“Transformers: The Last Knight” stars Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, Isabela Moner, Laura Haddock, Santiago Cabrera, and Anthony Hopkins. Released on June 21, 2017, the film has Cade Yeager teaming up with Bumblebee and an Oxford professor to search for the secrets behind the Transformers in order to save Earth, while also facing a much bigger threat in the form of the Autobot leader, Optimus Prime.
The film is directed by Michael Bay, who is known for directing the last four Transformers films, and it is the fifth installment in the live-action Transformers series. Let me ask you something, guys. Am I the only one who is excited to see this film? Ever since the teaser trailer was released back in December, I could not stop thinking about it. It left me with so many questions like, “What’s with the knights?”, “What’s with the Nazis?”, “Why is Optimus Prime fighting Bumblebee?”, and “Why is Anthony Hopkins so good with his narration?”. I have been a respectable follower of the robot-vs-robot franchise ever since I saw the first Transformers film back in 2007. While a lot of people have a lot of mixed feelings on Michael Bay’s interpretation of the robots in disguise, the film and its sequels managed to rake in a lot of money at the box office. This film also marks a new beginning of the Transformers cinematic universe that is created by a new writer’s room, which is one of my personal reasons why my interest in “The Last Knight” is so high. Now that it’s finally released to the public, it’s time for me to roll out once again to see if Michael Bay can really go out with a bang.
If you’ve been following the Transformers film franchise like I have, you might notice that the films have the tendency of telling the audience that the Transformers have been involved in certain parts of our history, such as the moon landing from Transformers: Dark of the Moon. “The Last Knight” is no different. This time, the Transformers have been involved with the Knights of the Roundtable as well as the World War era. In other words, they’ve been around since the very beginning. The film takes place after the events of Age of Extinction, where Cade Yeager (played by Mark Wahlberg) and the Autobots are being hunted down by a new organization known as the Transformers Reaction Force. Seriously? The Autobots just saved their butts from the KSI drones in Age of Extinction, and they’re still declaring war on them? Anyway, when Cade and Bumblebee are called upon to save the Earth from being destroyed (again), they must figure out the answers as to why the Transformers keep coming back to Earth. Meanwhile, Optimus Prime goes from Autobot leader to Autobot menace thanks to a Cybertronian sorceress named Quintessa, who is also Prime’s creator. Wow, no wonder I keep comparing it to The Fate of the Furious. Is Cipher involved in this? If you’re expecting the story to be a bit better than its predecessors in terms of the new writers, then I’m afraid you might be a bit disappointed. The story does have a few interesting moments here and there, but it can be confusing to those who are watching this for the first time and are not familiar with the other ones. This is one of Michael Bay’s biggest problems in his filmmaking career, and in here, it is still biting him in the butt. Poor guy. There were also some moments in the story that could’ve been executed better to increase more depth between the characters, both human and Transformer, as well as answer a couple of unexplained questions, such as the Decepticon leader, Megatron. The editing in-between shots was also a bit of an issue, especially during the first act of the film, but it got a little better as it went on. Despite the flaws in his storytelling, Michael Bay once again knows how to make the story engaging, fun, and action-packed that lasts for about two and a half hours. Yes, they actually managed to fix the running time a bit by making it 15 minutes shorter than Age of Extinction. It’s still a bit overlong for most moviegoers, but to me, there’s not a single dull moment to be seen. The human cast delivered some decent performances, as well as the robot cast. Mark Wahlberg and Laura Haddock were pretty entertaining as Cade and Viviane, respectively. Isabela Moner also did a very nice job in portraying Izabella, one of Cade’s human allies, as a strong young female character and not some hot and sexy damsel that the previous installments were known for. To describe Anthony Hopkins’ performance as Sir Edmund Burton, he just does what Anthony Hopkins does best in his films: delivering an engaging performance. Peter Cullen impressed me once again as Optimus Prime and Jim Carter was near perfection as Cogman, a human-sized robot butler to Burton and the best part of the film, in my opinion. The personality of Cogman and his well-timed humor is something that would make some kids, as well as the adults, laugh. Speaking of the humor, it didn’t get in to the range of being annoying or inappropriate and it actually managed to be pretty darn funny, with a couple of moments that made me laugh so hard. The form of comedy comes from Cogman himself and Cade’s partner, Jimmy, who is played by Jerrod Carmichael. If I were to choose which comic relief is funnier than the other, I would choose Cogman, hands down. The visual effects were impressive as always, including the designs of the Transformers and the action sequences, which were once again very entertaining. They could’ve included more action sequences between the Transformers, but that would make the film even longer than it is now. I managed to see the film in 3D, which was pretty solid by the way, and right away I noticed that the way they projected the 3D version is how they projected it in IMAX theaters, mostly because of the ratio aspects changing every few seconds. This was Michael Bay’s first time filming it almost entirely with IMAX 3D cameras, and it shows. I would say that the 3D is worth watching, especially if you’re seeing it in IMAX.
Overall, Michael Bay’s storytelling still remains an issue for “The Last Knight”, which would disappoint plenty of Transformers fans, but it is still a fun experience nonetheless in terms of the 3D, its entertaining values, and the visuals. This film is what you expect from a Michael Bay Transformers film. A flawed, yet entertaining, big-budget blockbuster that’s filled with non-stop action, explosions, and humor. I went in expecting it to be entertaining and action-packed like the previous installments, and I came out feeling somewhat satisfied with the result. Well, the story could’ve been executed better, but still. My personal advice to those who are planning on seeing this film is this: keep your expectations low. Don’t expect it to be an Oscar-worthy action film, don’t expect it to be anything better than the previous installments, and most of all, don’t expect anything that the trailers suggest because the final cut is always different than the marketing. If you keep that advice in mind, you should be fine. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the live-action Transformers films for what they are and those who don’t care much about the story and want some mindless fun in their lives. If you already saw it and managed to like it as much as I did, let me just say this: It’s all right to like this film, and if people are treating you like trash just because you like something that they don’t like, that’s their problem, not yours. You have the right to express your thoughts and feelings about your film experience without others criticizing you, and if they got a problem with that, then they should not be on the Internet. If you happen to dislike the film, however, that is also fine because every one has their own opinion, but if you’re going to be a huge pest about it, I suggest you keep it to yourself instead of being so rude and disrespectful to Michael Bay who has done nothing wrong but direct movies for his audience. I apologize for the long conclusion. I just wanted to get something out of my system before I end my review here. With that said, it’s time for me to roll out before I get bombarded with a lot of hate comments.