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Film Review – Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

Michael Bay’s next installment in the Transformers franchise has come to theaters.  The fifth installment, entitled Transformers: The Last Knight, is the follow-up to the much maligned Transformers: Age of Extinction.  Although, the franchise has had some less than stellar films (that’s putting it lightly), this newest installment promised a completely gonzo moviegoing experience that includes both knights and Nazis.  But could Michael Bay and his crew pull of this absurd concept?  The following review will be spoiler free.

Background

Transformers: The Last Knight, as you already know, is directed by Michael Bay and stars Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, and Sir Anthony Hopkins.  Once again, humans are at war with the Transformers, leaving the balance of the world in peril.  The humans’ greatest aly, Optimus Prime, is now gone.  In order to save the world, Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) and Bumblebee must find secrets of the hidden history of the Transformers on Earth.  However, before they can attempt to save the world, they’ll need the help of an English lord (Hopkins) and a professor (Haddock).

transformers: the last knight

image via Variety

Background…Continued

Somewhere in the ether of Hollywood ideas, there are fourteen ideas for new Transformers films that may be formed into feature length movies at some point in time.

Does anyone even want one more Transformers movie?

The first movie in the franchise was met with a lot of praise from fans, despite some of its flaws.  However, what happened next can be best described as diminishing returns.  Not only were the sequels subpar, many people downright hated them and everything they stood for.  Typically, a franchise with such hate would have died off by now, but there’s just one problem: the movies continue to gross a ton of money all over the world.  While the domestic box office totals have continued to fall, international numbers continue to rise.  In fact, approximately 80% of Age of Extinction‘s box office came from international markets.

It appears that Transformers films are not going anywhere, considering Age of Extinction grossed over $1.1 billion.  The only thing we can hope for is that the people in charge over at Paramount finally crack the code and make a solid movie.

But does Transformers: The Last Knight start a new era of critically successful Transformers films?

transformers: the last knight

image via Seibertron.com

Spoiler alert: absolutely not.

What I Liked

Nada.

What I Didn’t Like

Michael Bay is certainly more well known for his prowess on the technical side of the production of a movie.  However, the editing on Transformers: The Last Knight is pretty horrendous.  Typically, I wouldn’t blame the director for an editing issue.  But, since Bay has final say on the film in his contract with Paramount, it is only logical to blame him for the mess that was put out into theaters.

The fifth Transformers has practically zero through-line to its plot (if you can even call it a plot).  The film simply jumps from place to place without any setup or understanding, making the film incredibly confusing to follow.  Should a Transformers film have a complex story structure?  Absolutely not.

transformers: the last knight

image via justhollywood.net

At one point, there may have been a three or four hour cut of this film that made more sense from a narrative perspective.  However, there’s so much fluff in this film that Bay needs to be criticized for keeping style over substance.  Rather than having moments that connect characters and plot points, Bay would much rather have cringeworthy banter between characters or a pointless polo scene.

Even the most mundane moments in the film are truncated and altered to the point where a scene involving Anthony Hopkins getting in the car takes five different cuts.

Transformers: The Last Knight also uses different cameras within the same scene, causing the aspect ratio to keep changing back and forth.  Even within conversations between characters, the aspect ratio is changed which causes the black bars above and below the film to keep changing.  Not only is this a bad editing practice, it’s very, very jarring.

What I Didn’t Like…Continued

What makes Transformers: The Last Knight even worse is its aggressively terrible humor.  Seamingly every other second, there’s an attempt at humor that is so annoying and stupid that you can’t help but grow angry.

transformers: the last knight

image via comicbook.com

While not ideal, unfunny jokes in movies aren’t the worst thing in the world.  However, Transformers: The Last Knight actively pursues a slapstick tone that feels incredibly cynical, as if the movie is subconciously saying, “We know this is terrible but you’ll laugh at it anyway.”

If you find yourself hating the comedy, it gets even worse.  There’s nothing intelligent or imaginitive about of it.  Rather, it relies on racial/ cultural stereotypes, physical gags, and absolutely cringeworthy sex talk.

The humor here feels almost like a studio executive wrote the dialogue.  It feels like people in suits just talked about what’s popular and tried to copy it.

What I Didn’t Like…Continued…Continued

Piggybacking off that last point, everything about Transformers: The Last Knight feels like it was cooked up in a lab somewhere.  There’s zero passion or creativity here.  Every story beat feels unbelievable cynical and, above all else, lazy.  While watching the feature, you get the feeling that every step of the film was done without care.

Even Michael Bay’s action is lacking in effort.  Like every other piece of the movie, it’s completely incomprehensible and headache-inducing.

transformers: the last knight

image via Screen Rant

I can forgive a bad movie.  Sometimes, film production just doesn’t work out.  But I will never forgive a lazy movie.  Every ounce of this film is made with the feeling that it doesn’t matter and people are still going to see the film no matter what.  Such behavior should never be condoned from a large corporation like Paramount.

Conclusion

I went into this movie giving Transformers: The Last Knight every chance to win me over.  However, approximately two and a half hours later, I left the theater with feelings of regret, anger, and frustration.  This fifth installment in the Transformers saga is aggressively bad, all the while having an ever-present cynical tone that mocks viewers for seeing the film.  Obviously, it gets an F.  Hopefully, this is the movie that finally sends the message to Paramount to switch things up…or we’ll get more of the same in future.

