Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sean Kelly

Review: Transformers: The Last Knight

It's a battle for Earth or Cybertron in Transformers: The Last Knight. Following the departure of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) back to Cybertron, Transformers are being hunted down and the Autobots are hiding out in a junkyard with Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg). After helping out street-smart homeless teenager Izabella (Isabela Moner), Cade is summoned to the home of historian Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) and is joined by Oxford professor Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock). Burton explains that Transformers have been coming to Earth for generations and that the key lies with a staff from the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Cade and Viviane have to find the staff and use it to stop the planet Cybertron, which is on a collision course with Earth.

It was a decade ago when 25 year old me wrote only three lines about Michael Bay's original film version of Transformers. I probably will be writing a lot more about the film today. I had always considered myself a person that generally liked the Transformers films, even if opinions elsewhere said otherwise. While not quite having the same spirit as the animated series from the 1980s, I was still generally entertained by the previous films in the series.

However, I am sad to say that the (un)popular opinion of the Transformers films have started to catch up with me. While I still think that Transformers: The Last Knight is nowhere near as bad as people say it is, it is also showing major signs of franchise fatigue. Other than central Autobots Bumblebee and Optimus Prime, most of the Transformers take a backseat in the film to much less interesting human characters. While Anthony Hopkins does stick out in the human cast of the film, his character of Sir Edmund Burton is little more than an exposition machine. Mark Wahlberg reprises his role of Cade Yeager from the previous film and "British Megan Fox lookalike" Laura Haddock plays this film's eye candy, who wears revealing outfits just as much as teaching history courses.

From the head scratching King Arthur prologue to the climax at Stonehenge, the plot of Transformers: The Last Knight is probably a bit more complicated than it really needs to be. Fans of 1986's Transformers: The Movie might be excited by the introduction of the Autobot Hotrod, weirdly sporting French accent, or allusions to the villain Unicron, but neither end up being a satisfying addition to the film. In fact, thanks partially to the large Transformers body count in previous films, many of the well-known Autobots and Decepticons have long since department. As, we are instead treated to seemingly random characters like Nitro Zeus, Mohawk, or Dreadbot. Then there's this film's "Transformers de Jure," than being the twelve Knights of Iacon, who combine into Dragonstorm.

I hate to say it, but despite being a fan of the earlier films, I was ultimately somewhat underwhelmed by Transformers: The Last Knight. Instead, I recommend you check out the new music video for "Cybertronic Warrior" by Transformers themed rock band The Cybernetic Spree.

6 / 10 stars

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).