Is Transformers: The Last Knight a transforming experience?

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More than meets the eye?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Transformers was one of my favorite cartoon shows when I was a kid.  I used to collect all the toys. When they came out with a Transformers movie, I was floored. The first one seemed so epic (at the time it came out).  It was a solid movie.  Then every other Transformers movie that came out was a long drawn out mess of digital noise.  I couldn’t help but wonder how such a cool concept could be made to be so boring despite the amazing visual potential?  However, like the Fast and The Furious franchise, they continue to churn out sequels. So here we are with The Last Knight.

Where to begin with this one?  We’ve all come to know what to expect when it comes to a Transformers movie and there’s nothing new here.  There’s the standard long convoluted plot.  This time, Cybertron threatens to destroy the Earth, yet again. Optimus Prime gets his butt kicked and then comes back to save the day.  Oh yeah, I guess the King Arthur stuff is new. So that’s cool.

There’s no doubt that director, Michael Bay, is a technical genius when it comes to filmmaking. He has a unique style that translates well to blockbuster movies. It’s a shame that this team can’t put together a coherent story to match up with his visual expertise.  In The Last Knight, Bay seems to be just going through the motions.  Lots of expositional cheesy dialogue mixed in with lots of cool but mindless action scenes.   Jump cuts so jarring you almost think you’ll have seizure.  Also, tons of explosions. Basically, we get all the shallowest excesses of Michael Bay crammed into here. 

This film is packed with knockoff after knockoff as well.  It blatantly knocks off Star Wars in several moments.  It knocks off Independence Day. We got a Megan Fox knockoff, although I’m not exactly complaining about that.  This film even knocks its past movies off as well. These could be considered homages but tired retreads are where it falls into here.

The problem with this franchise is that it focuses too much on the humans and not enough on the Transformers.  At two and half hours long, its filled with lots of human stuff that we could care less about.  While the King Arthur stuff is interesting, the way it is tied into the rest of the story seems very forced.

This movie is not all terrible.  The action scenes with the Transformers are not mind numbingly unclear in this movie. You can tell what’s going on as opposed to past movies in this series.  That’s a plus. The action also ramps up, as you’d expect, as the movie progresses on an epic scale.  Plus, Optimus is a bad ass like he always is and gives the best one liners around so you have to like that. 

At this point in the franchise, there are no surprises with The Last Knight.  A lot of people like that because this franchise continues to be successful despite the perceived mediocrity of the product that it puts out.  It just rehashes everything that its done before and that’s it.  This is a disappointment because there seems to be no incentive for these movies to improve since they continue to make so much money.  If you’re not a Transformer fan, then it might be wise to skip this one and wait for War for the Planet of the Apes.

Grade: C-

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