Transformers: The Last Knight (12a)
Dir. Michael Bay
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“It has been said throughout the ages, that there can be no victory, without sacrifice.”
Humankind – we are in danger… We are at war with the Transformers and the main metal champion who fought our corner - Optimus Prime - is AWOL. It seems that the key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth – doesn’t sound very hopeful does it?
Here it is then Michael Bay’s latest full metal assault on cinema goers – a technical marvel, blessed with some jaw-dropping special effects, a decent enough cast including Anthony Hopkins and Mark Wahlberg and a killer script, wait, scratch that last one. The Last Knight isn’t so much a coherent film, rather an extended collection of almost random and pretty incomprehensible scenes thrown together.
Kicking off in 484 AD, during the Dark Ages of England, King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) leads his knights into battle which they are in danger of losing until good ol wizard, Merlin (Stanley Tucci) gets an alien staff from the Knights of Cybertron who then transform into a three-headed dragon, Dragonstorm, and win the day for Arthur. This is probably the highlight of the film and as a stand alone short film would be have been fine.
The Transformers history lesson continues with things like the cool yellow Autobot Bumblebee fighting for the Allies in World War II… It really feels like anyone on the production team who had an idea just threw it in there…
"the BBQ got a bit out of hand"
So it’s little surprise the main action is around the staff Merlin used at the beginning – both the Autobots and baddie Deceptacons want it and the humans need the good guys to secure it of we’re all doomed.
Female empowerment are two words I never thought I’d write in a review of Michael Bay movie but the main heroines being young mechanic Izabella (Isabela Moner) and Merlin’s last descendant Viviane (Laura Haddock), who at least is an Oxford Professor do their best in this tidal wave of testosterone and gasoline but end up being token females anyway.
On the plus side there are some kick ass robo battles including pitting some formal allies against each other and Bay can shoot a decent car chase even if the huge amounts of collateral damage feel a bit misjudged in the current climate of terrorist activity.
"Romance Bay Style"
For a full on burst of visual overstimulation Transformers: The Last Knight delivers but for anyone looking for decent film this will be a long dark ‘knight’ of the soul…
Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(2 -Weakest Transformer yet)
Awesomeness öö – Occasional burst of cool robo action but not enough
Laughs ööö –You'll laugh but not 'at' rather than 'with'
Horror öö – Mildly scary
Spiritual Enlightenment -ööö - brain draining, soul killing