There has to be a point in time where the Transformers movies might be good in an alternate universe. It’s like we keep getting sucked into every single movie that comes out. But as this is the fifth installment in Michael Bay’s billion-dollar franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight doesn’t seem like it’s going to be any different from the previous films.
In the film, humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it’s up to the unlikely alliance of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Bumblebee, an English Lord (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) to save the world.
Anytime Transformers is brought up in conversations, it’s common for me to go on a tangent whenever it comes up. I’ve not been a fan of this franchise for a while as I have real opinions about the four movies: The original wasn’t bad as it was actually okay for what it was, Revenge of the Fallen is one of the worst blockbusters to ever come out, Dark of the Moon was terrible except the last half hour, and Age of Extinction is the worst out of all them as it made me physically angry after viewing it. Just like the last film, none of the trailers (which I saw SO many times before the last six movies I’ve seen in theaters) weren’t good at all as it piles the same formulaic structure we know by now. My sister just found out about this film a month ago, and I wouldn’t blame her, to be honest. I wasn’t optimistic about this as I had no expectations going into even though I know it’s probably going to be terrible. But to quote Michael Corleone from The Godfather Part III, “Just when I thought I was out…they PULL me back in.” But there was a bit of confidence that this film might be enjoyable or at least fun. And what did I expect? But after it was over, anyone who actually liked this movie has no senses as this is a top contender as the worst movie of 2017.
As the film was flowing through, I still had no idea what the story was even about. The script is SO convoluted and makes no sense to justify the actual plot. Didn’t Bay held a writer’s room with five to six different writers to come up with a good idea for the film? Maybe. It seems like Bay looked at two ideas and messed them together to create a bombastic mess. To add to that, the characters are nothing to care about as some of them don’t serve a purpose for most of the film. John Turturro is back for no reason whatsoever. It’s good to have Josh Duhamel’s character back, but I know how it’s going to turn out in the end. A movie involving Arthurian times, robots, and Nazis sounded like a cutaway gag off Family Guy. Those side plots didn’t need to be in the story. At least it didn’t involve time travel as I thought it was going to include in this. It’s also issued with the editing choices were bothersome.
None of the action sequences was spectacular. They aren’t anything new to accomplish as it’s just the same crap we’ve seen before: huge explosions, shaky camera work, and loud noises to accompany them. Every time it happens, there’s no sense of danger to be found. Everything is being thrown at the fan to a point you can’t follow what’s on screen. Even the visual effects work wasn’t too impressive.
Wahlberg returning as Cade Yeager from the last film was fine but he’s better in other movies than being in two movies in the franchise. He said that this is his last film and I can believe that. Isabela Moner as this tomboy served no purpose to the story because as she said in the trailers, “I wanna say, and I wanna fight them.” she’s completely useless throughout. All she did was talk down to the Decepticons just because we need some action. There was no point in having her in the story. Anthony Hopkins is there for a paycheck as it looks like he did have fun with this role. But he had to speak out horrible dialogue that he should be embarrassed by as he has a scene where he called Wahlberg, “dude”.
The attempts of humor thrown in here are painfully awkward. From the first line, Merlin (Stanley Tucci) does and says made me think, “Here we go again.” This is the kind of humor that little kids would laugh at. A lot of times, it’s a waste of time having these characters have a conversation that’s absolutely irrelevant to what’s happening as if they’re pushing for that big laugh. But the Autobot known as Cogman (rip-off of C-3PO) might be the most annoying character in a movie in the past few years. He’s the new Jar Jar Binks of the Transformers universe. We don’t need this much comedy in Transformers movies! A lot of people, including myself, want clever humor but all we get is jokes written by a third grader.
And I thought this was a problem in all of the trailers, but the aspect ratio throughout the film was nauseating. You would just think that it would be just during the action sequences, but no, it constantly changes every single time as it’s shot with IMAX cameras as if it wasn’t clear from the marketing. Even when the characters are just talking, it moves back and forth. A scene where there’s a polo game happening should stay on one frame rate. How the hell is that exciting.
If anybody was excited about Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) too bad because he’s barely in the movie. You would think that he’s figured to be evil and betray his fellow Autobots kind of like Dom betraying his family in The Fate of the Furious. No, it cuts back to him three times until he has to fight Bumblebee. He has about 15 minutes of screen time.
Also, this felt longer than 148 minutes. Bay said this will be the shortest of the last two movies. This felt like three hours as it kept going and going to no bitter end as there was a point where the third act is starting, and hopefully, want it to end very quickly and move on with my life without losing any brain cells. As it kept going, I instantly forgot I was watching a real movie and just watched one of Bay’s wet dreams come to life. It’s becoming undoubtedly forgettable as times passes.
The only single positive thing that’s worth mentioning is Steve Jablonsky’s score because that’s one of the main things about this franchise that’s actually good. It’s not memorable as say the score from the first film, but it’s still worth mentioning. We don’t have a good song over the end credits that isn’t by Linkin Park or Imagine Dragons. Everything else is a steaming pile of human excrement.
Bay isn’t over with this franchise as I call bullshit that this is his last film as he said with the last two movies. Of course, the sixth installment is going to be the same, and I’m not even excited about the Bumblebee spin-off happening in two years. Even though it’ll be helmed by a different director and it’s set in the ’80s, it’s still in that universe that won’t stop. It’s in the same position that Independence Day: Resurgence was a year ago.
It’s the same freakin’ movie all over again! It’s nothing new as it once again revolves around the human characters, government talking, bad humor, action sequences, product placement (even though it’s actually mild in here), Deceptions taking over the world, lots of explosions while fights are happening, heroes save the day, and Optimus Prime giving one final speech before the end credits after an abrupt ending. Bay even acknowledge that he knows the fans hate the films but we keep paying to see them. And every time each movie comes out, the critical reception is going to negative but it’s still going to make a billion dollars worldwide.
This franchise needs to end, but it should continue if they can figure itself out and completely turn it around just like the Fast and the Furious franchise did. I know that franchise is dumb, but at least they actually know about it and it’s actually fun. Revamp the entire franchise and make it smarter to actually get people to enjoy them like me.
In the end, there was nothing to be expected with the fifth movie in a dimwitted franchise as it still contains awful humor, a terrible script, bland characters that you don’t care about, bombastic action scenes that aren’t fun, and falling victim into another Bay mess.
Transformers: The Last Knight brought no variety to this already bloated franchise as it’s massively incoherent with little to comprehend.
Transformers Franchise Ranked: Transformers, Dark of the Moon, Revenge of the Fallen, The Last Knight, Age of Extinction