Despite being the laughing stock of Hollywood and seen as everything that’s wrong with the modern blockbuster, Michael Bay is an amazing director that is more than capable of manufacturing incredible visualizations on the screen. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi was an intense war flick that achieved everything it wished too. Pain & Gain was a gritty crime film that proved Bay’s ability to be able to make a film that has “less” explosions than usual. David Ortiz will strikeout every now and again; and Transformers: The Last Knight is a swing-and-a-miss to say the least. This is not one of the worst movies of all time, as many critics will lead you to believe. The action is slightly just below par when compared to other Transformer’s films, the comedy is apparent and will produce a slight chuckle from time to time, and Bay’s aesthetics are always astounding and underrated; but none of this will save the film from the catastrophe that the lack of plot, cringe-worthy dialogue, and complete deficiency of enthusiasm all on board undoubtedly brought.
“You can spin it anyway you want, but what it comes down to is that Transformers: The Last Knight is a bad movie.”
IMDb’s logline for Transformers: The Last Knight reads, “Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.” Did any of that get you excited? No? Well don’t worry, that translates to the whole 148-minute film. At one point in the film, with an hour left, I counted FIVE different plot points we were theoretically supposed to follow/care about. Convoluted isn’t nearly a severe enough adjective to describe the wretchedness of the script. It’s a summer popcorn-flick and the plot isn’t supposed to be the fundamental aspect but it still has to be intelligible; and in this film it is not.
The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, and none of them were able to produce a character remotely worth caring for. Death constantly stared them in the face as the audience and myself constantly continued not to care. There was one character who was a light in the bleakness that was the company of the film, and his name was Cogman. Cogman was a short-tempered butler-robot who was a cheap knock-off of K2-SO from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; and was still the greatest part of the whole damn film.
The action throughout the film was easily the most uninspired of the five films, which makes one ponder why this film has the highest budget of any of the others. Wahlberg hanging out of Bumblebee as the transformer shot at a Decepticon beside him is the one shot that I remember admiring; that should explain the absence of creativity or passion that went into a two-and-a-half-hour film. The most important feature of any film with a budget of +$250 million is going to be the effects, and the attempt here was disappointing.
Without the cinematography that Michael Bay is known for, though never receives admiration, the rating below would be absent a whole star. After a mammoth of an explosion and fire-fight between alien robots, to see the camera pan up to a young girl covered in dust as the American flag waves in front of the distant mountains and the sunrise behind them is an amazing and brilliant way to bring levity to the nonsense. A very Peter Berg style of filmmaking that has been recently very successful. When explosions aren’t abundant and metal isn’t sparking, the frame is always able to provide some next-generation visuals that will always evoke emotion out of me.
Two and a half stars means a movie is “eh”, it’s alright, it’s a movie. Two stars means a movie isn’t good. One and a half stars; that’s a bad movie. You can spin it anyway you want, but what it comes down to is that Transformers: The Last Knight is a bad movie. Two sequels and a Bumblebee spin-off are already in the books, but if the last outing is an example for how the rest of the series is going to go, don’t let this saga have another dime.