Transformers: The Last Knight Review – Spoiler Free
Running as the fifth film in the franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, brings back Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager to be the face of this newest explosion fiesta.
Transformers in the last decade has become almost a parody of itself, the epic feeling of the first film in 2007 has been taken and turned into a giant explosion and money-making monster that, despite its lack of any coherent plot or new ideas, continues to entertain me with its simplicity. The Last Knight has not departed from the formula. Every story beat feels the same as it has in the previous three movies, though the lack of Shia LaBeouf is still a relief to me as a viewer. Mark Wahlberg is a far better human proxy than a stuttering teenager.
The Last Knight starts with an epic battle in the dark ages of England, roughly 400AD, and could have been a far more interesting movie if it had followed that particular storyline, instead everything in the first 15minutes is pure McGuffin for later in the film. This in itself isn’t a horrible thing, the retelling of history and the inclusion of Transformers in major battles throughout history does feel a bit like something I might find on fanfiction.net however.
If you have watched Age of Extinction then you know what to expect of most of the characters in this film, Laura Haddock, fills the role of “’Gorgeous woman A’ (Vivian Wembley)” very well, with a quick wit and snappy British attitude that is somewhat refreshing to see on screen, but as with every female companion in every previous Transformers film, she unfortunately plays a part that didn’t feel massively important for the final result of the whole story. With luck, if she returns in later films, her character is filled out further since the personality she brings the movie as Vivian was something of a breath of fresh air.
The man who stole the show though is Anthony Hopkins. No matter how silly the role may be, Hopkins brings a level of acting and class that few other people can ever achieve. Easily stealing the screen in each scene that he was in, Hopkins looked to be having genuine fun while filming this movie and it comes through in his performance as Sir Edmund Burton, who I call Mr Exposition. Without Hopkins and Haddock in this film, not even the excellent explosions that make Michael Bay famous could have saved it.
Again, to my complete lack of surprise, as a standalone action film, with explosions, silly banter and over the top action, this movie performs as well as any other Michael Bay film. That is to say, very well. Bay knows his craft and the formula that he follows is tried and tested to work, pretty much every time. I did notice some weird editing with the aspect ratio in the latter half of the film which was somewhat distracting but aside from some minor inconsistencies the action cannot be faulted. At the same time though, as good as the action was, the story did little more than force it along from one set piece to another.
The pacing was ok, for a Bay movie, but the actual substance was beyond sub-par. The less said about the loose tie ins to the other movies in the franchise the better. Though, in the end, no one goes to see Transformers for a compelling story. It’s all about explosions and giant robots and The Last Knight delivers both in spades.
Overall, I enjoyed Transformers: The Last Knight, but I am also glad I used a free ticket to go see it rather than spend money on a ticket. The entertainment that I expected to receive from the movie, I got. At the end of the day, that’s the least I can ask for from any film that I go to see. If you enjoyed the previous movies and are wanting something to fill the gap between now and the beginning of July, there are worse movies you could choose to see.