The Last Knight is pretty much what you’d expect so if you hated the other Bay Transformers movies then you’d best avoid this too.
Plot: Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it’s up to the unlikely alliance of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Bumblebee, an English lord (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) to save the world.
Review: I’ve always found Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise an acquired taste; one which I’m afraid I don’t really have. I enjoyed the first movie and I’ve always thought Steve Jablonsky’s score was far better than the franchise deserved.
Maybe it’s because I’m 39 years old and I’m not the target audience for this kind of picture. This is aimed at a younger audience and it feels it; if you enjoyed the previous entries then you’ll probably find a lot to like here but if the other movies weren’t to your taste then you’d probably best skip this one.
There are indeed a lot of explosions, obnoxious characters and terrible dialogue as expected but most of all a ridiculous runtime of nearly 2 and a half hours. Why can no one do a 90 minute movie anymore?
Everything is dragged out and seems to go on forever; the first half is actually pretty dull too despite the Gladiator rip-off opening scene set during the time of King Arthur. It admittedly was well done and in general there was a real sense of scale to the action scenes. By the time we eventually reach the CG filled finale (and you’ve already voided your bladder twice) you’ll likely not care about what’s happening and just pray for it all to end.
The new characters including (potentially annoying child) Izabella (Isabela Moner) didn’t make much of an impact but we can thank the cybergods that the “fight like a girl” crap from the trailer wasn’t in the movie.
I also found that you can’t help but feeling that the majority of Transformers never feel like characters, just catchphrases created to sell toys. Hot Rod was one of my favourite Transformers growing up (alongside Scourge and Warpath) but this new version is pretty bad. He has a rotten French accent and not even remotely cool which was a missed opportunity. I’ve also never liked the look of these Transformers; their faces are indistinguishable and I can rarely tell them apart.
If you are looking for evil Optimus Prime he has about 5 minutes of screentime but is barely in the first half of the movie. When he does show up it’s a bit of a cop out and really just lame.
I’m not even a Michael Bay hater; the man knows how to shoot set-pieces and there are some incredible visuals; The Rock and 13 Hours are two of my top movies so I’m hoping that if this is indeed his final entry in the series that he can go back to making movies like that again.
Sadly, even Steve Jablonsky’s score is a letdown in this movie with none of the great themes we know and love really used to any great effect and it’s all just lost in the din.
It’s not all bad though. Anthony Hopkins as always brings some class and if you’ve got kids then they will likely eat this up as it isn’t short on spectacle with some cool moments. Cogman also had some funny lines and was arguably my favourite character.
Seeing it in IMAX 3D is probably the best way to watch a film of this scale despite the fact the 3D got blurry at times but that’s probably more my eyesight than anything.
Overall, if you didn’t like the other Transformers movies then you’ll likely hate this one too. The characters are mostly forgettable and never feel like real people and it’s far too long.