My heart says the first option, but, unfortunately, my brain says the second one.

_________________________________________

Thanks for reading!  What are your thoughts on Transformers: The Last Knight?  Comment down below!

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What movie topic should I discuss next?  Whether it be old or new, the choice is up to you!

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Nick Kush

A current college student, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 in order to provide insightful film analysis that is meant to educate and entertain. Nick is also a member of the Internet Film Critics Society. You can follow Nick at the official MovieBabble Twitter account @MovieBabble_

36 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Everyone hated this moive and of course I do too. But I have one thing : Micheal bay doesn’t treat the females in the transformers series like regular human beings! Have you guys ever notice???

  2. I respect your opinion and I can’t really argue with anything you said about The Last Knight. With that said I actually enjoyed the movie, it could be cause I am a fan of The Transformers or that I have come not to expect to much from these movies. Out of the five live action Transformers movies,The Last Knight is one of the better movies in my opinion. Of course none of them can compare to the awesomeness of the 1986 animated Transformers The Movie.
    I will say one thing I don’t understand is why people in the audience always clap at the end of these movies. I have seen many movies in theaters and the only ones that I have seen people give applause to are these Michael Bay Transformers movies. Like I said I have enjoyed them for what they are, but I still don’t stand up and clap my head of to this movies.

    • Nick Kush says:

      Even though I hated this film I’m not one to judge what you enjoy! We all have different tastes as moviegoers so if you find enjoyment in something then good for you! I wish I liked this film! lol it would’ve made going to the movies much more fun

  3. Rabbit says:

    Could you even muster a Raskin-esque “Ha-HA!” at one of the jokes?

  4. “This fifth installment in the Transformers saga is aggressively bad, all the while having an ever-present cynical tone that mocks viewers for seeing the film.” Great line and a great review. My question is how do they keep making money, why do people keep going?? Any ideas out there in the blogosphere? My son is very keen on the transformer toys (hey who wouldn’t be they are cars that fricking transform into robots, what’s not to love??) and he saw the trailer for this and seemed interested, he particularly loves BumbleBee but I think he is too young at 7, because these films so far have been too loud and the humour as this reviewer points out, sexist/racist/pick your own ist. They lack the charm of the cartoons and I agree the first one is the best. And seriously who thought King Arthur was a good match for the transformers. Sir Anthony Hopkins, how could you sir, how could you??

    • Nick Kush says:

      Lol thanks so much! I guess international markets just the CGI in the film because nothing else stands out. As for Hopkins, I can’t really fault him because he’s been saying for years that he’s an “actor fot higher,” signalling that if you pay him he’ll do your movie lol. I give him credit though because he’s certainly not sleepwalking through the film and trying the best with what he has.

      • Yes he is a pro. Much like Caine he goes where the jobs are and fair play to him..

      • Nick Kush says:

        Absolutely! Normally I would frown upon this behavior from an established actor (De Niro, Willis, etc.) but he still puts in performances that clearly show that he’s working and doing his best rather than sleepwalking through the production.

  5. raistlin0903 says:

    Well…I’m still going to see it, as I am still,a massive Transformers fan. So purely for nostalgic reasons I am going to check it out. But I’m already prepared for the worst, seeing the pretty much every negative review I have seen this movie gather for now ?

    • Nick Kush says:

      Lol well if you love the movies than go for it! I’m never one to judge someone else’s tastes.

  6. Aaron R Moss says:

    “Aggressively bad” lol

  7. Hopefully, you can take solace in the fact that your review was very entertaining, even though the movie wasn’t. So, your time and money weren’t completely wasted.

    • Nick Kush says:

      Lol thanks for that! These are the tribulations that a critic must endure! I do it so you don’t have to!

  8. Patricia says:

    I kind of picked up on its suck-ocity from the trailer, but it’s still nice to read your thoughts. You’re a great writer. 🙂

  9. Dylan Langes says:

    The only way to stop this is for people to stop going to see it. It wasn’t even like you need to see it in the cinema. I saw it at an IMAX screening and yes it looked good but the editing was horrendous that it didn’t matter what camera they used.

    • Nick Kush says:

      Absolutely, but I fear this may not happen. I saw the film in a packed theater with people who even CLAPPED at the end of it.

  10. cherriopolis says:

    Thanks for the review. Guess, I’ll wait for DVD on this one. I don’t like wasting time and money on horrible films with no plot or it was difficult to understand just because they needed to make another movie. Thus, make money. It is insulting to me that movie studios underestimate movie-goers’ capacity to understand plot and continuity of a film. I expected more from Michael Bay besides all the action sequences.

  11. Man, I feel absolutely sorry for you. Of course, I have no plans whatsoever to see this abomination that’s somehow allowed to live. Let me ask you something: Did several moments from “The Last Knight” feel copied and pasted from any of the past films in the “Humans” series, but for some reason has the Transformers name slapped on to make a quick million or 200?

    • Nick Kush says:

      Lol yes. Optimus Prime is in the movie for at most 10 minutes and the other two hours and twenty minutes is full of incredibly terrible attempts at humor. All the while, the army is just kind of there and we have to learn about how the Transformers were hidden on Earth for the fifth straight movie lol.

  1. June 26, 2017

    […] *To read my full review of Transformers: The Last Knight, please click here. […]

  2. July 9, 2017

    […] *To read my full review of Transformers: The Last Knight, please click here. […]

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