You know how the Fourth of July has devolved into an excuse for Americans to blow stuff up? That’s pretty much what we have with the Transformers franchise, and it’s latest installment, TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT, just with fancy fast cars and lots and lots of monologuing.
Sir Anthony Hopkins gained 20 pounds chewing scenery. True story.
Cade Yeager, a guy from Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) is a fugitive on the run from the mercenary-led Transformers Reaction Force (TRF) – which is a pretty lame acronym. He transports a minor (Isabela Moner) across state lines to the biggest junkyard that never existed, where other Transformers in hiding frolic and play and manage to never be seen by passing aircraft or drones or satellite photos from Google Earth. Meanwhile, a really smart English woman with zero common sense (Laura Haddock) is kidnapped by a lunatic lord (Anthony Hopkins) and forced to fulfill a destiny she doesn’t believe in. The first third of the movie is pretty much character setup and it looks a lot like staging a department store window display.
Like if Nordstroms had a baby with Brookstone window display. It hurts, I know.
Meanwhile there is a Giger-esque Cybertronian Queen who has Creation Baby Fever and sets her sights on Earth for her race’s rebirth.
Josh Duhamel spends his entire time chasing Cade and the Autobots, and always manages to be exactly three steps behind the rest of the story. There is this one ridiculous scene where his character is “negotiating” with Megatron (voiced by Frank Welker) for the release of some super baddy Decepticons in exchange for information. Lawyers are flown in as mediators with various super-max prisons, and for their part, I was entertained. The whole set up though – *sigh* I’m literally sighing here – just seems like a lot of padding to introduce some characters that no one was going to remember in 15 minutes.
The whole movie was like that. You didn’t have leaps of logic – you had trans-continental flights with a movie and a free blanket.
There were long stretches of monologue, mostly by Sir Hopkins about slices of history and everyone’s place in it. I’m sure this was super-interesting during pitch sessions but as to the flow of the movie, it just made everything take longer. Interesting, yes. Funny in parts, sure. Tying Cybertron to the Knights of the Round Table – that pill’s a bit much to swallow.
Let’s not even discuss the shoehorned romantic pairing that was not only awkward, but showcases how director Michael Bay and screenwriters, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway have no idea how actual healthy relationships develop. None.
So anyway, If you’re a completest and need to kill over 2.5 hours while watching stuff blow up, people looking at computer screens, and general physics and earth science completely ignored, boy howdy this is the movie for you. I didn’t hate it, and that’s the best endorsement I can give.
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT is rated PG-13 for robots in disguise throwing people into walls, humans acting badly towards forces they don’t understand, swears, and lots and lots of ‘splosions.