Transformers started back in 1984 as toys that led into an animated series. It was 10 years ago on July 3, 2007 that the first live-action film was released and promptly met with mixed reviews. Michael Bay has been in the director’s seat for all five films and while the previous entries did have moments that for me are best described as, “guilty pleasures,” Transformers: The Last Knight offers hardly any sense of fun or thrills.
Picking up after of the events of Age of Extinction we see that Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is hiding out in a massive junkyard where other Autobots are blended in as well. The Government is looking for him and has been unable to, but since then an organization known as the TRF (Transformers Reaction Force) has formed; these mercenaries are to kill any Transformers they encounter. Cade is still working with the Autobots and even tries to have Bumblebee speak in his own voice. He meets a young girl named Izabella (Isabela Moner), who was orphaned when her family was killed during the events of Dark of the Moon.
While I won’t fully disclose the plot of the film, here’s what you need to know: Cade finds a talisman which can yield the most powerful weapon that was hidden by the Transformers when they first arrived on Earth, back when King Arthur lived. Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock) is an Oxford University Professor of English who learns that she plays a pivotal role in the battle to save the planet. Sir Edmund Burton (Sir Anthony Hopkins) knows a great deal of why the Transformers keep coming to Earth and finds a way to contact Cade and Viviane to pursue the mission he’s been preparing for his entire life. Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) returns but in a rather feeble way. Stanley Tucci also returns in a cameo appearance but as a different character which I won’t reveal.
What ensues during the bloated 150 minutes, a series of gunfights, explosions, and a script that lacks any sense of fun. The Transformers series is known for its over-the-top action set pieces, its heavy use of the military and jokes that seem to be written by juveniles. In The Last Knight, the film is dragged out making the experience a tough sit through. While the special effects are outstanding and no doubt provide eye-candy, the script (screenplay credits go to Art Marcum and Matt Holloway who co-wrote Iron Man and Punisher: War Zone, plus Ken Nolan who penned the screenplay for Black Hawk Down) feels largely scattershot taking us from one location to the next without much of a pause. The film also tries to be funny in areas where it shouldn’t, take for instance a moment when Cade and Viviane are looking for a clue in her house. Earlier we were told that Cade’s daughter (who is in college and is happy despite being omitted from the film) wants her father to have a girlfriend, while Viviane’s mother and relatives want her to have a man in her life. During the search for a clue we are subjected to sexual jokes and references that are stupid, unoriginal, and feels rather forceful to make us laugh; well I’m happy to say that I didn’t.
Optimus Prime is missing for most of the film and when he does hit the screen, he’s the villain. He is somehow tricked into betraying the human race and wants to destroy Earth to save his home Cybertron. Really? This awesome character who came to our rescue is fooled this easily? Also, the film’s trailer shows us that the Transformers were here way long ago, but the films never explains why they came in the first place, it’s only after a secret weapon is hidden is an excuse to further the plot.
Verdict 0 of out 5
Despite the impressive and sometimes jaw-dropping special effects, Transformers: The Last Knight is an embarrassing example of a franchise that fans were happy to see appear on the big screen. With an overlong runtime and misdirection of the plot, it’s sad to say that this film is dull and incredibly boring. It lacks the excitement that made the franchise an enjoyable time for me, and while Sir Anthony Hopkins appears to be having the most fun, I found myself waiting for the film to be over just after the first 30 minutes. While seeing John Turturro and Glenn Morshower return, they feel wasted in their respective scenes. This is to be Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg’s final bout at this franchise, and I hope that the Transformers can finally rest until a more developed script becomes available. Fans of the franchise may enjoy the explosions and whatnot, but for everyone else, this is a total misfire for a summertime blockbuster.