Transformers: The Last Knight
At this point you can’t go into these movies expecting much. The Transformers franchise is the perfect embodiment of Michael Bay’s signature directing: pointless explosions. The fifth film in this franchise has been released, and actually in comparison with the previous film, it’s quite watchable.
Transformers: The Last Knight takes on a medieval theme as the hero of the previous film Cade (Mark Wahlberg) travels to England to find the staff of Merlin, which happens to be the only thing that can revive the transformers’ planet of Cybertron. Cade teams up with a university professor (Laura Haddock) and the last member of an illuminati-like organization protecting the staff (Anthony Hopkins… yes you read that right).
The series at this point is grasping blindly for some solid storyline that will sustain it through further movies. They’ve already run out of story for the classic villain: Megatron, who has already been killed and resuscitated two times in the previous films. The thrill and awe of the first 2007 film is long gone, and only brief moments of comedy with Bumblebee and a new butler-like robot (voiced by Jim Carter, Mr. Carson for those Downton Abbey fans) bring out reactions from the audience.
The visual effects are all there as usual, and at this point we unfortunately take them for granted even if they are the state-of-the-art of today. More importantly, however, I noticed that there was more effort from Bay and his screenwriters to draft an actual storyline, and that is noticed, even if it is a failed attempt. We see less gratuitous fight scenes, and have a more thorough plot tied with history. But you still feel like the writers are not very experienced, since they put in infinite subplots that later are forgotten halfway through the film and are left uncompleted. We aren’t spared the over-used slow-motion scenes either, which add up approximately 45 minutes to the entire film. And the final sequence is interminable, with unwarranted stalling that takes the films running time over two-and-a-half hours.
Nevertheless, to see an effort from the writers to make an objective plot, is a good sign for this franchise’s future. And then having the likes of actors like Anthony Hopkins always helps; the veteran British actor can make even a Transformers’ film bearable.