Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) - Film Review


*Originally written June 27th, 2017*

"Kill me" 
It's been well established that I don't like the Transformers films by this point. Well, I don't mind the first one, but even after 3 terrible films in a row from the series, I'm still willing to give Michael Bay a chance. Oh, god. Why am I so naive and willing to watch any film thrown my way?

I'll start with the good. It's better than Age of Extinction at the very least. It's also 15 minutes shorter than Extinction, but still coming in at an absurd 150 minutes. Why do people let Michael Bay make films this long? He does realise he can make more fans and get critical acclaim if he actually listens to his criticisms, right?

The only other minor good things I have to say about The Last Knight are some of the more insane and absurd ideas on display and the underused performance of child actress Isabela Moner. The crazier stuff I wish were explored and embraced more. We find out more convoluted history behind the Transformers and their place in human history. They were involved in everything, from King Arthur to World War 2 (We even find out Hitler was killed by a Transformer). These are the more interesting things we see brief things of, but would have made for a much more interesting film overall.

Then we get to the bad. The most obvious thing, which I have mentioned, is the length. It's absurd. I was ready for this to end about 40 minutes before it finished. I was so bored and exhausted by this whole display of nonsense. Much like the last one, it just went on and on until it abruptly ended. It was a soul-crushing experience. One I wouldn't want to wish upon anyone.

The Last Knight feels like Michael Bay throwing so much shit at the wall and seeing what sticks. The story is a needlessly convoluted mess. I had no idea what was happening. I got there was some world ending artifact that had to be kept out of Decepticon hands to save Earth. It's all just material that has been used for every Transformers film since 2007. This series has been stuck in limbo for 10 years now, nothing's changed, nothing is new. We're watching the same recycled crap over and over again. People complain about this in superhero films, but this is the real problem, at least superhero films use their formula well.

It was also embarassing to see such respected actors reduce themselves to this level of nonsense. Anthony Hopkins has the time of his life reducing himself to a joke with such lame and cringy lines such as "that's a bitchin' ride". Steve Buscemi also has a small role, that's not really of note. Wahlberg was as good as he was in the last one, just meh and serviceable. It was funny to see Shia LeBeouf have a small (sorta) cameo that at least remembers where the series once was. We also have a hot blonde in here, who is nothing more than cleavage and eye candy for the audience. Fuck you, Bay.

What really pissed me off about The Last Knight was how misleading a lot of the trailers were. One of them seemed like the film was different tonally, that we would be focusing on some new child actors discovering Transformers, and I actually liked the idea of that. Well, it was a huge lie, aside from one of the kids, they were in it for one scene. The one kid who sticks around was barely in it, which was a shame, as the child performance was actually quite good and her character was far more interesting and compelling than anyone else.

The trailers also made a big deal out of the whole "Optimus Prime being evil" thing and having a big showdown with Bumblebee. Well, holy shit. You will be in for a disappointment. Prime is absent for nearly all of the film and shows up in the last 20 minutes and his stint at being evil lasts a little more than 5 minutes and is solved by the 2017 equivelant of the "Martha" moment from Batman V Superman. I was shocked and appalled.

Oh, there is a huge and misguided mistake The Last Knight made, and this is the changing aspect ratios. Jesus Christ, what a distracting mess that was. Every scene the aspect ratio changes from shot to shot, giving the film an irritating and inconsistent visual style. I don't know what the fuck Bay was thinking? I know he's a self-inulgent twat, but who let him do this? In what possible way would this be a good idea to anyone? I was hoping this would stop being noticeable after a few minutes, but I was reminded of it through the entire 150 minute runtime.

I feel I should comment on the action, because for some reason, people seem to think that the Transformers films are somehow worth it for the action. It's not, it was another round of boring and bombastic explosions that left no impact, ruined by muddled editing and that annoying aspect ratio mess. There are some good ideas lying within the action, like the brief moment of Bumblebee fighting Nazis, but it was over far too soon to make any sort of impact. The rest of action is just as soul-draining, relentless and as boring as the rest of this mess. Hell, at least the visual effects were better than the last one.

Please let The Last Knight be the final film Michael Bay ever touches in this series. I honestly don't know how much more I can take. Fuck, I don't even know how much I even like films anymore after this incoherrent, boring, overlong and self-indulgent mess. Fuck you, Michael Bay.

2/10 Dans

Transformers: The Last Knight is out now in cinemas in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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