Transformers: The Last Knight
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Cast: Mark Whalberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale, Isabela Moner
Director: Michael Bay
Writers: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan
Producers: Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Matthew Cohan
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Rated: PG-13 (for violence and intense sequences of sci-fi action. language, and some innuendo)
Running Time: 2 Hours, 29 Minutes
I went into the fifth Transformers film, Transformers: The Last Knight, with relatively low expectations. I think that's the key with any of the films in the Michael Bay-directed franchise that has grossed billions and billions worldwide since the first film in the franchise made its theatrical debut in 2007. What I got was exactly what I had expected: giant robots (called Transformers) from the planet Cybertron, very little story, and a great deal of action. And honestly, that's all you really need. I saw a review go live this morning that said that this film was "the biggest piece of shit that Hollywood has released all year".
Really? Have we already forgotten that we had to sit through Fifty Shades Darker? REALLY?
The fifth installment in the blockbuster series follows Cade Yaeger (Mark Whalberg), picking up a little while after the previous film, Transformers: Age of Extinction. Cade's daughter (Nikola Peltz) is nowhere to be seen, as she is attending college, and her father doesn't want her around since he is on the run. Transformers are now illegal throughout the planet, and harboring or saving them is considered a criminal act. Cade houses the characters from Age of Extinction in a junkyard that he has somewhere far out in the desert, away from the city.
Cade is on a rescue mission (where we first see him again) to bring back and rehabilitate another Transformer is in one of the "quarantined" zones that the government has set in place. The mission is failed as the robot dies, but not before Cade is handed a strange-looking talisman. The talisman belonged to King Arthur's knights (yep), bestowed to Merlin by one of the ancient Transformers that were around during King Arthur's time, one that bestowed a power upon Merlin that ultimately helped his army win a medieval war. Any further into this description, and I'm going to be giving away spoilers, so I'll refrain from explaining any more.
Yes, the film runs long. Yes, there are a number of absurd plot points that Bay and the writers team expect you to remember two hours and fifteen minutes in that really don't add too much to the story itself. There are characters in the story that don't necessarily need to be part of the film, one of which really does nothing but provide exposition. (A lot of exposition...) There are sexual innuendos and a love interest that is forced upon the two lead characters, for the sake of having a love story, that made me face palm several times. Those moments were accompanied by sexual innuendos that only a fourteen-year old teenage boy would giggle at.
But it's a film about giant robots fighting to the death and saving the world. It's visually stunning, even amidst all of the CGI (thanks 70mm IMAX film). Where in that plot description am I supposed to expect that it's going to be Casablanca? I can look past all of the above if we're just given the action sequences. This is not the kind of film I expect to have any kind of groundbreaking story or morality tales. It's a film where I can go in, escape the summer heat, and tune out the outside world for two and a half hours.
Transformers: The Last Knight is a fun film. I know that the definition of "fun" will probably vary, depending on who you ask. But with a Transformers film, you're going to get exactly what you think: intense action sequences between gigantic alien robots, a gargantuan sound mix, and a fun time if you sit back, turn your brain off, and just enjoy it for what it is. It's not Shakespeare, it's not a Scorsese or Coppola film. It's transforming robots beating the shit out of each other, and that's really all you need.
Transformers: The Last Knight opens in the theaters today. To get tickets, head to www.fandango.com.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.