Why do I keep watching these stupid Transformers movies?
I don’t care for any of the characters, human or robot. I find them all cliché and varying degrees of annoying. The stories are a mix of repetitive and incoherent. The dialogue is painful to the ears, as is all the explosive noise. The frequent juvenile attempts at humor rarely hit the mark, if ever. They go on way, way too long. It’s not nostalgia — I never played with a Transformers toy or watched the cartoons.
And yet there I was, again, sitting through 2-and-a-half hours of “Transformers: The Last Knight.”
I go to these things for the special effects, I guess. Michael Bay is very good at spectacle. Nobody can blow stuff up and send people flying through the air in slow motion quite like him. The action pieces are always well done, and there are a lot of them. The sweeping vistas of the English countryside were pretty. Outer space and giant, fighting robots are always cool to look at.
Still, I think I may have reached maximum Bay with this, the fifth but probably not final Transformers movie.
For those who have forgotten, such as myself, the previous film ended with head robot Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) leaving Earth for his home planet of Cyberton. He was miffed about something, I don’t remember what. When he gets there he’s imprisoned by Quintessa (Gemma Chan), who eventually brainwashes him as they fly the planet to Earth, which she plans to destroy once she gets some really important artifact that some Transformer gave to Merlin the Magician back in days of yore.
That’s right. The big conceit of “The Last Knight” is that Transformers have been hanging out on Earth for thousands of years, fighting with King Arthur’s knights and killing Nazis and in general helping out whenever they can. Now, you’d think there would be some kind of record of giant, transforming robots fighting with the Allies in WWII — but if you’re thinking, you really shouldn’t be watching a Transformers movie.
Meanwhile, back on the home world, the Transformers have once again fallen out of favor with the human race. As a result, they’re all hiding out in a giant junkyard with inventor/Sam Witwicky replacement Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg). They’re joined by a young girl (Isabela Moner) and her silly robot pal because, well, why not?
Anthony Hopkins decides to do some slumming and shows up here as a proper British gentleman who’s in charge of guarding the secret history of the Transformers. He has a really annoying robot butler. Laura Haddock stars as an arrogant Brit who turns out to be a descendant of Merlin, which is convenient because she’s the only person who can find the artifact that’s so important to the plot. There are also several interchangeable soldiers and robots.
Eventually there’s a big showdown when Cyberton shows up in Earth orbit. Now, you’d think another planet coming so close to ours would cause all kinds of havoc and pretty much destroy the Earth just by being there — but if you’re thinking, you really shouldn’t be watching a Transformers movie.
Anyhow, if you’ve enjoyed all the earlier Transformers films — and if you have, we should probably talk about your taste in movies — then you might like this one. It’s more of the same. There’s really nothing more than meets the eye.