Movie Review – Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

King Arthur meets the Transformers in this, the fifth attempt by Michael Bay to score boku cash over you wanting to share your love of 1980s based robots with your kids.

BQB here with a review of “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

I’m not sure what to make of this one, 3.5 readers.  The critics are ripping it apart, saying it’s basically a big old stink burger that transforms into a poop burger.  Actually, I said that because I think it’s funny, but the critics have been rough on this movie just the same.

I heard one critic say that at no time was he able to figure out what the plot of the film was.  I’m not going to go that far because, in my opinion, this was the franchise’s most concerted effort to actually make a flick with a plot, be it a far flunk, wonky, wobbly one.

Apparently, Transformers have been visiting Earth since ancient times and at one point, even chilled with Merlin and became robotic knights of King Arthur’s round table.  Merlin was able to control them with a magic staff.

Flash forward to the present, where Optimus Prime has gone off on his own and humans and transformers are waging all out war against one another.  Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is hiding from authorities who are after him for assisting auto bots.  I just wish Mark could have assisted this film more but you know what?  He tried.  He really did.  Hi Optimus Prime.  Say hello to your mother for me.

Blah, blah, blah, some brown stuff hits the fan and its a mad cap search for Merlin’s long lost staff.  Along the way, Mark teams up with Sir Edmund Burton (Sir Anthony Hopkins) a British nobleman and the last of a long line of “Witwiccans” or those charged with keeping tabs on Transformers’ doings on Earth.

Rounding out the crew is Professor Vivian Wembley, an expert on British folklore and the King Arthur legend in particular, played by the epically boner inducing Laura Haddock.  (Haddock?  You know when it comes to that fish, I prefer it “bone-in.”  Bah ha ha!  I’m so funny.)

It’s been a good summer for Haddock.  You might have seen her as Meredith Quill aka the younger version of Peter Quill’s mother in “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” earlier this summer.

While this role seems ridiculously below the stature and dignity of a legend like Anthony Hopkins, my main impression was that, just based on the looks on his face alone, he had the best time of his life on this film.  Check him out in the car chase scene when his robot butler Godwin is driving for him.  He’s clearly having a blast and good for him.  He’s earned it.  Without him, the film would have fallen flat.

Though many are saying this film is the worst of the franchise, I think that award goes to the second one, “Revenge of the Fallen.”  Personally, I think the best three are the first one (just because of the initial wow factor), “Dark Side of the Moon’ or the third one, and this latest one.

My main complaint?  It’s too long.  And do you know when a film is too long?  When entirely new plot points are introduced at a time that would normally serve as the 3/4th of the film being halfway over mark.  Wahlberg and Haddock become a buddy cop duo turned budding lovers at this point and yet, there’s still much after it to go.

A movie is just too long when you end up sighing, looking at your watch, praying for the Deceptions to be dispatched already just so you can leave the theater and return to your life.  “Is this my life?”  I thought.  “Will I never do anything but watch this never ending movie from now on?”

My main criticism about the entire franchise is that in past films, Bay has tended to overlook a good story involving the Auto bots vs. Decepticons and instead, focuses on the disaster aspect.  Michael Bay is, if nothing else, a big budget disaster movie expert, so his films in this series tend to focus on the explosions, the mayhem, the people on the ground running away frantically as big ass robots smash each other and knock down buildings in the process.

Don’t get me wrong.  That’s good popcorn munching entertainment right there.  But the 1980s cartoon had a good story.  Kids liked it and when the story was tinkered with in an effort to put merchandise sales over story, kids walked away from it.  (i.e. they killed off Optimus prime and a bunch of the other characters in order to replace them with new toys for your kids to buy….because, I don’t know, someone thought that would be better than just telling the kids that Optimus and the other robots just went on a sabbatical for a little while.)

But I also get it.  This film isn’t made for me.  Hasbro already got money out of my parents.  Now they want money out of today’s parents who have little boys who want to recreate their own robot battles.  And those kids don’t really care about story as long as crap blows up.

One point about this franchise being for kids though.  There was a lot of low level swearing in this flick.  “Shit” and “bullshit” and just a lot of “shits.”  I think “dickhead” was used at least twice and Anthony Hopkins flips someone the bird.

Look, I’m no prude but, remember, this film isn’t for me anymore.  It’s for today’s kids and I’m not sure they should be exposed to language like that.  Then again, we could probably talk for hours about why it’s ok for them to watch explosions, gunfire, car crashes, violent fight scenes, etc but it gets dicey if someone uses an inappropriate term for “poop.”

Personally, I just think in a film like this, the swearing doesn’t do much for adults.  Adults who check these out are a) bringing their kids or b) doing it for the nostalgia factor because they used to play with Transformers – in short, the studio has these adults anyway and it’s not like there’s a big contingent of adults out there demeaning that the Transformers have potty mouths.

The adults don’t care and the kids don’t need it.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Worth a trip to the big screen.

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9 thoughts on “Movie Review – Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

  1. Whitney Worthen says:

    Too long of a movie, and too long of a franchise. I think it’s time to put these to rest ( as it was two films ago). I was actually shocked that it topped this weekend’s box office. That’s just crazy to me.

  2. I don’t know I’ll bother with this one. I saw Transformers, the original that kicked off the franchise, and that was OK. So I watched Transformers 2, which had an idiot plot and SFX that looked more like lego in a blender. That was about the end of it for me, really. I did watch another one (not sure which) one time when I was stuck on a long-haul flight, but it was more of the same…

    • What really got me in the second one is that they go to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC to get a transformer who had been turned into a display. They wake him up then run out the door but instead of being in the city, they walk out the door and they are in a big field.

      I know sometimes movies will mess with locations and thats ok – maybe the average person doesn’t know the museum is in a city, maybe they’ll be tricked into thinking it is in a country….but they were in a city when they walked in and in a field when they walked out.

  3. Jade says:

    Probably the first mildly positive review I’ve read so far! And a thoroughly enjoyable read. Still, I’ll be skipping this. I can’t stand the Transformers movies, and I don’t like Mark Wahlberg very much. :/

  4. I kind of feel like the Transformers franchise hasn’t been able to do what the Fast and Furious franchise has done, which is to keep fans interested over a longer period of time. There’s nothing about Transformers that keeps me wanting more, even though there are enough explosions and robots to capture your attention. I think you’re right, adults have outgrown it and the kids aren’t interested enough. Maybe a new director can change that but they’d need to really reform the franchise to spark my interest again. Nonetheless, great review. Really enjoyed reading it.

    Would you be interested in sharing your work on Movie Pilot? I’d like to invite you to join the platform, and I’d love to hear from you so I can to expand on that. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail, my contact details are on my “About” page. Hopefully talk soon!

    • I think Bay focuses on the people’s reactions to the Transformer war going on around them, just as in any disaster film he does, i.e. people’s reactions to an earthquake going on around them.

      The cartoon worked well because it focused on a plot between two robot factions and their endless attempts to double cross each other.

      Bay has a tough hill to climb though because, while the humans aren’t as interesting as the robots, without the humans, the movies are one big, very expensive cartoon.

      I’ll check it out. I go to the movies pretty regularly and write movie reviews of what I see. I could look into it if you want to post my reviews.

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