Another one …
Synopsis: The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. 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. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager; Bumblebee; an English Lord; and an Oxford Professor. (Paramount)
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, and Josh Duhamel
Writers: Art Mecum, Matt Holloway, and Ken Nolan
Director: Michael Bay
Running Time: 149mins
Through five films, the Transformers series has developed quite the reputation. It’s big, it’s loud, and it’s silly and for some people, that is enough and that is why it has survived for as long as it has and made billions of dollars at the box office. Since the formula seems to work for them, why change it now? These types of films are usually called “popcorn movies” which are fine but they should at least offer something of substance. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that they didn’t change the formula here this time around.
The problem with this formula was that it could get away with this for one, maybe two films but since then (for me at least), it’s gotten old and the lack of innovation made this newest entry boring to watch. It is a big film as there is so much going on in terms of story that it wasn’t the easiest to follow. There was a centralized story that simply became more muddled than it needed to be thanks to an excess of characters and unnecessary subplots. There’s no point to explain them as they didn’t matter at all.
The central story involved the only holdover human character from Age of Extinction (his daughter in his college somewhere), Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) who was thrust into a mission to find Merlin’s staff. The landscape had changed drastically since Age of Extinction but the film did a poor job explaining this which was a common theme here along with things not making sense because why should they? Like every other film in the series, it is best enjoyed without asking too many questions, however, this is sometimes difficult to overlook and will force some people to simply give up.
Yeager’s journey took him to London where he met a female Oxford professor named Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock). She played a vital role within the story apparently but she was just meant to become a love interest for Yeager who we know hasn’t been with someone for a long time. Yeager and Wembley also met an English Lord named Sir Edmund Burton (Hopkins). He was part of a secret society tasked to protect the history of transformers which was kind of interesting although didn’t go anywhere.
There was absolutely nothing original whatsoever about the storytelling here, however, it didn’t matter as the story was absolutely ridiculous on its own, plot holes included, to the point of being unenjoyable. The production values were still here behind the action and other special effects but like the story, it was not compelling to watch and was more often distracting than not. There wasn’t as much action here than in previous films so this entry decided to take a more comedic route with the dialogue. Unfortunately it didn’t work as the humor felt forced because of the cheesy dialogue.
The acting was okay all around but this was more due to the script than anything else. Most of the new characters were so underdeveloped that they weren’t worth caring about. Wahlberg was kind of fun to watch although it felt like he was distracting from the story like it was more about him than the transformers themselves (similar to Tom Cruise in The Mummy). The best part of the film had to be Hopkins as Burton. He was mostly an exposition machine but he brought some gravitas and screen presence to the film. Burton’s robot assistant Cogman voiced by Jim Carter stole most of the scenes.
Overall, this was a mindless action film that did not stray from the transformers format of being loud, big, and silly with this particular go around featuring an overstuffed, muddled, ridiculous story and cheesy dialogue. It’s still getting old but unfortunately, doesn’t look to end anytime soon.
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