Fun fact: Transformers: The Last Knight has more subplots than there are grains of sand on every beach on the planet Earth. Okay, maybe that’s not true. But that’s sure as shit what it feels like. I’ll try to explain what the fuck happened in this movie, but seeing as I’m sure it didn’t look cohesive in the script, I doubt it’ll look cohesive here.
The world is in a state of turmoil. Transformers continually fall from the sky and terrorize humans. Thus, human-kind has decided to either imprison or kill any Transformers they see, including the Autobots who have helped save their planet at least 4 times. Optimus Prime has left Earth to find what remains of Cybertron, his home planet, and finds a desolate wasteland that can only be saved by an ancient Transformer staff hidden on Earth. The staff was entrusted to Merlin (yes, really) to help King Arthur defeat the Saxon hordes. King Arthur and his round table joined forces with 12 Transformer Knights, forming a secret society meant to protect Transformers hidden on Earth. Now, Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) is the only remaining member of that society.
A fugitive from the law, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) protects the Autobots from the task-force meant to take them down, repairing them in a junkyard. When trying to save another Transformer, he is gifted a talisman that signals the destruction of Earth by Cybertron. Thus, he and an Oxford University professor named Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock), whose father was a member of the secret society, are called upon to save the world from total annihilation.
On top of that, it feels like there are about 1,000 more characters and subplots that help turn the film into the sodding, bloated mess that it is. And mess is the best way to describe nearly every aspect of this heaping pile of inane fecal waste. The plot is, as you can see, all over the place, the characters never shut up (there are an obscene number of moments where a character will say something and other character will repeat it almost word for fucking word) and the editing is a nightmare.
This is up there with Taken 3 among the worst edited and shot action films I’ve ever seen. And maybe I’m spoiled by movies like The Raid: Redemption, John Wick and Kingsman: The Secret Service. But masses of CGI garbage flinging each other across the screen while insanely tight camera angles mask the fact that no choreography work was done on this film, whatsoever, is an unacceptable way of creating action sequences. Even a fairly standard car chase scene fails to overcome the camera’s obsession with flying all over the place.
And then there’s the most depressing part of the film. The cast. And I’m not talking about the film’s lead, Mark Wahlberg, an actor so incapable of feeling natural in a role that the closest he’s ever gotten to a good performance is playing a parody of himself in The Departed. I’m not even talking about the racist stereotype characters that have peppered Michael Bay movies since the beginning (in these films, specific Transformers seem to hit stereotypes that would have been insensitive in 1920’s vaudeville acts). I’m talking about the number of talented actors whose appearances/voices in this movie will make you question reality. See how long you can look at this list without gagging at the thought that these talented people took part in this detritus-ridden trash.
John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, Jim Carter, Steve Buscemi, Tony Hale, John Turturro, Stanley Tucci, Jerrod Carmichael, Frank Welker (the man who has been the voice of Fred in every Scooby Doo product since the original show), and Anthony Hopkins.
Imagine hearing that all of them were going to be in a movie together. Then imagine the smack in the fucking face when you realize it’s Transformers: The Last Knight. I don't know what dirt the studio has on all of these people, but it must be pretty damn good. But watching performers of this caliber deliver the absurd exposition and juvenile jokes that this movie excretes made me physically pained.
And there’s so much more shit I could go into. Like how Optimus Prime’s loyalty changes at the drop of a hat. How about the fact that the movie claims George Washington, Frederick Roosevelt and William Shakespeare all knew Transformers were real? Or the scene where we find out Bumblebee fought Nazis with the Allied troops in World War II? Or when Yeager finds a watch in Sir Burton’s house which Burton claimed KILLED HITLER?!?
Transformers: The Last Knight is a relentless assault on the senses, a war against rationality, quality, intelligence and coherence. I don’t understand why people keep throwing money at Michael Bay and allowing him to do projects like this one. I cannot comprehend how anyone in their right mind could have enjoyed even a single aspect of this film. It’s a loud waste of time.
I’m sorry Baywatch. I thought it couldn’t get worse. It did.