So yeah, I went to watch Transformers. I expected it to be terrible, but it was even worse. A friend of mine made me go watch it with him, and… well, here are my thoughts. Sigh.
Transformers: The Last Knight is directed by the one and only Michael Bay and features Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, the Dinobots everyone hated in the previous film, and a shit-ton of explosions. In a time where Transformers are declared outlaws, Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) will have to find a magical staff last seen in the fifth century with the help of Viviane Wembly (Haddock), a Professor at the University of Oxford. The key to finding the staff will be found in Wembly’s past, as she’ll uncover secrets that date all the way to the Middle Age upon finding out she’s a descendant of Merlin himself.
This film is flooded by issues. But to me, the most important problem is pacing. At two and a half hours, The Last Knight is way too long. It’s slow, boring, packed with exposition-heavy scenes and uneventful. An entire hour could be taken out, and yet it has an extended version that is over three hours long. Bay is known for his explosive direction, but also for not being able to create a compelling storytelling. Therefore, I can’t possibly understand why they decided to make the film as long as it is. Yes, the action scenes are bombastic, but there are too few of them to keep the audience interested in what’s going on. I expected the film to be bad, but at least I thought it would be entertaining…
Nonsense. That’s the most appropriate word to describe the film’s plot. It’s obvious that after the first four movies they had no clue at what to tackle next, so they just kept throwing mythology to the mix expecting to find some interesting arcs that would keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Well, they didn’t. The “staff” storyline I’ve already mentioned could have had a pass, but the whole “only Merlin’s descendants can use it and it turns out one of the protagonists is the last descendant” thing was cheesy to say the least. If that kind of plot could’ve had a pass, imagine the rest.
A talisman that seeks a being worthy enough to be deemed a Knight that protects Cade by morphing in shape and size to be act as an armour whenever he needs. A secret organization, which includes geniuses like Mozart, that has helped over centuries keep Transformers a secret and, in exchange for this help, has received presents from the robots, such as a weapon to kill Hitler. A “the good guy gone bad expect he’s good when needed” plot, probably worse than any other in the history of cinema. And so on.
It is Optimus Prime who has gone rogue in The Last Knight, as you may have seen in the trailers. And by “in the trailers”, I mean “exclusively in the trailers”. It is not an actual plot in the movie, as this character is nowhere to be found until the last battle, in which he turns good again all of a sudden. Not a single line written to make the protagonist’s storyline at least meaningful. It feels like it was just a marketing ploy in order to increase ticket sales.
My god is this film bad.
Action scenes are entertaining, I guess, but the editing is all over the place. Shaky-cam and cuts that are too quick spoil the moments. CGI is terrific of course, as it usually is in films of this budget ($260 million), but it gets boring and dull by the end of the first act due to the overreliance on it.
Transformers also tries to be a funny movie, and unsurprisingly, it fails at that too. There are “jokes” and “gags” all over the script, but they are so unfunny and dull, that in a screening that was sold-out, 95% of them didn’t get a chuckle from anyone in the audience. Other than that, the script is dull and predictable, and relies on the resources every movie of its kind relies on. It’s empty and meaningless, and even those who were entertained by the flashing lights and cool effects will realise in the moments credits start to roll.
The Last Knight has achieved something I thought impossible. It has Merlin’s magic staff, Anthony Hopkins, metallic three-headed dragons, trucks that turn into humanoid robots and so much more, yet it is a boring film. How Bay (and the studios behind the movie, of course) achieved to do it, that’s the real mystery. 1/10