Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins & Josh Duhamel
Synopsis: Autobots and Decepticons are at war, with humans on the sidelines. Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.
Rating: 12A Duration: 149 minutes Release date: 16 October – Digital download & 30 October – DVD & Blu-ray
One thing I thought I would never say about a Transformers film is how boring it is. The first film was enjoyable in its boy gets first car, which happens to be a transforming alien robot, meets cute girl and helps to save the world. It was a fun, bombastic summer action film and Michael Bay had delivered the goods. Then came that films sequel where everything got bigger, sillier and robot bollocks were literally clanging around the screen. Each film has since has got worse and Michael Bay seems to have lost all sense of what made Transformers enjoyable. Now, five films later, we have The Last Knight, a film so overblown and full of crap it’s hard to find any pleasure at all.
The plot, such as it is, centres around Merlin and his magical staff. If that sounds like some sort of porno parody then you wouldn’t really be far off. The whole film feels like a spoof of the other films in the series. Characters reappear who haven’t been involved since the third film, and considering the fourth was meant to be a soft reboot, it seems odd for them to return. Stanley Tucci appears, albeit briefly, at the start of the film as a drunken Merlin despite having played a narcissistic scientist in Age of Extinction. The entire history of the Transformers series has been rewritten after each film and that continues here by showcasing the Cybertronians on earth at various points in our history. Ancient England, Nazi Germany and even the Transformers home-world gets a new continuity here. The whole things stinks of too many cooks and not one good editor around to say; listen guys, if the best thing we can do is rip off the Suicide Squad then we’re in trouble!
There are genuinely unbelievable moments here. There are giant robotic dinosaurs casually eating old cars, Transformers that wear knuckle-dusters & giant gangster style chains, a BB-8 rip-off and one scene where a giant chunk is taken out of the moon and no one bats a freaking eyelid. It’s moments like this, when every idea has been chucked at the screen that you truly wonder what is the purpose in the type of writer’s room they have set up for the Transformers Universe. It’s like a brain-storm session that began with a fart and the audience have to suffer through all the shit smeared over the screen. Even the voice acting is second-rate here. The ever reliable Peter Cullen seems lost and shows his age in a few scenes, while John Goodman’s Hound appears to be on auto-pilot throughout. Only Steve Buscemi’s Autobot Daytrader has anything resembling a personality. The shame here is that the human characters remain key to everything and the actual Transformers play second fiddle again. They are bereft of personality or any sort of development and suffer from a director more concerned about money-shots of the US marines than he is about characters or coherent storytelling.
If this all sounds familiar, then that’s because it is. We’ve been here five times now and we must ask ourselves is it us or him? Michael Bay in all fairness is determined to entertain his audience, but how much more of this type of fare can people take? If the man is to be believed then this is his last time directing a Transformers film, but again we have heard this before and the threat looms that if people continue to pay money, then these films will continue to get made. I find myself asking the question of whether I have missed the point here? Are films this dumb what people want? And am I in the minority here? I really do wish these films were better and it feels like a great shame that the mythology of the Transformers hasn’t been embraced more. Then again, the film has giant fucking robotic dinosaurs that have flame breath. Take my money now!
- Merging Mythologies
- Creating Destruction: Inside the Packard Plant
- Climbing the Ranks
- Uncovering the Junkyard
- The Royal Treatment: Transformers in the UK
- Motors and Magic
- Alien Landscape: Cybertron
- One More Giant Effin’ Movie