Release Date: June 21, 2017
Studio: Paramount Pictures / Hasbro Studios
Director: Michael Bay
Release Format: Theatrical
Look, I’ll be honest, I have no idea how to even review this movie. Why? Because, quite frankly, I’m not even sure this is a movie. I sat there from start to finish for two hours and twenty-nine minutes and I had no idea what was going on throughout that entire runtime. This film has no plot, no structure, no common sense, and not a single character worth talking about. Even the filmmaking aspects, from the cluttered special effects to the fact that Michael Bay can’t seem to dedicate himself to one aspect ratio for more than 6 seconds at a time, are a joke. Furthermore, I don’t have the vaguest idea of what I can even say that everyone else hasn’t said already.
Transformers: The Last Knight is a testament to bad filmmaking. A marvel of incompetence that can barely be put into words. It’s an insult to cinema, a spit in the face to moviegoers and it makes the human race a worse thing to be a part of. Believe me, when I say, I take no joy in saying this. For as much as I’ve ragged on Michael Bay over the years, he actually got back on my good graces last year with both 13 Hours and Ouija: Origin Of Evil. However, Bay has proven once again that he would rather make garbage than art. Why? Because you’ll hate it but pay to see it anyway. No, really, he actually said that when the last one came out. Look it up. The sad thing is that judging by the box office returns for Age Of Extinction, Bay isn’t technically wrong.
Before I get into what makes this movie so awful, let’s talk about the other films for a moment. Transformers (2007) is sort of a guilty pleasure. For the fans, it was interesting and kind of fun to see the Autobots and Decepticons on the big screen in a live-action film. It doesn’t surprise me that many people still like it. Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen was an awful mess and Bay himself has even admitted as such. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, while ridiculed by most, is actually the one I would defend as being pretty good. It gave me exactly what I wanted from a Transformers movie; a Decepticon invasion where the Autobots have to defend us and it still looks awesome. It’s not perfect, but I would never call it a bad movie either.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction remains one of the single worst films ever made, in my opinion. It was a 3-hour film that felt as if it would never end. I am not kidding when I say that I still have nightmares in which I am still in the theater, suffering through every audience-insulting moment of it. I’m not the one to say that Michael Bay ruined my childhood. The cartoons I grew up on still exist and I can still enjoy them whenever I want. However, when he butchers Ninja Turtles, Transformers, has all my favorite horror films remade horribly (no pun intended) and plans on doing a Thundercats movie in the future… something’s gotta give eventually.
But, enough of that, let’s move on to Transformers: The Last Knight. What’s wrong with this movie? What’s RIGHT with this movie? That’s the real question the day. Michael Bay and the writers literally pull what Paul W.S. Anderson tried to pull in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. They constantly call back to the other films in terms of their characters and their events. However, they also retcon so much to the point that most of those films don’t even make sense anymore. The continuity issues are so noticeable, you’ll be paying more attention to them then you will what’s actually going on in this “film.”
Let me just give you some examples.
- Megatron is actually Megatron again even though he was turned into Galvatron in Age Of Extinction. There is no explanation for this, we just need to accept it.
- Megatron also has an entire squadron of Decepticons locked up on earth that we have somehow never seen before. Of course, he does.
- Megatron refers to Starscream as a traitor even though Starscream was nothing but loyal to him the other films.
- There’s an all-powerful maguffin that the Decepticons wanted all this time and didn’t mention until five movies in.
- Bumblebee somehow, with no explanation or reasoning whatsoever, gets his voice back at the most convenient time possible.
- Bumblebee has been on Earth since WWII, even though the first movie established he had only recently arrived on Earth to look for a pair of glasses that would lead him and the Autobots to the AllSpark.
- There’s a secret society that protects the secret of the Transformers. I’m sorry, but WHAT SECRET?! These things are roaming everywhere on earth now. There’s no secret to keep anymore. And, I’m sorry, are you really gonna insult my intelligence by telling me that even though the transformers fought in all these wars, not a single human being outside of your little cult reported them or even remembered them? Are you high? Jesus Christ, I have seen lectures on black hole theory that make more comprehensible sense than anything in this movie.
- This secret society somehow ties back to Sam Witwicky. Please don’t ask how or why because I don’t know either.
What is this movie about? I honestly have no idea. Everything in Transformers: The Last Knight is incoherent beyond all forms of reasoning. I could barely make heads or tails of anything happening on the screen. From what I could gather, I guess Transformers have been helping humanity since The Dark Ages. Evidently, Merlin was a drunk and fraud who got all of his magic from a Transformer. Robot dragons helped King Arthur in his crusades, I think. Bumblebee apparently fought the Nazis. This isn’t me being comedic… this stupid crap is actually in the movie. Oh, and since Harriet Tubman was a friend to the Autobots, I can only assume that the train on the underground railroad was a Transformer. Someone shoot me. Please!
Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) is back from Age Of Extinction. But don’t worry, he doesn’t have a stupid daughter or her pedophile boyfriend with him this time around. No, he’s too busy being an outlaw, looking after the Autobots in a world where they are illegal. Yes, Transformers are illegal on earth now and the government is chasing them because the writers felt this already cluttered mess didn’t have enough subplots. And Cade keeps these alien refugees in the comfort and safety of a mile long junkyard. Yeah, that’s not gonna attract any attention at all. But you know what will attract attention? A 14-year-old girl (Isabela Moner) who just so happens to be a badass tech and also happens to share Cade’s sympathy for the Transformers. Have I lost you all yet?
