Transformers: The Last Knight
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock,
King of the “If you have seen one of them, you have seen them all” franchise. Michael Bay’s profitable special effects blockbuster series is on its 5th installment. Were taken back in time with this latest sequel, incorporating King Arthur and Merlin into the Transformers origin story. “The Last Knight” absorbs elements from other franchises “Fast & Furious”, “Jurassic World” or “Mission Impossible”, in this bloated 2.5+ hour movie. Hopkins is having entirely too much fun speed racing, giving the finger, and embracing the kooky old cog character. The 79-year-old Oscar winner in an unlikely addition to the franchise, but the films only silver lining. Wahlberg’s second time around in this franchise can’t hide his boredom for playing this character.
“A threat to our very existence,” they call it. Quintessa, creator of Optimus Prime, has villainized the robotic hero, with a plan to crash the alien planet of Cybertron onto Earth. The government which spends much of its time and effort looking for wanted man Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), is forced to work with Megatron, releasing some of the autoboots greatest foes. Meanwhile in England Sir Edmund Burton (Hopkins), is the key to turning the tide with transformers taking over planet earth. He enlists the help of Yeager and Oxford professor Viviane Wembly (Haddock) to find an ancient artifact that was given to Merlin by one of Earth’s first transformers.
It’s a complete junk food mess of a movie.
The script does put the majority of the action back in the hands of the humans, which means actors Wahlberg, Haddock and Hopkins have more screen time than just a bunch of CGI effects. The balancing of human actors and robots doesn’t make this Transformers film any better. The plot here is excessively convoluted as we travel back in time, group villains and heroes from past installments with new ones. It’s got ancient and futuristic battles, WWII flashbacks and lots of jokes aimed at the 13-year-old intellect. Characters consistently flash on screen proclaiming impending doom, “the world will end in twelve hours”, but our characters don’t seem all that worried, and neither should you. After four films of the same characters saving the day, there isn’t much suspense here, or even a reason to hold out on that bathroom break.
There comes a point near the end of the film where worlds are colliding, we go from underwater to space, back to earth and at various points it’s hard to decipher what’s actually happening. A love story is thrown in the midst of everything else, as Bay always aims for “the most” in every scene, never “the best”. Younger children won’t be able to follow this convoluted plot and the running time with exhaust even the most dedicated viewer. I would highly advise not seeing the film in IMAX 3D because of how poorly the different aspect ratios are edited together. The flicker of the changing screen size and those “black bars” are so inconsistent that it becomes one more distraction from what audiences should be focused on. It’s a complete junk food mess of a movie.
A redundant fifth installment for a franchise with nothing left to offer.