I never thought it was possible for the fifth “Transformers” movie to actually be the worst of the franchise, especially considering 2009’s 2nd installment, “Revenge of the Fallen” was such a disaster. Director Michael Bay began this series 10 years ago with a fun, cool coming-of-age story of a teen and his relationships with cars that “transformed” into giant, talking robots. But “T-5” proves that the on-screen exploitation of the ‘80s toy action figures has gone on long enough.
“Transformers: The Last Knight” is reportedly the final installment that both Bay and Mark Wahlberg will be a part of. It should also be the finale of the series, which has reached new lows on the tolerability meter. “T-5” is an absolute mess.
At just under 2 and a half hours, “The Last Knight” is the shortest “Transformers” since the original. It feels like the longest. Bay jams-in so much involving the human characters (old and new), all the Autobots and Deceptions, and countless and mindless action sequences. Yet, the movie says so little.
Problems begin right at the start, as Bay opens with a backstory set in the time of King Arthur. It features Stanley Tucci as Merlin the “comedian” Magician. You may remember that Tucci played the wacky Joshua in “Transformers 4”. Apparently no one was supposed to remember that.
Following the most epic flash-forward in movie history: “1600 Years Later”, we catch-up with Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager and his never ending battle to protect and defend the remaining Autobots on Earth, including best-buddy Bumblebee. Government troops are looking to wipe-out the entire race of Transformers. Cade has two new human sidekicks: a young orphan girl and a goofy tech-nerd. Both characters couldn’t be more mechanical.
We’re also introduced to Oxford professor Viviane, who becomes Cade’s obligatory love interest. And a senile historian named Sir Edmund Burton narrates for awhile and then appears on screen. Anthony Hopkins and his talking robot sidekick (which one Autobot accurately refers to as a C-3PO knock-off) make for the year’s kookiest, most embarrassing on-screen pairing.
The plot – if you can call it that – is basically made-up of an endless series of confrontations amongst and between the humans and the machines. But Bay has even slipped in this department. The visuals aren’t at all impressive, with the Transformers looking less realistic than ever before. And there are continuity errors and aspect ratio issues throughout. It’s as if Bay himself got tired bored while making the film and just went into autopilot to get it done. The shockingly quick closing credits support this theory.
To paraphrase a line from the script of an Autobot describing a colleague: “The Last Knight” is the most irritating and annoying “Transformers” ever.
On The Official LCJ Report Card, “Transformers: The Last Knight” gets a D-.
In a recent interview, Anthony Hopkins called Michael Bay “a genius”. Here’s hoping he was still in character at the time.
Running Time: 149 min.