If the title’s caption, “The Last Knight,” doesn’t keep to its promise by having Michael Bay direct another movie for this franchise, I’ll probably just give up on humanity altogether. I feel that I do need to clarify I actually don’t hate Michael Bay wholly, but even with that having been said I can’t find myself defending the sorts of films he makes when it’s evident I don’t enjoy the time I’m having when I watch them. With every new Transformers film he’s made, it only turns me away all the more from the sorts of films he continues making with the fact the first film was actually one of the first films in which I recall having slept in the theater. The most that I can say for Transformers: The Last Knight is that after egregious experiences with Revenge of the Fallen and Age of Extinction, this was a better film than the preceding three, but one must take a statement like such as they will.
Continuing off from Age of Extinction, we follow Cade Yeager after his daughter (who was annoying enough in the predecessor) has left for college and now he’s brought back into action after finding a talisman amidst Optimus Prime’s disappearance. Among many more stretches this series goes, we now have found a connection between the Transformers’ history dating back to the days of King Arthur and WWII, as told by historian Edmund Burton, played by Anthony Hopkins. I was left thinking this was an attempt on Michael Bay’s end that he would indeed be trying to go take this franchise to greater lengths but these historical gaps he brings in seem far-fetched, not for their own good but almost desperate. It seems desperate enough that this franchise would have gone to a greater height in order to find itself taken more seriously inevitably, but in the very end it all comes out as relatively useless.
Maybe low expectations have proven themselves beneficial on my own end for I knew what I was entering a Transformers movie, but because of the sheer ridiculousness it went ahead and drew itself out to, the experience at its very worst felt headache-inducing. Whether it be from the overly long action sequences or the frequent changes of aspect ratio, it was expected but unfortunately it doesn’t make any of what happened any less obnoxious than it already was. It was a tad more tolerable than what I’ve been able to make of any of the previous Transformers sequels, but as I’ve said prior it isn’t as if that’s ever saying much because I was already left baffled at the logic behind how Michael Bay formed a relationship going between Wahlberg’s daughter and a much older boy. It was indeed Michael Bay going crazy behind the camera, but like the previous sequels it was all in the most off-putting manner.
At a bloated length of 149 minutes, the experience still manages to feel so much longer because of how long does Bay draw upon an action sequence frequently cutting back and forth with different aspect ratios coming in. The fact all of this happens so frequently doesn’t find itself adding a sense of tension to the sequence but rather instead it takes away the excitement that could happen because they don’t come in to raise stakes for what happens. It’s hard enough trying to see what happens in these sequences to the point it even feels boring just watching them, and I even found myself getting the urge to fall asleep in the theater. As shown in some of his earlier works, Michael Bay can actually form an exciting action sequence (I’d go on to defend Bad Boys and The Rock as examples of such), but he isn’t telling anything interesting behind them and it only comes out as an annoyance.
Anthony Hopkins’s presence doesn’t seem to help either, because Michael Bay just throws in a sense of humour that he seems to mistake for becoming character development but in the end, he only feels like an exposition device. It’s a goal within these movies to have giant robots fighting against one another, but because of the obvious lack of interest in plot we’re only left with ridiculous exposition and obnoxious humour that made up all the previous films, which isn’t what I’d ever want to find in a Transformersmovie. But like one would expect, there isn’t so much a plot for it still remains as incomprehensible as ever with only the human characters serving as plot devices to move everything forward, but perhaps the biggest leap is the fact that it brings in history to be taken far more seriously and there’s nothing it adds other than worthless exposition: like all the rest have been.
I’ve spent enough time rambling about my own frustrations with the Transformers franchise as is for I’ve only come out of the theater feeling tired. I feel tired because it almost felt like I was having my head bashed back and forth by the noticeable changes in aspect ratio and the loud noises that came as if they made an action sequence more exciting. But at the same time, I’d almost fallen asleep at least five or six times (and even successfully went for five minutes), because I just know already this is what I’ve come to expect out of a Michael Bay Trasnformers movie and it only made the experience far more bearable, for it was simply just boring all throughout. If this truly is Michael Bay’s last film for the Transformers series, then maybe I’d much rather this franchise just die right on the spot. For movies that are supposed to be about giant robots fighting, they take themselves far more seriously than they should and they become exhausting.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Paramount.
Directed by Michael Bay
Screenplay by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan, based on the toy line by Hasbro
Produced by Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura. Ian Bryce
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner
Release Year: 2017
Running Time: 149 minutes