Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to the unlikely alliance of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Bumblebee, an English Lord (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) to save the world.
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Hello, Movie Buffs!
The Transformer movies never did well critically, some people say that it is the rare bad franchise that despite the negative reviews, continues to entertain and make billions of dollars. Transformers is the type of movie that does not require a lot of intelligence to entertain and at the same time are not the mindless CGI films that professional critics claim them to be. The films have heart with a plot based on good conspiracy theory and myth/legends. The film not only stays true to the trailers but almost goes beyond them as a very entertaining film from start to finish and a huge mess typical of a Michael Bay film (Armageddon, TMNT, the Purge films). Since the film is a mess even though the mess is made up of some amazing pieces, The Last Knight is not able to reach its full potential but that is not surprising. The Last Knight blends Transformers with history and legends; we start to question what exactly is Earth and is it more alive than we thought? Focusing on the legend of King Arthur (Liam Garrigan – The Legend of Hercules, TV’s Once Upon A Time), the Crusaders, and Merlin (Stanley Tucci – A Little Bit of Chaos, Hunger Games), The Last Knight demonstrates that this is not the first time humans have encountered Transformers. Although, it seems this film followed a similar pattern by recycling an old plot; the Decepticons plan on reviving Cybertron by using Earth in some way, this plot is probably the most creative, entertaining, and fast-paced film out of the franchise.
Michael Bay never makes simple films but rather he creates impressive films presenting solid amounts of information that produce obvious and astonishing results on the big screen. It is obvious that Bay has a preference for childish immature humor, excessive vapid glamorization, and tends to use a number of stereotypes and clichés. However, as a cinematic artist Bay is brilliant in his work and he would not be true to his style if he did not do what he does in every film, thus making it a ‘Bayhem’. He personally dictates his vision for hugely intricate on set sequences – involving multiple cameras setups, big stunt works, practical special effects, and the actors performances and then without missing a beat he carries that same amount of energy post production aspect – involving the complex editing of effects, sound design, music, and even marketing. Although Michael Bay has reputation for non-stop sensory overload, in the end, he has a vision that is more often than not quite beautiful and conveys a sense of completeness. Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar), Jerry Bruckheimer (Top Gun), Clint Eastwood (Sully), and Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight, Pulp Fiction); those are just a few of the directors that this special skill set and Bay is one of them. Why is this? Because they know what it takes to confidently command a film with an overwhelming workload that noteworthy films require, which is an impressive feat -- even if you don't care for it.
The action scenes do not disappoint, I mean it's Michael Bay so there will never be a lack of explosions and big fight sequences. The cinematography by Jonathan Sela (Law Abiding Citizen) is great and the visuals are amazing but it’s nothing we haven’t already seen. However, the cinematography makes up for itself in the climax with an epically long battle and fast camera-work racing to capture all the action. The film ends on a cliffhanger with a mid-credit scene that points towards another sequel which is scheduled to premier in 2019. It will be interesting to see not only the direction Transformers 6 takes but also the prequel story Bumblebee (2018), especial since both will be helmed by Michael Bay who tends to make mindless, loud, action packed films.
Aside from the fact that The Last Knight is an entertaining film, it is still a mess, primarily with some plot holes and lack of character development. Plot holes are mainly in the first act and part of the second act, which was rushed and it seemed as if a big chunk of the story was missing. In terms of character development, there were a few lackluster characters that either was underdeveloped or didn’t make much sense. First, there is Isabela Moner (Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life) as Izabella, a young orphaned mechanic. She is a great addition to the film but the trailers made it seem like she had a big part in the film than what we were given. Perhaps if she is in the sequel then we will be able to expand more on her character. Second, there is Jerrod Carmichael (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) as Jimmy, Cade’s new assistant/employee. He was good and funny in the film but it felt like he was just another repeat of Cade’s last employee Lucas (T.J. Miller – Deadpool). I don’t remember seeing his character in the final half of the film like we did with Moner’s character. As far as the rest of the cast goes, they are very good especially with Anthony Hopkins’ (Hannibal, Red 2) hilarious portrayal of Sir Edmund Burton. There is a small cameo of John Tuturro (Transformers) as Agent Simmons, who we haven’t seen since Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and at first is role seems to be pointless but if you pay attention to the few scenes he is in then you will notice that there is the chance for him to have a bigger role in the 2019 sequel.
Overall, while Transformers: The Last Knight is a messy film there is no doubt that it is entertaining and exciting as one of the best in the franchise, it is most definitely better than Age of Extinction (2014). I believe that all of the good aspects more than makes up for a few flaws. I was quite shocked to find out that the film received low ratings with 15% from Rotten Tomatoes, 5.4/10 from IMDB, and 2/5 from Common Sense Media, which I found to be ridiculous. If you enjoy films with over the top, out of this world action scenes then The Last Knight is for you, also make sure that you bring enough snacks because it’s going to be a long ride. Just keep in mind that this film might not be for everyone, perhaps it is because the film turned out to be a bit different than what the trailers depicted. Nonetheless, it was awesome for what it is.
“I want to stay! And I want to fight them!”
Worth Seeing: 5 of 5 star
Worth Buying: 5 of 5 stars
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Battle: Los Angeles (2011)
G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra (2009)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
Pacific Rim (2013)
Reel Steel (2011)
Tron Legacy (2010)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Michael Bay
(Screenplay) Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan
(Story by) Art Marcum, Ken Nolan, Akiva Goldsman, and Matt Holloway.
Michael Bay --- executive producer
Ian Bryce --- producer
Matthew Cohan --- associate producer
Arturo del Río --- line producer: Cuba
Ricardo Del Río --- co-producer: Cuba
Tom DeSanto --- producer
Lorenzo di Bonaventura --- producer
Brian Goldner --- executive producer
Michael Kase --- co- producer
Don Murphy --- producer
Steven Spielberg --- executive producer
Mark Vahradian --- executive producer
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography by: Jonathan Sela
Film Editing by: Roger Barton, Adam Gerstel, John Refoua, and Mark Sanger.
Production Design by: Jeffrey Beecroft
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