But these subplots don’t last long because Anthony Hopkins abducts Cade and some good looking British professor, Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock), who looks incredibly similar to Megan Fox and who we know must be smart because she wears glasses. This gets the teenage girl out of the movie for a good chunk of it because… reasons. Evidently, Vivian is the descendant of Merlin and Cade is The Last Knight because he hasn’t had sex in awhile (I’m not making any of this up. Marky Mark not getting laid in awhile is actually a plot point in this movie). This was made for kids, right? So, Vivian can wield the staff of Merlin and Cade can wield the sword Excalibur which is, in itself, a Transformer. And they do all of this because… I have no idea. I honestly don’t know and I honestly don’t care.
The main villain in this movie wants to tear the earth apart to fix Cybertron. How will this fix Cybertron? Well, ya see, Earth, this whole time… was actually a Transformer named Unicron… Allow me to cry for you at this point, folks. This all leads to a big climactic battle where Optimus Prime comes back for fifteen minutes, goes evil and tries to kill Bumblebee. Then there’s a big climactic battle on the damaged planet which has somehow not caused catastrophic global upheaval, despite being ANOTHER PLANET that has entered our atmosphere. What should have literally destroyed us in seconds turned out to be the equivalent of a six-year-old throwing a rock at a frickin’ tree? Dark Of The Moon did something similar to this, but they explained how it was possible through the use of Sentinal Prime’s pillars. They don’t explain a thing with this.
The action in this movie blows. Every second of it is beyond boring. If I don’t care about the characters and I don’t care about the story, why am I going to care about any of the action? Every time they started a new action set piece, I damn near fell asleep. There is not a thing here, especially action-wise, you haven’t seen in another Transformers movie. Heck, there’s nothing in Transformers: The Last Knight you would even want to see in a Transformers movie. Optimus turning evil, why would I want to see that? Why would I want to watch a conversation about Marky Mark’s sex life? Why would I want to smash a hammer against my temple to experience a more pleasant ringing in my ears? The insanity of Transformers: The Last Knight knows no bounds.
The villain? What is there to say? She’s some random, boring excuse for a transformer who wants to destroy the earth. You hear that, boy? A villain in a Transformers movie wants to destroy the earth. Well, woopty frickin’ doo! Did it take these writers a whole second to come up with this genius piece of writing? I’m sorry, I am legitimately angry. We are five movies in. FIVE MOVIES IN! If all you can muster at this point is another generic villain who wants to destroy earth then, for the love of God, throw in the towel. Quintessa, the creator of the Transformers, has done NOTHING to save her planet for five movies because… reasons. She’s loud, she’s boring and hands down the worst villain of the franchise so far.
But the villain isn’t the only thing that’s the worst in the franchise, obviously. Not only is the action the worst, not only is the acting the worst but the attempts at humor are insultingly awful. There is not a single joke or visual gag in this movie that landed. Jesus, even Revenge Of The Fallen got one or two chuckles out of me here and there. Age Of Extinction didn’t make me laugh once either but at least it TRIED to have a sense of humor. Everything humor-wise in Transformers: The Last Knight was beyond tired and lazy. Sir Anthony Hopkins, a once dignified actor, reduced to talking and jumping around like a complete idiot. Yet, he’s supposed to be the smartest character in the movie. This is just painful.
But Hopkins wasn’t the only good actor to get roped into this. They bring back John Turturro as Agent Simmons. How this poor man got roped into to co-starring in four of these things, I’ll never know. Stanley Tucci, another great actor, got roped back into this sequel as well. Is he playing his Age Of Extinction character? No, because that would make too much sense. In Transformers: The Last Knight, Stanley Tucci played Merlin at the every beginning. Well, at least that blow to his acting career was short. But then the film shows its desperation by bringing back Lennox (Josh Duhamel) for no reason and showing a picture of Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) for two seconds. You know what, I can’t take this anymore. Let’s just wrap up.
VERDICT: This year has given us some true turds of cinema. The Mummy (2017), Kong: Skull Island, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Fifty Shades Darker, etc. However, none of them are as awful as Transformers: The Last Knight. The only one that even comes close is Resident Evil: The Final Chapter but at least that train-wreck was mercifully short. This abomination was two and a half hours of NOTHING! The characters suck, the acting sucks (even from the good actors), the story is nonexistent, the plot is incomprehensible from the first frame to the last, the action is boring and the film seems to pride itself on insulting your intelligence at every turn. Transformers: The Last Knight is the worst film of 2017 thus far and it needs a kick in the nuts.
- ... Not a thing
- Poor Action
- Ugly Cinematography
- No Story
- Nonsensical Plot
- Has The Other Films Not Make Sense Half The Time
- Badly Drawn Characters
- Bad Acting (Even From Good Actors)
- Worst Villain Of The Franchise
A graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, Adam is a Writer and Film Critic, looking to make his mark on the world. When he isn’t at the movies, writing for The Nerd Stash, playing Duck Hunt (respect the classics) or delivering pizzas to his neighbors, he is back at school earning his Masters Degree in Film Production.