Transformers: The Last Knight is everything that everybody expected. 149 minutes of wanton destruction and chaos, stringed together by something that pretends to be a story.
Transformers: The Last Knight Synopsis
Optimus Prime returns to Cybertron only to be turned into an Earth-hating menace. Cade Yeager lives with the survivors of Age of Extinction in a junkyard before tasked by a cranky aristocrat to save the world. Megatron pops up here and there to aid in Earth’s doom. And then everything goes boom when Cybertron appears over Earth and begins to scoop the life out of it.
Let me get this out of the way first. I actually enjoyed the previous four Transformers movies.
I didn’t love them. Gosh, no. But all in all, I didn’t think they were that bad either. All else aside, the movies did feature one of my favourite toy series from the 80s. One also can’t deny the fact that the effects were uniformly among the best in cinematic history.
What I’m trying to say here is, even for a forgiving 80s fanboy like me, Transformers: The Last Knight was downright awful. Unbearable in every sense. All flaws in earlier episodes are magnified five folds. The story is also thrice as messy and nonsensical. Even the addition of Anthony Hopkins to the cast does not add substance or class. In fact, I quite think this will go down in Hopkin’s career as his silliest role ever.
You know, all these boils down to Michael Bay being, in and out, an ads person instead of a movie director. He’s really great with evocative shorts and stills. You know, slo-mo, freeze frames, EXPLOSIONS and sun-lit scenes i.e. frames that are meant to sell something.
But task him to tell an extended story and he’s simply unable, and unwilling. The proof of this is his continued reliance on cheap racial stereotypes to differentiate ubiquitous characters. Any other storyteller would use characterisation or dialogue for that purpose, but nope, Mr. Bay is only interested in getting this out of the way and so he opts for the most convenient method of racial jokes. Never mind that it’s offensive, and professionally lazy.
Worse, I suspect he knows his shortcomings and he’s totally unbothered. He believes more explosions and sunshine would cover up. Perhaps he’s right. The Transformers movie franchise remains incredibly profitable. But like what Peter Travers said, each time Bay directs a new sequel, the movies die a little. For the first time ever, I’m seriously dreading another sequel from him; my favourite Transformer villain, *******, is supposedly in the next episode. I’m really, really hoping that Bay keeps his word about The Last Knight being his last Transformers movie. Please, no more! You have decimated my childhood memories enough!
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