. J. Dickson as Tonka Joe / Joseph B. Blackstone, the lead teenager soldier and the main protagonist of the film. He believes a leader's place is with his friends, not behind the battle lines. Joe always puts his friends first before the objective.
- Missy Peregrym as Suzy Sparks / Susan M. Blackstone, Joe's 20 year old sister. She is driven by the desire to do the right thing even if it means not following procedure.
- James Maslow as Blaze / John S. Martin, Joe's handsome best friend and a pilot with a romantic interest in 'Niko'.
- Carlos Pena, Jr. as Soda / Michael A. Cross, Joe and Blaze's weapon specialist best friend. Both Joe and Blaze nicknamed him Soda because of his hyper energetic behavior.
- Mark Wahlberg as Dirk / Cade Yeager, an ordnance expert and field leader of the team. Dirk is willing to put his life on the line for his team.
- Mandy Moore as Niko /
- Justin Timberlake as Wrench / Aaron Webb
- Beyonce as Starr Light / Bridget Austons
- Miguel Ferrer as General Stone / Robert F. Brandon
- Cory Monteith as WAR Colonel / Max Andrews
- Christina Aguileria as Raven / Marie Blackstone
- Jason Statham as Destructor / Imran Lazarev
- William Peterson as Axle
- David Sobolov as Warlock
There were numerous attempts to create of live-action film adaptation of Tonka in the 1990s, but it never came through. The official idea of a film adaption of Tonka was conceived in January 203 when Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Hasbro President and CEO Brian Goldner first lunched at a Mexican restaurant in Burbank, California. Don Murphy was originally offered a chance to part take in producing a film adaption, but turned down the offer as he was planning a G.I. Joe film adaptation, but when the United States launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Hasbro suggested adapting the Transformers franchise instead.
In September 2007, Paramount Pictures announced that Joe Johnson would direct the film.
Casting for the film first started in 2008, after the 2007-08 Writers Guide of America strike. Pete L. J. Dickson was cast as the role of Tonka Joe. Dickson stated that he was a huge fan of the Tonka franchise since he was young and "jumped at the oportunity to star in the first Tonka film. He also stated that he was planning to get a small part, but got the lead role after the crew saw his energy of excitment.
Missy Peregrym was given the part of Suzy Sparks. Suzy was originally written as Joe's love interest, but after Dickson got the role of Tonka Joe, Suzy was rewitten as Joe's older sister.
Tonka 's production cost was reported to cost $141 million, with the cost of the 3-D filming accounting at $10 million of the budget. Preparation for filming began on October 13, 2008 in Northwest Indiana. Principal photography commenced on May 8, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The filmmakers created the size of each space vehicle with the size of their vehicle mode in mind, supporting the Transformer's rationale for their choice of disguise on Earth.
Infinite Ultimatum premiered at
The film received generally mixed reviews from critics. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave Tonka a score of 57% based on 242 reviews. Metacritic, another review aggregator, gave the film a Metascore of 68/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews" from 107 critics.
Official screenings in the United States started at 7 pm on August 6, 2009, grossing $2 million on its opening day. By the end of the weekend, Tonka: Infinite Ultimatum had opened with $56.3 million, as well as $65.5 million from other countries, debuting at #1 at the box office. The film made US$4.3 million from its IMAX screenings. Infinite Ultimatum ended its United States theatrical run on October 1, 2009, with a box office total of $159 million in North America and $216 million in international markets, for a total worldwide gross of $375 million.
Tonka: Infinite Ultimatum was released on DVD and Blu-ray November 5, 2009. Both the DVD and Blu-ray disc gave the viewer the option of viewing the film either in its original theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio or a modified 1.33:1 ratio (utilizing pan and scan).
In North America, it sold 605,901 DVD units (equivalent of $10,710,186) in its first week, topping the weekly DVD chart. As of February 26, 2010 (2012-02-26)[update], it has sold 1,084,175 DVD units (equivalent of $44,058,979). It also topped the Blu-ray charts on the same week and it has sold 1,981,996 Blu-ray units (earning $48,809,899) by November 13, 2009. The Blu-ray 3D release of the film was released on January 31, 2010.
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A sequel titled Tonka: Revelation, was released on June 5, 2015.
- Tonka: Infinite Ultimatum (2009). Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
- Kellvin Chavez (2007-02-21). "On Set Interview: Producer Don Murphy On Transformers". Latino Review.
- ": Tonka (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2012-10-21
- "Tonka Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-08-16.