Movie Review: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ (2017)

Every time a new Transformers movie comes out, it’s just really hard to get a grasp of what’s going on in Hollywood. Michael Bay birthed this blockbuster monstrosity of a franchise years ago with a penchant for explosions and apparently, nothing else but that. At times, it’s interesting for our eyes to get a taste of cool visuals from it which, on a technical level are actually impressive. There’s no denying that. But what needs to be brought to this franchise for it to live on are fresh ideas that will help shape a new mold to get rid of years-old staleness. In every passing film, what we get is more of the same, only the latest entry always tries to outdo the last in terms of heightening the chaos. That’s what inevitably happens again in The Last Knight, the fifth installment and fourth sequel in this film series about talking robots and non-stop action.


This time, the plot is centered around the truth about human history which reveals that the Transformers have actually played a huge role all along, and all of those come in as early as the very opening scene per the series’ tradition to set up a convoluted narrative. Oddly enough, seeing it unravel all throughout the film feels meagerly exciting, and all that could be owed to its new screenwriting duo of Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, who, try to make the entire film watchable with their own powers. What then occurs is the watering down of Michael Bay-isms that has damaged those that have came before it. Racial humor, Bay’s (excessive) expression of love for the military and other Bay-isms still do make an undesired comeback, but thankfully, Marcum and Holloway make us feel as if they’re in control of it at some point.


But since all good things must come to an end, those bits of enjoyment that you’ll have are just momentary. It’s almost as if they told and taught Bay themselves how to make a proper Transformers film, only to see him just smashing everything that they’ve worked hard for. That’s perhaps the biggest flaw with this fifth entry – it’s that Bayhem is on the loose all the time, and that, Michael Bay pridefully continues to show that he only knows how to make bigger movies that are devoid of quality – at least for this film series. With the special effects and grandeur that he has to work with, he puts in too much enthusiasm that there’s nothing much left for us to savor. Characters are one-dimensional indeed, but again, as Art Marcum and Matt Holloway butt in during all that occurs, thankfully, a semblance of betterment comes in the way. As a surprise, the moments that we share with everyone are actually tolerable in comparison with what we had to put up with in prior entries.


A majority of head-scratching dialogue is taken out, and to take its place are lines that desperately try to erase the bad taste of those from Age of Extinction, which to remind you was totally abysmal and absurd. Overall, what you’d get from seeing The Last Knight is just the same with the others that you could basically predict what will happen since you can easily sense where it’s headed to. You could come up with a check-list of everything that it has in it, and in the end, all of those boxes are ticked. Some aspects could gain merit, but they aren’t too big or redeeming enough to cover up the biggest errors that it keeps on committing. Michael Bay undeniably knows how to do these films, and seeing him use that talent to create ginormous, successful productions is worth appreciating keeping in mind that, they give him credentials and that people expect and pay to see what he does best. But what’s bothersome and scary is that, trickery always comes with it, and to add insult to injury, he always gets away with it by use of deception.


To wrap it all up, Transformers: The Last Knight isn’t really as horrendous as Age of Extinction. In fact, it’s slightly better, and less dull. But still, you already know that it isn’t a good movie either to brand it as thrilling or interesting since what we get from it is still not what we needed. At least though, we see something from it that should be properly utilized in future installments – so yes, some hope may still be left for this series to cling onto. There are actually genuinely fun moments where the entertainment that it brings feels easy and enjoyable to digest, particularly during the climax, but that’s just about it. With a sixth film (inevitably) coming, it just may be the time to take Bay off the throne so someone could charge new energy into its rotten veins. If that happens, it should be that this entry’s screenwriters return since they feel quite eager to provide quality service to both fans of the Transformers and casual moviegoers alike to reinvigorate this film franchise.



Transformers: The Last Knight is now showing in Philippine cinemas from United International Pictures Philippines.




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