The Transformers franchise has become the whipping boy of modern film critics. We, the apparent curators of film, have railed against what we see as a decline in cinematic quality and lowest common denominator filmmaking. However, people keep seeing them and they keep getting made, claiming that critics are out of touch with what the filmgoing public want to see. Well if they want to see casual racism, sexism, nauseating action, military eroticism and two and a half hours of a film and a director that has given up on telling a decent story, I give you Michael Bay’s Transformers 5: The Last Knight.
I am not going to bother with the plot because this film doesn’t. There is something about King Arthur, a secret society and an evil robot God, but it’s so jumbled and mismanaged that it would take twice the length of the movie to explain.
Michael Bay, the director of all of the Transformers films, is often touted as a great action director. This is something that I would have agreed with once; his previous movies, like The Rock and even the first Transformers movies had some halfway decent action scenes, but in Transformers 5 it has devolved into an incomprehensible mush of explosions, strange noises and bad jokes poorly put there in post production. You can’t tell what is happening in the plot or on the screen so you can’t even begin to care about anything that is going on; it is a series of explosions and terrible jokes at everyone else’s expense. It felt more like an endurance test rather than a movie, something you can boast to your friends that you did.
This is not helped at all by characters so bland or despicable that for the life of me I can’t even remember them. Mark Walberg is there being the bland all American action hero, Mark we know you can do better, we’ve seen you, you were better in another Michael Bay movie, come on man, I like you in other movies. Laura Haddock from Guardians of the Galaxy is there being bland and leered at by Bay’s frat boy sensibilities, looking like every other female lead in a Micheal Bay movie, without any character what so ever. And Anthony Hopkins, is there cashing the biggest check in his life, and not caring as Lord so and so of such and such. Minor characters are also grating, there is a scene with The Thick of It’s Rebecca Front who undoes all the good will she had achieved from the brilliant political satire and sketch comedy show, Big Train, by being remarkably stereotypical in a Michael Bay movie.
Oh, and the Transformers are there too, saying things, doing things, maybe I am not sure, I couldn’t really tell them apart. I think one might have been voiced by John Goodman, oh and another one voiced by Steve Buscemi appeared for like 5 seconds.
There were glimpses of an actual movie, Michael Bay may have become self-aware. There is a scene where Anthony Hopkins tries to explain the plot, but a robot butler keeps adding extra noise, Hopkins tells him to shut up and we are supposed to laugh. Isabela Moner as Izabella puts in some hard work emoting, even if it is in all the wrong places, we don’t know her, so we don’t care about her, I know it makes me sound like a monster, but at the begining of the film her robot friend died, I laughed, because it was so over the top and cheesy I didn’t know what else to do. We met these characters 5 minutes ago and now you expect us to care about them? Life moves pretty fast Michael Bay, but not that fast.
If you have seen another Transformers movie then you have probably seen Transformers 5, it is a bunch of flashing lights and loud noises masquerading as a movie. Don’t bother going, kill this mess of a franchise and go see something better.
You Can Watch Transformers: The Last Knight in Cinemas now