Transformers the Last Knight Review
Transformers the Last Knight has finally come to theaters, but does it manage to break the chain of recent Transformers movies? No. No it does not.
The story behind Transformers the Last Knight has the most potential out of all the movies on paper, but on the big screen it is a major flop. The plot seems like they were trying to fit as many buzzword themes into the movie from Transformers lore that they forgot that it should make sense in the process.
The plot loosely follows the story of the knights of the round table, forcing itself into the present time. The movie starts off in 484 AD with Merlin the wizard getting a staff from a transformer that is hiding on earth. The staff gives Merlin the ability to control a three-headed dragon transformer in battle. Jump to present day and all transformers are in hiding as they are being hunted by the Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) who capture and detain transformers regardless if they are Autobot or Decepticon.
Elsewhere though Optimus Prime lands back on Cybertron after leaving earth in search of his creator. He finds his creator, Quintessa, when he lands on Cybertron who informs Optimus that the staff that was stolen from her and brought to earth previously has caused Cybertron to go into disrepair. She informs Optimus that Earth is really the enemy of Cybertron known as Unicron. The only way to save the Cybertron is to retrieve the staff and use it to drain the life from Unicron. She uses her powers to recruit Optimus Prime and then sets Cybertron on a course towards Unicron to revitalize the planet. Meanwhile on Earth, giant spires have erupted from the grown as Unicron awakes, and the government rushes to figure out what is going on.
From here on out the plot loosely connects these two themes and the battle between Quintessa and the earth begins. When I say loosely, I mean it. The movie spends so much time trying to explain how the two are connected and try and make sense of it that the movie is filled with pointless dialogue. There are three major plot focuses in the movie, and they do not flow very well at all. There is the enemy Quintessa with Optimus Prime, the story with Cade Yaeger learning about the knights of the round table and their influence in these events, and then the government and TRF teaming up with Megatron to try and stop the unknown to them Unicron from awakening.
To give an idea of how this movie is structured and continues to inconsistently throw information at you, there is a scene in the movie where the TRF meet with Megatron to bargain. Megatron requests the release of some Decepticons and the TRF obliges. Each Decepticon is introduced in a flashy Suicide Squad style video showing the Decepticon, flashing their name in big letter on the screen, giving us some details about them, before moving to the next. Given that this segment probably takes about 10 minutes of time to introduce all these characters you would expect them to stick around until the end of the movie. Instead though all but one of the newly introduced Decepticons are destroyed in a battle sequence that takes place about 5 minutes after they are all introduced.
It’s scenes like that and many others that make the films plot and writing feel disjointed as if each 15-minute segment of the movie was written by a different person who didn’t talk to every other person writing a 15-minute segment of the movie.
I would not consider by any means the acting in this film to be considered anything more than phoning it in. Every single character felt the same, and besides their looks I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. You have British guy who acts like a jerk to everyone, American guy who acts like a jerk to everyone, little girl who acts like a jerk to everyone, and British woman who acts like a jerk to everyone.
Every performance is so phoned in, and while it might be the writing that is making it seem worse, there is still little to no effort put in from any party involved in this film. No dialogue is given with any emotion other than “I am saying this to be mean” from every single character. Even scenes that ride on pure emotion feel emotionless and the attempts to make these characters come to life are futile at best.
Even the voice acting on the part of the Transformers comes off worse than any previous film. Maybe it’s the attitudes of the human characters that make it seem less so, but every single Transformers is rounded off as a stereotype of some kind and nothing more. There is nothing more to the voices than accents, and the movie even mentions this in a couple of scenes as if to make it seem ok that this is all the characterization any of them get.
Like some of the previous Transformers movies, this one has no character development. There is some very forced development in the movie, but none of it feels like it should happen. None of the characters like each other in the beginning of the movie, and by the end you still feel like they despise each other even though the movie suggest that the two main protagonists are now in love. The relationships feel so forced in this movie that it almost feels comical how the writing staff could justify that any of these characters would so much as even wave to each other when the events of the movie are done.
Every character is even introduced very poorly, which is a testament to the writing of this film that they managed to keep that aspect consistent for every character. The movie also has a consistent record of introducing characters to push them aside. In the beginning of the movie we are introduced to a group of kids, who are only used to introduce us to Izabella, who is only introduced to catch us up on what Cade Yager has been doing since the previous movie. While Izabella does appear in a couple more scenes throughout the movie, this is the only part of the movie where she really has a presence
Then there is Edmund Burton who is introduced only to explain the connection of the knights of the round and transformers, and introduce Vivian Wembly. From that point on in the movie Vivian and Cade are the only characters who are consistently a part of this movie, with the rest of them showing up from time to time to give a one-liner.
Then there is the best example of terrible character development in this movie with Cogman. Cogman is the butler to Edmund Burton who is a transformer who cannot transform outside of his robot mode, and can only be described as “OMG SO RANDOM LOL” throughout the movie. He says stuff that makes no sense throughout the movie, and seems to be trying to appeal in the same way as K-2SO in Star Wars Rogue One, but missing everything that made that character likable.
This is probably the only redeeming factor in the movie, with the effects taking it a step further from previous transformers movies. There are of course the usual CG melting animations as transformers turn from vehicles to robots, as well as plenty of explosions. The up-close visuals of the transformers though are very detailed, and some of the newly introduced characters (though they only show up for minutes of screen time if that) do look very well designed.
The effects of this movie do not come even remotely close to being enough to save it though. They do look very good in some scenes, but in others they are terrible. There is not much more that can be said about the effects in this movie.
This movie is by no means enjoyable. The movie constantly teases good ideas for a Transformers movie, but then does not deliver on any of it. The dialogue is long and boring, explaining things are irrelevant minutes after taking 15 minutes to explain it. Then the conversations between characters are a mix of one liners and clichés that will make your brain hurt within the first 30 minutes of the movie.
While the premise of the movie is one that has a lot of potential, this movie manages to mess it all up consistently. With long and boring dialogue that becomes irrelevant almost right after it is said, and every character having the same personality of shooting off one liners and acting on every cliché in the book, the movie does not do a good job of holding your attention. The effects look good, but everything else manages to bring this movie down. If you are a fan of the previous Transformers movies, you should probably skip this movie. If you are a fan of Transformers, you should really evade this movie like your life depends on it. If you are a casual movie goer, you can probably spend your time and money more wisely by sitting outside of the theater and just looking at the movie poster for Transformers the Last Knight for two and half hours.