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Review: Transformers: The Last Knight

Transformers: The Last Knight
06.20.2017
4 10

PLOT: The battle between man and machine continues. This time one of the good guys, Optimus Prime, finds that he has the chance to rebuild his own world. Will he sacrifice the planet Earth and all of humanity in order to do so? Or will he team up with inventor Cade Yeager to save mankind from destruction?

REVIEW: For a brief period of time, it appeared as though TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT brought an interesting element. In the opening sequence, we witness a bloody battle with King Arthur and his knights waging war. Merlin shows up only to accept a staff from, you guessed it, a Transformer. The staff magically brings strength to their army and suddenly we are back in modern times. Ah yes, then it becomes exactly what you’d expect. Depending on your tastes, you will love or hate the outcome. Of course, this franchise has never needed positive critical response. The reviews are generally pretty lackluster, yet for many, it really doesn’t matter. This series certainly has a huge fanbase that may very well accept yet another loud and proud flick that rarely has a single shot that lasts more than four seconds.

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We are at war. The human race has made keeping Transformers illegal, with only a few brave folks trying to protect them. This particular story brings back inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and introduces us to a young girl named Izabella (Isabela Moner) who also happens to to have an affinity for fixing robots. Things look bleak when even the Autobots are at war. Optimus Prime has made a deadly deal with a powerful entity called Quintessa (Gemma Chan) and she convinces him to help rebuild their world and let Earth die. There are a ton of other characters involved including Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton, who hopes to convince Cade and a hot doctor/professor named Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) to help retrieve a mystical staff and save the planet which they call home.

And speaking of a ton of characters, you’ll also find the return of Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Agent Simmons (John Turturro) - both of whom took a break from the previous film. You also have a crap load of robots voiced by everyone from John Goodman (Hound), Ken Watanabe (Drift), Steve Buscemi (Daytrader) with Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Frank Weller as Megatron. There are so many characters, human and robot, that it all becomes a bit of a mess. Most of the time it just feels like an attempt to make this world as massive as possible, but it ultimately just loses focus. As the TRF agents chase down Cade due to his keeping robots illegally, it’s almost impossible to have any feelings for either side.

Taking on directing duties - reportedly for the last time - Michael Bay gives us a trademark Michael Bay film. The effects can be spectacular, especially in that final act, but the story and motivation is flimsy. If doesn’t help that much of the dialogue is so terrible that it garnered more groans than guffaws. One of the many comic relief characters they offered was a robot butler of sorts that is at service to Sir Edmund Burton. You also have Jimmy (Jerrod Carmichael) who took a job with Cade but apparently didn’t care to ask what comes with his employment - it appears that it doesn’t cover health care. Who cares if he makes sense or is necessary to the plot, he is funny! And yeah, the jokes rarely even managed to bring a smile. Once again, the plot is overstuffed and empty, leaving the viewers to marvel at the effects on display.

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If you are going to make a huge action flick with robots in disguise, at least they try and give you a show. The latest looks impressive in 3D on a massive IMAX screen, so if you are a fan and you don’t give a crap what the critics think, you probably won't mind paying a little extra for the spectacle. And yes, Bay takes this story all over the place. You have a major portion that brings our heroes to London. Stonehenge is used in a fun but predictable way. The best sequence aside from the beginning happens to be the final battle. However it does waste the brief battle between Bumblebee and Optimus Prime with a very obvious outcome. All the little side stories just take this two and a half hour feature on a long and winding journey of quick cuts and massive explosions.

As a fan of the first film, the sequels seemingly have lowered the bar every time. That said, THE LAST KNIGHT is an improvement over the previous Wahlberg entry. In some ways this felt closer to the first than the past few films. Perhaps the return of Duhamel and Turturro helped that, although there is really no reason to bring Turturro’s Agent Simmons back. The character, like most of the ones on screen, adds little to the story and could have easily been cut. Hell, half of the Transformers themselves were indistinguishable thanks to the four second cuts and the metal mayhem on display.

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT is exactly what you’d expect. It was entertaining to see a couple of familiar faces, and the beginning and end brought up a couple of inspired images. Although, I did feel like at one point the crew stepped onto the set of PROMETHEUS instead of TRANSFORMERS. Ultimately this is very much in tune with the previous installments. Wahlberg is fine, and Sir Anthony Hopkins was entertaining, and yes, Laura Haddock added a bit of heat - she worked rather well with Wahlberg. This is more of the same. Even if it is a slight improvement over the last film, that is not enough to warrant even a slight recommendation. Not surprisingly, critics will be ripping THE LAST KNIGHT apart, but that won’t stop this flick from making a crapload of money.

Source: JoBlo.com

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