Sunday, June 25, 2017

Movie Review: Transformers: The Last Knight

The incomprehensible robot mayhem continues in the latest installment in the children toys action-adventure franchise. No one seems to be taking this seriously, not even the director Michael Bay as he sets the tone early with a drunken Merlin (Stanley Tucci) receiving a staff from a hidden Transformer to help King Arthur and his knights fight barbarians. In the present day, Izabella (Isabela Moner) sneaks around the wastelands of previous Transformers battles repairing hidden robots and hiding from a military squad that hunts them, the TRF. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) steps in with Bumblebee and the other Autobots saving Izabella and finding a talisman that leads to some ancient legend. At a junkyard, Cade lives with the hidden Autobots and Dinobots and works with his assistant Jimmy (Jerrod Carmichael). Lennox (Josh Duhamel) infiltrates the TRF as they recruit Megatron to hunt the Autobots.

The Decepticons, freshly freed from prison, attack Cade's junkyard and battle into a destroyed city somewhere. Cogman, a robot butler, takes Cade away to a castle in England where Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). Burton has also brought Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) as she is a great descendant of Merlin. Burton explains the significance of the end of the world and the certain steps that can be taken to stop which involves a staff and Cade's talisman. Optimus Prime was floating through space when he was picked up by Quintessa, a creator of Transformers who changes Optimus into Nemesis Prime.

A chase through London, or some other English city never sure where they are in these movies, follows clues and eventually leads to the Navy Museum. Cade and Vivian take a submarine with Cogman and dive deep underwater to another alien ship that no one had discovered before. Lennox and the TRF follow to discover a hidden place of knights. Vivian activates the staff but Optimus finally shows up after being gone pretty much the whole first half of the movie and fights Bumblebee. The yellow robot takes and Optimus quickly changes back to the good side. All the characters come together to launch an attack on the giant Cybertron planet that has floated from space to destroy Earth.

A NASA Engineer (Tony Hale) comes up with a plan and the military attacks alongside the Autobots, but it is up to Vivian to grab the staff. There are tons of explosions and it is nearly impossible to tell what is going on at any one time but eventually, the team makes it to a central area and fight Quintessa and her knights. Megatron also tries to fight them but gets thrown out. There is a hint of a future sequel in horns that rise up out of the ground that don't serve a purpose in the finale of the movie.

The Transformers seems to be out of ideas as they have recycled a very similar plot and formula with a historical event actually being different because of the hidden presence of Transformers. Cade is a silly character and Wahlberg hardly tries while it is sad to see a great actor like Hopkins cashing a paycheck and no longer bothering with a decent role. Any interesting new character is pushed to the side during the entire middle part which is so slow and boring I had a hard time staying awake through it and paying attention to the silly plot points seemed fruitless. I've heard rumors of an expanding universe and there have already been announcements of a Bumblebee movie but trouble at the box office could spell a winding down of this absurd set of films. 

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