A Review of 'Transformers: The Last Knight'
'Transformers: The Last Knight' is globally known as (allegedly) the final film in the 'Transformers' series or at the very least the final film of the franchise to be directed by Michael Bay, as it has become very evident that he is stepping down from these movies.
The film's plot is centered around Mark Wahlberg's 'Cade Jaeger', as he begins a refuge for illegal Transformers, and must uncover an ancient Transformers artifact to turn the tide against the war with the Decepticons. As coincidental as it may seem, this basic plot applies to all five movies in this series, with the first artifact being the 'Allspark', then 'The Matrix of Leadership', then the 'Space Bridge', then the 'Seed', and in this final film the artifact is revealed to be Merlin's Staff, as this storyline dates back to the times of King Arthur. Mark Wahlberg must unite with Sir Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock to prevent the Transformers from bringing their home planet of Cybertron to Earth - a plot point already touched upon in the third film.
Personally, I felt as though the story was far too convoluted due to every dialogue scene being filled with exposition, but also incredibly simplistic and boring. The influence of other movies is very obvious, poster designs being very similar to Star Wars, the inclusion of knock-off TIE Bombers and a young 'Rey' type girl with a small robot companion, that essentially feels like a clone of 'BB-8' and is far less appealing as a character. Influences from David Ayers 2016 film 'Suicide Squad' are very evident, with the Decepticons now all donning green mohawks and golden chains, and the way that the expendable villains are now introduced with their own title cards.
The Transformers themselves have once again been presented as broad racial stereotypes, and it is still unexplained as to why century-old robots choose to speak with a French or Japanese accent, for example. This film focuses on giving its characters a single trait for the audience to recognize them by, where instead it use that time to further develop their characters and give them more meaningful dialogue than useless one-liners. The majority of women in this film are as tanned and as glossy as the previous films, and the fact that they do very little to further the plot enforces the fact that they occupy the movie purely as erotic spectacle.
If you're a fan of Optimus Prime, arguably the main character of the franchise, he is absent for 90% of the film. From the trailers for the movie it was seen the Optimus Prime would turn 'evil' and become 'Nemesis Prime' - However, this proved to be a minor element to the story, as the sequence itself was brief and the resolution to which defies the continuity that the previous films had established.
On a lighter side, the majority of people involved in the project are proud that the film was (mostly) shot in IMAX, which is very hard not to notice due to the scope and scale of the film. Unfortunately, because of this, the aspect ratio shifts from moment to moment, with the aspect ratio shifting multiple times part way through a dialogue scene. This is unfortunately very distracting and does detract from the story itself. Personally I was not a fan of this film, however, I do understand the appeal of these films and why people enjoy them, and the majority of the things that the fans enjoy are present, down to Optimus Prime saving the day to dramatic music. I also understand that Michael Bay knows what sells, but also uses classic comic and cartoon characters purely as a selling point with little to no respect for the source material. Even if you largely enjoy this franchise, comparatively this film is far worse than those before it.
To conclude, I'd like to point out that I don't begrudge anybody who enjoys these movies, I certainly understand the appeal of these films. Visually the movie is very appealing, with the combination of CGI and practical effects looking beyond phenomenal on-screen, but unfortunately the simplistic and knockoff-heavy plot detract from the overall film, resulting in a poor experience overall.