Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

  • Time: 148 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Michael Bay
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Stanley Tucci


Optimus Prime finds his dead home planet, Cybertron, in which he comes to find he was responsible for its destruction. He finds a way to bring Cybertron back to life, but in order to do so, Optimus needs to find an artifact that is on Earth.

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  • Stuff gets blown up. Robots throw down. Humans try to keep straight faces whilst spouting dialogue that contributes not a whit to any absolute or even partial understanding of what is going on. Yes, another Transformers film has arrived to rake in more money for this very profitable franchise and to prove once again that director Michael Bay has no equal when it comes to making overproduced, overstuffed, smorgasbords of CGI-laden mayhem. In other words, there isn’t a better worse movie of the summer.

    Obviously, Bay knows what the fans want and delivers it to them in extravagantly detailed slops. The Transformers films, if nothing else, are well-crafted, meticulously detailed, lavishly sensationalistic works of entertainment. On the down side, they also happen to feature terrible dialogue, little to no sense of pacing, and actors that are, for the most part, not exactly adept at rising above the surrounding silliness. It takes a certain skill not to be overshadowed by the robots who, granted, are the real stars of the series. One has to either embrace the silliness, which Shia LaBeouf definitely didn’t in the first three instalments of the franchise, or, in the case of Megan Fox, serve as major eye candy to make an impression.

    Neither LaBeouf nor Fox were back for the fourth entry, Age of Extinction, which resulted in the fortunate casting of Mark Wahlberg, who is great at playing the Everyman action hero. Though Age of Extinction was arguably the worst film of the series, Wahlberg’s ridiculously named Cade Yeager at least felt the equal of the Transformers. Cade returns for the latest film, The Last Knight, which also features the felicitous presence of Laura Haddock as British academic Vivian Wembley. Cade and Vivian must work together to search for Merlin’s staff, which they can use to thwart an oncoming alien invasion. How did Merlin get mixed up in all this? Well, apparently Merlin and a whole host of other people throughout the course of history have been part of a secret society called the Witwiccans, whose mission has been to protect the Transformers on Earth. The Witwiccans’ last living member is one Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins), an astronomer and historian who also serves as a matchmaking chaperone for the bickering Cade and Vivian. To explain any more of the alleged plot or why anything happens or why any of the other characters are even here might short-circuit one’s brain.

    The scenes involving Cade, Vivian and Sir Edmund may mark the first time in franchise history where the human scenes are no mere filler in between bombastic action sequences. Wahlberg and Haddock have a chemistry that snaps, crackles and pops and Hopkins looks to be enjoying himself. Of course, these surprisingly pleasing interactions are secondary to the action surrounding the impending apocalypse. The throw-everything-in-plus-the-kitchen-sink finale is a glorious example of a spectacle that is spectacularly hollow. For better or worse, this is Michael Bay’s Transformers and he’ll do with it as he pleases.

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