‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ is the fifth installment of this Hasbro led franchise. Directed by Michael Bay, this film explores the hidden history of the Transformers’ existence on Earth. In the modern day, humans and Transformers are at war with one another. Optimus Prime is gone. Cade Yeager aka the inventor (Mark Wahlberg) has to team up with a slightly psychotic British lord (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) to save his planet from an impending doom involving the remains of Cybertron.
Overall this movie isn’t as terrible as critics are saying it to be. For me, I never once cared about the plot and characters when watching any of these movies. I know for a fact that the team behind this franchise machine don’t care about these aspects either, as proven by history. Transformers is all about spectacle; the action set pieces, the cool cars, the design of the transformers etc.. These are the aspects that I judge these films on because I never take any of these movies seriously. Now, if you are fans of the other Transformers movies, like myself, I can guarantee that you will enjoy this movie. On the other hand, if you hate these movies to their core, you will most certainly hate this one.
What I liked about the ‘The Last Knight’ is exactly what I talked about above; the action set pieces, the cars and the transformers. Yet again, Michael Bay has managed to introduce some thrilling and well produced action sequences complemented well with the Transformers whose overall looks and interactions feel organic to the setting that they are placed in. The vehicles into which the Transformers ‘transform’ into are also mesmerizing.
This film is also shot, in almost its entirety, with IMAX 3D cameras. In part, I felt this was a good choice because it really differentiates this movie from the other installments. Even though I saw the film in 2D, I could sense that the colours were more vivid, the action was more lively and the explosions were more flamboyant. There was a particular action sequence near the beginning of the film in an abandoned town that I felt, without this improvement, would’ve felt more dull and uninspiring. On the flip side, the film constantly changes its aspect ratios, which was annoying as hell. For example in the middle of a tense action set piece, I could slowly see the black bars creeping into and engulfing about 10% of the screen, which was really irritating to watch. Sadly this happens more than a view times throughout the course of the movie.
Lets talk about some of the characters now. Mark Wahlberg was fine. Isabela Moner was fine. Anthony Hopkins was not. This may seem controversial but I didn’t like his character or performance one bit. The problem was his humor. It was off timed, so obviously scripted and damaging to his reputation as a whole. Humor itself is what turns a lot of people off when dealing with this franchise. A lot of it is straight up stereotypical and just not funny. In my opinion, audiences don’t go into these movies expecting humor because this is not the purpose of this franchise. If I wanted a good laugh I wouldn’t be watching a Transformers movie. The humor in this movie is off putting, unappealing to the majority of audiences and diminishing to this franchise. There was a robot in this movie that was such an obvious rip off of C3PO but worse in every possible way. Every time he cracked a joke, I felt like clogging my ears with tissue paper.
But overall this movie isn’t as bad as it is made to look. It is my second favorite installment of this franchise (after the first one of course) and a definite improvement over the garbage that was ‘Age of Extinction’. ‘The Last Knight’ delivers on glorious action set pieces, cool looking vehicles and stunning cinematography but fails on developing any compelling characters or a cohesive plot. Even though this film has significantly fewer product placements and does make slightly more use of the beloved Dino-bots, the bottom line is that this movie has all the defining characteristics of the other Transformers films. In short, if you liked the previous films, you will like this one.