I’m not going to mince words here or waste anybody’s time:
Transformers: The Last Knight is by far the angriest I’ve been in the theater in a long time. Every single character in this movie is obnoxious and a waste of effort. Nearly every single plot element in this movie is either skimmed over or forgotten completely after a while. The film lacks any sort of focus whatsoever. And the dialogue is so expository and/or comedically infuriating that it has effortlessly stolen the title of 2017’s Most Condescending Movie away from The Circle.
Every single piece of information is given to you through exposition. Anthony Hopkins starts by narrating all of this backstory to you, and I was confused on why they did so because every piece of information he gives is relayed later in the movie.
This isn’t even to mention that the first part of the movie is basically one big medieval battle sequence that was both weird to see in a Transformers movie and confusing in how choppily the entire fight sequence was edited together. In truth, the only viable reason I can think of for why they even included this first part into the movie is that they needed to justify putting Stanley Tucci in this film without also having to put his original character from the fourth installment back in. And just in case you were wondering: no, Tucci’s inclusion in this beginning scene did not make it better. If anything, it made it worse.
Mark Wahlberg is in this movie. That is honestly all I can say about him. His existence in the film does not detract from the final product, but the script and the character development is so horrendous that he fails to shine.
There’s this baffling thing that the film tried to do when they replaced Wahlberg’s daughter character from Transformers: Age of Extinction. In that fourth installment, Wahlberg’s daughter plays both the “strong and independent woman” character and the “sex appeal” character (which was odd, because she’s supposed to be a teenage character in that one). For Transformers: The Last Shite, they effectively split this character in half.
Isabela Moner‘s character essentially took the “strong and independent girl” type, as she plays a fourteen-year-old homeless, “badass” chick that follows Mark Wahlberg around because reasons. Her character is completely dropped somewhere in the middle and comes back for the end. She serves almost no purpose in the movie other than to seemingly appeal to young girls who might’ve stumbled into this movie by accident.
What’s heartbreaking about this is that Moner actually carries herself as a competent young actress. There was not a moment where I thought she did poorly in her role, but alas, even Gordon Ramsay can’t make a delicious dish with grandma’s diarrhea.
Laura Haddock, who is basically discount Megan Fox and the “sex appeal” character, gets off even worse than this. The movie hardly ever pays attention to her or has a purpose for her until they finally thrust her into the second half of the movie where she serves a contrived purpose. In reality, she serves no purpose other than to be sexy and to be a forced love interest for Mark Wahlberg’s character. When the movie finally starts paying attention to her, she suddenly starts wearing some dress that accentuates her ass and her cleavage. All other scenes before that were her either screwing around some museum or being set up as a lonely woman in need of a boyfriend.
Now yes, I enjoy eye-candy in movies as much as the next hot-blooded male, but as a movie enthusiasts, I kind of like it better when those characters actually serve another purpose than to just be attractive. This movie pretends that she serves a higher purpose (because she’s the only one who can take away the staff from the evil lady), (SPOILER INCOMING) but it seems kind of pointless when she couldn’t grab the staff until after Optimus and Bumblebee kill the evil lady anyway.
By the time they finally got to Anthony Hopkins‘s character, I was already realizing a pattern in this movie: every single character serves as additional comic relief. Every character has some stupid joke they need to tell, and every character takes turns holding the stupid stick in order to make bad decisions or be the butt of some joke.
But boy oh boy, was Hopkins exceptionally insufferable in this regard. The dude spends the first ten minutes on screen cracking stupid jokes and wasting time in an already painfully long movie. It was at this point where I gave up on taking anything in this movie seriously.
This movie literally has no off-switch for its humor. Every single scene is treated as an opportunity for either action, comedy, or a crappy combination of the two. The result of this is an absolute test of patience. It’s impossible to relay just how tired I was of this movie’s shit well before this drivel was even halfway over.
And of course, there are moments were they try to turn the switch to “serious and emotional”, but when you sacrifice every attempt at character development for slapstick and explosions, then the serious scenes utterly fail in accomplishing the desired results.
Every single Transformer character was defined by some sort of cinematic stereotype, be it an oriental samurai, a frothy frenchman, an english butler, or some hood-rat gangster. There was literally nothing else to define their character outside of that stereotype.
Now I’m about to talk about Optimus Prime, and in order to explain my hatred and rage for what this movie did, I am force to spoil the movie. If you care about this, then skip it. Rest assured, even if you don’t have anything spoiled for you, there are absolutely no surprises to be had in this film.
So of course, the gimmick of this movie is that Optimus Prime is a bad guy now, and our heroes have to deal with having to fight him as an enemy…. except this doesn’t even happen until about an hour and a half into the story. And by the time he finally does come onto the stage, the fight with Bumblebee happens immediately and lasts for only ten minutes at best. And right before Optimus deals the finishing blow, Bumblebee’s voice box magically starts working again (after four full movies of it never working), and he then professes his undying love and his perpetual hard-on for Optimus, and this statement magically releases Optimus Prime from his trance that the evil lady had him under.
I was livid. It was at this point that I knew that there was no salvation to be had for this movie. There are plenty of magical conveniences that this film has that took all suspense away from it, but this one definitely took the cake for most convenient, most cheap, and most infuriatingly stupid.
This movie has so much stuff stuffed into its series of events, so many characters that are thinly developed, and so many plot points that do not matter or are dropped before any sort of character arc or story arc could complete itself. It is a train wreck of a movie, and sitting through it was an absolute chore and nightmare.
The action is fine, and there are maybe three or four jokes that work, but there is so much to hate about this film that it essentially negates any sort of positives it has going for it. I hate this movie, I hate Michael Bay, and I hate the general public for funding these stupid films. And that’s really who’s to blame: you the people who avidly go to see these films every time. It’s because of you that studios didn’t force the Transformers movies to change or evolve. We essentially got five movies that are relatively the exact same film, and we will continue to get more of these movies until people stop settling for this garbage.