Transformers: The Last Knight Review: – ComingSoon.net
3.5 out of 10
Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager
Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton
Laura Haddock as Vivian Wembley
Jim Carter as the voice of Cogman
Peter Cullen as the voice of Optimus Prime
Frank Welker as the voice of Megatron
Erik Aadahl as the voice of Bumblebee
Josh Duhamel as Colonel William Lennox
Santiago Cabrera as Santos
Isabela Moner as Izabella
Jerrod Carmichael as Jimmy
Gemma Chan as Quintessa
John Goodman as the voice of Hound
Ken Watanabe as the voice of Drift
Omar Sy as the voice of Hot Rod
Reno Wilson as the voice of Mohawk and Sqweeks
John DiMaggio as the voice of Nitro Zeus and Crosshairs
Jess Harnell as the voice of Barricade
Stanley Tucci as Merlin
Liam Garrigan as Arthur
Glenn Morshower as General Morshower
John Turturro as Agent Simmons
Tony Hale as JPL Engineer
Maggie Steed as Viviane’s Grandmum
Sara Stewart as Viviane’s Mum
Phoebe Nicholls as Aunt Helen
Rebecca Front as Aunt Marie
Directed by Michael Bay
Transformers: The Last Knight Review:
Michael Bay’s Transformer films have been many things: loud, obnoxious, loud, silly, overtly racist, nonsensical, loud, annoying, unfunny, and loud. But for all their many, many, many, many problems they have at least never been boring. At least not until now.
For those who have been following the story of the Transformer films up until now, you probably shouldn’t because it is very clear Bay and his producers aren’t. The series is a panoply of overriding plot repetitions built on an idea of ‘if it was cool the first time…’ which lead to continuous outbursts of ‘but wait …’ from viewers who attempt the Sisyphean task of keeping the series’ mythology straight. But here goes.
After once again being reduced to old myths and hidden wonders the Transformers burst onto the scene in a battle which decimated Chicago and sent Autobot leader Optimus Prime (Cullen) off into deep space to seek the mysterious creators of the Transformers and warn them to leave Earth alone. Unlike the previous umpteen million city-destroying Transformer attacks this was seen as the last draw, leading to the robotic warriors being outlawed and forced into hiding along with their handful of human supporters like inventor/Transformer savior Cade Yeager (Wahlberg). When Yeager discovers a mysterious medallion he unknowingly makes himself a target for the revived Megatron (Welker) and quickly discovers the links between Earth and Cybertron, home of the Transformers, are greater than anyone has ever dreamed.
There are a handful of things which seem to interest Bay about Transformers, or at least within a Transformers story. We can tell because he keeps repeating them over and over again no matter how hard it is to fit into existing story structure as he attempts to refine the franchise to its Platonic ideal. He has not succeeded, but the almost obsessive compulsive way he keeps repeating the same story should give future generations some idea about how not to do it.
First and foremost he loves the idea of the Transformers secretly taking part in Earth history, be it their creation of the Egyptian pyramids to hide an ancient weapon, or being the real reason for the moon landings. Or here turning out to be the originators of the legend of King Arthur after they give advanced Cybertronian technology to the wizard Merlin (Tucci) in order to defeat a Saxon army. It should come as no surprise that The Last Knight gives preference to individual scenes and moments over anything like coherence and the latest opening – which plays like the beginning of Gladiator but with giant robots added – is as good an example of that as any bit in the series.
If that sounds like the silliest thing ever in, not just a Transformers film but any big budget tent pole ever made, you’re probably right. Nothing else in The Last Knight rises to that level of ridiculousness, not because the film gets better but because the rest of it is so plodding and repetitive it’s impossible to care what’s going on at any one moment. At least the brief bout of Arthurian derring-do has Stanley Tucci’s drunken Merlin in scenery chewing cameo which makes it clear how aware he is of the ridiculousness he’s involved in. The rest of the film has Wahlberg and Josh Duhamel.