Before I dive into things, I want to say, I’ve really enjoyed Michael Bay‘s first Transformers film with the subsequent three each being a bit worse for wear. None of it is high brow action but each film has its own charm in their own way. So, going into Transformers: The Last Knight I expected much of the same, a film that I could turn my brain off and enjoy and maybe be a little surprised with a tease of the Hasbro extended universe. Almost 2.5 hours later I was angry and wanted my money back. I saw the movie for free at a press screening. I still wanted my money back.
The gist of the story is confusing and all over the place smashing together numerous conceps we’ve seen in the comics and animated series, all of which were done better there. The story basically has Optimus floating in space where he comes across Cybertron and learns it is a dead planet. It can survive but to do so it must suck the energy from Earth. On Earth, Transformers are landing more and more each day seeking refuge from the destroyed Cybertron. We’re never fully explained what happened or why they’re fleeing but everyone is getting the hell out of dodge. And, the people of Earth aren’t fans of that. They’ve formed a new defense force to stop the Transformer threat, hunting them and their collaborators down. Throw in some weird history involving the Knights of the Round Table and you’ve got a story that has too many ideas and not enough focus.
What’s clear early on in the film that I’m not their target audience. Transformers: The Last Knight is aimed for the kids and that’s quite evident from the young kids who kick off the movie to the various character recruited including baby Transformers (what now!?) and new ones that make the stereotypes of the last few films look outright progressive. Everything about this film screams poorly thought out and focused on one goal, to sell shit.
Part of that “poorly thought out” is the lack of focus. The comedy that has existed in previous films is more front and center with a greater spin on purile humor. Instead of Bumblebee urinating on someone, we instead have Grimlock eating a car being scolded and slobber flying all over (and when did green liquid become such a thing!?).
But the biggest shame of it all, I didn’t care about any of it. Megatron’s henchmen are so bad and I was so annoyed by their existence that I thought their being dispatched was a mercy killing for the audience. Plot lines are started and stopped with details dropped all the time. Grimlock and the Dinobots begin a battle then the scene shifts and we don’t hear about them for the rest of the film. Megatron heads to England but we don’t see him until the last segment of the film, his travels ignored. The big reveal about Earth is brought up getting fans excited but is then dropped until the end teasing us Transformers 6. A medalion searches for the right wearer and a Transformer has it but it’s never explained why that Transformer has it or where it came from. Character randomly change outfits in between scenes. The ending that just leaves things in a way that makes what’s to come baffling. I could go on and on about the failures of the film.
Bay’s entire film is one “gag” scene setting up the next with a plot loosley added to create a narrative that makes absolutely no sense. It also has no real vision either. There’s ample opportunity to tease G.I. Joe, ROM, and even M.A.S.K. to create some excitement and set things up to come in the anticipated Hasbro connected movie universe. At least that would have been something. Instead, every opportunity is squandered.
The actors too seem to phone it in. Mark Wahlberg seems both annoyed at what he’s doing and in to it all. Anthony Hopkins… I have no idea what Bay has on the actor to do what he did. Josh Duhamel returns… Laura Haddock plays a British Megan Fox. The 16 year old Isabela Moner is sexed up to creepy levels that left me the viewer uncomfortable. About the only entertainment is Jerrod Carmichael who pops in and out of it all as to serve as a prop for the next “gag” or to deliver some humorous line. The actors who got to provide their voices were the lucky ones as they don’t have to have their faces associated with this film, just sullying their voices instead.
I feel like the entire film can be summed up by a line delivered by the talented Tony Hale whose character is “JPL Engineer.” He seriously states, “I believe in science.” That’s quality writing there.
The movie is bad in almost every way. The writing. The action. The humor. The length. I struggle to find any redeeming quality other than the fact it exists to be made fun of.
With so many other quality films in the theater right now, there’s little reason to see this one. This is one of the worst films I’ve seen in my life. That’s not an exageration. I was angry when I left the theater. If this is a sign of things to come, please don’t! I can’t recommend the movie at all. Spend your money and time elsewhere.
Overall Rating: 1.0