Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight is a cacophonous, witless, racist, imbecilic, idolent, catatonic, white-trash, sexist, hustle-praising, Bay-Pomp striding, stupidly pretentious, vainglorious attempt at narcissism manifesting itself in the form of your playground snot-nosed bullying chump stealing your favorite action figures and tearing them to shreds with a Tarantino grin of devilish sadism.
It’s one thing when a movie is lazy but its another to wield that laziness like an arrogant adolescent claiming to know what he’s doing when he doesn’t. The progression of these Transformers movies shows a lack of care in what is being said, what is being done, and even a carelessness as to what is being seen. I’m sure “on set” looks super cool with all those explosions that have that familiar spark flare in their set offs (and yes 13 Hours had the same looking explosions), but this movie has all the trappings of a 2 1/2 hour promo for a movie that you’ll never see because there is no story and there is no memorable action.
The movie starts off with a medieval battle with explosions! Explosions! Seriously? The way explosions are nearly synonymous with Bay’s reputation as a director, I’m pretty sure makes him one step away from being a full-blown arsonist (no pun intended). The knights of King Arthur (because now were into mythology, not even history anymore) call for Merlin’s help who plays a middleman for the Transformers on earth with the humans. They give him a magical dragon made of transformer guards to attack some evil people or whoever they are on the battlefield. That staff is yet another random Cybertron object the Decepticons want along with Megatron showing up cause he’s got nothing better to do. Meanwhile Optimus Prime finds the Transformers creator Quintessa who seems to me more like Power Ranger’s Alpha’s wife counterpart than a villain, but she makes him turn bad to find the staff (so the creator sides with the bad guys for no real reason except to bring Cybertron to earth…again). Meanwhile, Marky Mark (Mark Walhberg) sports long hair, harbors illegal Transformers, meets a young sassy teenage girl who helps transformers, and is soon called upon by none other than Anthony Hopkins and a Transformer butler to travel to a secret place for some reason. I don’t know. I can’t remember and if you think I’m lazy for not finishing the summary then we both agree that this movie was even lazier.
This movie is embarrassing, recycling a plot development (diluted two times over from the last few movies) about obtaining an object before the Decepticons do. If you remember Transformers was about getting the All-Spark Cube, then Revenge of the Fallen was about getting the matrix, then Dark of the Moon (the title alone) was about getting the pillars, then Age of Extinction was about getting money, oh I mean getting the Seed, and now Last Knight was about getting the Merlin Staff. Literally, the same plot device. Some people say if its not broken then don’t fix it, but this franchise is seriously broken. If this franchise was an actual metaphor for a transformer we’d be looking at a stupified, drunk, and stoned Number five submerged in a grease tank at an abandoned automobile factory in Detroit.
The screenwriting mixed in with the editing is a eye-splitting headache with characters zipping from one place to the next in one second shots. It’s a string of shots and clips without any correlation to the space the characters inhabit. The dialogue is junkyard colloquialism with an attitude that makes you feel like the words spoken were supposed to be cuss words and racist jabs, not a joke or a moment of exposition or even (if there ever could be in Bay movie) philosophical musing. Fast-paced unevenly edited action sequences also cut off the air supply of the viewer, nauseating them as they try to figure out what is going on and why it is going on. The fluidity of the shots is lost with capturing one-moment clips of awesomeness. A hundred shots of fighting are neglected simply to focus on that one second clip of an explosion. The movie is the chain reaction of dominoes crashing one into the other until everything is wrecked completely.
Not to mention the objectification of women (a Bay hallmark), the disrespect to other cultures and people groups (Bay has always been one for jingoism), the inability to craft a story with such good material from the original shows, and the persistent denial that these movies are absolutely a sham and rip-off. If I could imagine the mental world of a rebellious, rude, baneful middle-age school kid, this would be the picture. It’s the fretting of a temper tantrum that demands attention without offering anything in return. Shakespeare describes this type of film making very well.
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,