Skip to main content

Enter For A Chance To Win Tickets To See UNCLE DREW In Honolulu

Movie Review: Transformers - The Last Knight

Yet another Decepticon disaster heads to Earth in the incomprehensible and bloated Transformers: The Last Knight.

Review by Matt Cummings

The Transformers franchise is an interesting study in box office duality. Panned from the outset by critics, the series about Autobots and humans battling Decepticons to save Earth has resonated with fans, raking in over $3b worldwide. It's the one series that's been impervious to criticism, even though we all know Director Michael Bay's shtick by now. And while he claims (once again) that Transformers: The Last Knight will be his last, I sure hope he's good on his (ever-moving) word: this one is another disorganized mess that squanders its considerable assets with oddly-placed levity and harbors a fetish for slow-motion moments that minimize any potential story beats.

As humanity reels from the now-constant arrivals and attacks by the Decepticons, the Autobots find themselves hunted as well, this time by a worldwide military organization called TRF. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) harbors the remaining Autobots at his junkyard, struggling to keep the team together, while their leader Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) has headed to deep space to confront his creator Quintessa (Gemma Chan). But unknown to him or even humanity, a reinvigorated Cybertron is headed to Earth, hoping to find a magic staff that was forged during the reign of King Arthur. One side hopes to secure it to power an ancient weapon, while the other hopes to unleash a team of protectors to defeat Megatron (Frank Welker) and Quintessa. But it will be humans that will save day, including a historian who knows all about Transformer history (Anthony Hopkins), and a English professor (Laura Haddock) who has an ancient connection to the staff. To protect everything humanity has ever known, robots and humans will once again join in battle, with each side learning why Transformers continue to invade the planet.

From the moment which the long-winded opening graces (or impales us, depending on your point of view), The Last Knight squanders any hope to tell a compelling alternate-history tale. Think of the effect which National Treasure, The da Vinci Code, or Raiders of the Lost Ark had in terms of re-writing our history DNA. Those moments felt believable and ultimately relied on people using their brains (and eventually brawn) to win the day. Instead, The Last Knight seems to relish the idea of the reverse, that pithy comebacks and a shoot-first-abandon-a-city-later mentality is somehow better. The team of writers - including Akiva Goldsman and Ken Nolan (who will be sticking around to write the Bumblebee offshoot) - also seem content to saddle Cullen with horrible dialogue and put Walhberg and Haddock in the middle of too many cheesy (and frankly creepy) moments of levity. Many of those jokes fell hard with our test audience, even though they don't actually appear together until the beginning of Act 3. Luckily, Wahlberg enjoys great chemistry with Isabella Moner, a young girl who fights the Decepticons in revenge for the death of her parents. Her introduction and explanation of her past reveals perhaps the best potential character of the entire franchise, a human who can prove that an obvious price has been paid by the Earth. It's a refreshing turn, but it doesn't last long, because Moner's heroics are sadly wasted.

Heavily in the trailers, Moner disappears for what seems like 60 minutes, confined to Autobots B Team while Wahlberg, Haddock, and Hopkins espouse seemingly endless dialogue. Welker and Cullen are barely in it, confined to minor characters that are relegated to action scenes, rather than squaring off to either debate the good of man or just getting into a nice throwdown. Hopkins seems to be having the best time on screen, which does translate into some fun dialogue with his psychopathic robotic servant Cogman (Jim Carter). But just like his role in Wolfman, even Hopkins can't help this disaster. The Last Knight is incredibly heavy in terms of telling its story, going on for minutes while Hopkins, Wahlberg, and Haddock prattle on about facts that seem utterly disconnected from what's actually going on: beat the silly queen, get the silly staff, save the Earth.

The Last Knight also shamelessly borrows from more recent films, revealing a desperate turn for Bay. In addition to National Treasure, there's clear references here to Star Wars and The Fast & The Furious franchises, from the cute robot Wheels, to an obvious copy of Cogman as C3PO, to the action sequences featuring fancy car chases that aren't so fancy. I don't buy into the demand that a friend made to me this week to treat the movie as mindless pap, to see beyond its faults because this is the best we can expect from Bay. Even as a director, we deserve more, as several of his scenes even feature sequences shot in IMAX that actually don't remain in IMAX throughout the entire scene. In other words, the aspect ratio switches within the same scene, moving from letterbox back to IMAX. At the very least, it might make your eyes jump around, and the effect is just plain sloppy. Even by its own warped standards, The Last Knight fails in almost every category.

Bay has stated that The Last Knight is his final Transformers movie. I sure hope so, because it's clear that he cares less about actually making them good as getting credit for making them in the first place. Sure he has a talent for staging a scene, but his fetish for epic 'moments' or showing off his female's T&A, or his decision to leave uncomfortable moments of silence after a joke that doesn't hit has gone beyond grating. Bay is a director who's in it for himself, to bring attention to his game rather than telling a compelling story of humans and their apparently long history with the Autobots. It's high time someone else tells these stories, because The Last Knight is also the final humiliation.

Transformers: The Last Knight is yet another overstuffed, incomprehensible mess from a franchise that knows failure all too well. Like its brethren, It feasts on visual moments rather than telling a compelling or even a cohesive story, which I swear is buried deep down in the muck. But it soon dashes any hope for such glory with weird moments of levity, way too much slow-motion, and villains whose arcs are totally mismanaged. And yet with so little coming out this week, it's entirely possible that audiences, desperate to see something new, will foolishly throw down hard-earned cash to see it. You'll probably kick yourself for making that mistake, but I did warn you.

Transformers: The Last Knight is rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of sci-fi action, language, and some innuendo and has a runtime of 149 minutes.

Discuss this review with fellow SJF fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @SandwichJohnFilms, and follow author Matt Cummings at @mfc90125.


Popular posts from this blog


Enter For A Chance To Win Pass To See JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM on June 19th at 7:00 PM in LAS VEGAS.

It's been four years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who's still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in …

Enter For A Chance To Win Tickets To See SICARIO, Day of the Soldado In Minnesota

Enter For A Chance To Win Pass To See SICARIO, Day of the Soldado on June 26th at 7:00 PM in Minnesota.

In SICARIO, Day of the Soldado, the series begins a new chapter. In the drug war, there are no rules – and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in nefarious ways. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter to inflame the conflict – but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for.





This screening will be monitored for unauthorize…

Enter For A Chance To Win Tickets To See UNCLE DREW In Honolulu

Enter For A Chance To Win Pass To See UNCLE DREW on June 26th at 7:00 PM in Honolulu.

After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend UNCLE DREW (NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew's old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie) and prove that a group of seniors can still win the big one.

After a successful five years as a fan-favorite digital episodic series, originally conceived by Pepsi, UNCLE DREW, will hit theaters June 29, 2018.