If you grew up in the 80s like I did, one of the most beloved things for a little boy was getting home from school and watching the new episode of Transformers! The lasers, the sound effects, the modulations to the voice actors’ voices that had you trying to talk through the back of a fan so you could sound like them! (I know I wasn’t the only one).
Fast forward to 2007. almost every little boy from the 80s now grown men (or very close to it) are at the movie theater to see how they pull of the CGI miracle of a “Live Action” transformers movie! Michael Bay at the helm, YES! The Rock, Bad Boys! WE’re all on board! and to most people it was actually a good movie! unfortunately it was the last time we would ever see a good transformers movie on the big screen (yes a part of my childhood feel violated). The downward spiral of films started with “Dark of the moon” in which the film expands it’s mythology by altering our reality, which is not a bad thing if done right, right? Well “The Last Knight” Takes the newly created Transformers mythology, fuses the OLD Transformers mythology (again my childhood hurts), then goes into the legendary mythology of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Roundtable, then back on our ACTUAL History again, then just tosses all that into a blender, and 260 Million USD later, a 2hr 30min “presentation” known as “Transformers: The Last Knight” is here.
If all of that sounds confusing, don’t worry it is NOTHING compared to the plot of this movie. Knights in epic battles, Nazis, Hip Hop slang talking robots, and a Suicide Squadesque Decepticon team? Yeah, I just said that. Bay has really outdone himself in one of the most convoluted stories I have seen put together in film in a long time. The movie goes about 30 minutes too long and sets up storylines that never pay off, almost as if he had to cut down another 2 hours of movie just to get it down to THIS length.
So what do we know about this movie so far? Optimus Prime has some how been brainwashed (reprogrammed?), and is now a bad guy, epic fight with Bumble Bee, and there were transformers present in the age of King Arthur, and the tide turner in WWII. Is that it? Oh yeah Giant planet coming to destroy Earth. Of Course, why not?
I think the premise of bigger scale is widely over used in Hollywood as it is, but Michael Bay takes it to a whole new level. What you will see that would be considered a plus is a lot of awesome visuals that allow the Transformers to blend in perfectly with the Human cast. With that being said get ready for a human cast based Transformers movie. Mark Wahlberg reprises his role as Cade Yeager the down on his luck inventor/junker turned legendary autobot defending outlaw, with about as much depth about him as the last movie… which isn’t saying too much, but his chemistry with Laura Haddock (who almost serves as a Megan Fox replacement) is entertaining at times.
One of the best things this movie almost had going for it was the return of Col William Lennox (Josh Duhamel). This is a character who has been there from the first installment of this franchise and is faced with the conflict of hunting down these rogue transformers, after working with the autobots for so long, who are coming to earth at an alarming rate. Problem is you don’t get to see the alarming number of alien robots and that conflict is never explored. It’s just there, then goes away at the appropriate time.
This is the main issue with this movie. There are so many subplots to this movie that no one story gets to develop properly. It’s like having a 3rd grader write an essay. You’re going get the overall topic at the beginning, then somewhere during the story 3 or 4 lines go drifting to another subject. Thats not ok for a $260 Mil budget movie.
So the main thing people want to know is how is the action? Well, the action in this movie is what you expect from a Michael Bay Film. Slow motion, explosions, the narrow miss of the death blow, more explosions, flying debris, slow motion explosions with flying debris narrowly missing a death blow while sliding down a slope of some kind… you know the usual. What you don’t get to see a lot of? TRANSFORMERS BATTLES! I mean we’re not going to the theater expecting MacBeth, but at least we want to be able to turn our brains of and see some good Metal on Metal action… nope. the other thing we don’t get to see a lot of… OPTIMUS PRIME! Let’s be honest we all go to see HIM. well you can see him all you want for about 15 min of screen time… if that.
All in all to me Transformers: The Last Night is a big budget sloppy action with no sense of direction. Tons of brand rip-offs from Metal Gear Solid, DC, Star Wars and more. It feels like they didn’t know where the wanted to go in the movie so they took a little of everyone’s ideas and crammed it into one 2.5Hr disaster. The Human element was prevalent through out the movie and the Transformers themselves played played a supporting role. A couple of chuckles but for the most part the the comedy didn’t land. what you take away from this movie is just good graphics.
Transformers: The Last Knight was enough for me to say they have received my last dollar. Michael Bay claims this is his last Transformer movie, and with everything in me I hope so, because the franchise needs a new set of eyes and ideas if they want to keep going, and ever see my money again.
I give Transformers: The Last Knight 1 out of 5
Release date: June 20, 2017 (USA)
Director: Michael Bay
Budget: 260 million USD
Screenplay: Ken Nolan, Art Marcum, Matthew Hollaway