Transformers: The Last Knight Review

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
June 22nd, 2017

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Price:
Mediocre

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On June 22, 2017
Last modified:June 22, 2017

Summary:

Transformers: The Last Knight is a return to mediocrity, which is much better than another Transformers: Age of Extinction. It tries to return the series to its beginnings, with new twists and beautiful action moments, but ends up squandering potential with boring human characters. It's messy pace and awful human sub-plots limit The Last Knight from being remembered.

Price:
Mediocre

Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On June 22, 2017
Last modified:June 22, 2017

Summary:

Transformers: The Last Knight is a return to mediocrity, which is much better than another Transformers: Age of Extinction. It tries to return the series to its beginnings, with new twists and beautiful action moments, but ends up squandering potential with boring human characters. It's messy pace and awful human sub-plots limit The Last Knight from being remembered.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Transformers (2007) came out 10 years ago and spawned a billion-dollar franchise but failed to impress critically. Paramount Pictures are banking on a shared universe with the iconic characters, but does it survive yet another new outing? Our Film Critic Jordan Samuel reviews Transformers: The Last Knight (2017).

Transformers: The Last Knight Review

Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English Lord, and an Oxford Professor.

Transformers

Credit Paramount

I grew up with the Transformers toys, leading me to adore the classic 80’s animated series; the one that brought those awesome robots to life. It was a huge part of my childhood as the make-believe war between the Autobots and Deceptions brought joyous waterworks and high adventure to the table.

Back when rumblings about a live-action adaptation were going around in the mid-2000s, many minds (including mine) literally exploded with the idea of a big-screen adaptation. Michael Bay was chosen to direct Transformers (2007) which was set to modernize the iconic robot war. It revived the series, but failed in pleasing critics and disappointed hardcore fans.

I remember being excited about the project, but those hopes were squashed with a 2-hour product advert that didn’t focus on what made each of those TV episodes so great.

The attempt to bring a gritty reimagining to the screen with the story of one boy and his car brought in the perfect footnote for a cinema juggernaut. The Transformers sequels Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon forgot this idea; over-relying on human counterparts, losing all the potential steam seen in the original series

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Ten years later, 2017 delivers us another franchise iteration with Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), that is set to retell the origins of the cybertronic knights and their connection with the earth. But does it work in refreshing a tired old movie series?

Transformers

Credit: Paramount

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) is a mixed attempt to revive the iconic franchise with a darker tone and new plot twists, but ends up being more of the same. Failing to paint a fresh coat over the aging robots Transformers: The Last Knight still depends on boring human characters and messy action.

Michael Bay attempts to create his best installment since Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), bringing in needed development to the autobot and retelling elements of their respected origins. But this all ends up being bogged-down in a convoluted story structure which, again, focuses too much on the human side. At points Bay sidelines the entire robot cast.

This is due to a large emphasis on the new female lead, Isabela Moner, who teams up with a bunch of other teenage survivors of the ongoing robot war. Michael Bay tries to mimic The Goonies (1985), with modern teenage stereotypes that don't fit in well with the post-apocalyptic tone of the picture. At points, there are a ton of underdeveloped stories on the screen.

Transformers

Credit: Paramount

Transformers: The Last Knight is a story full of ideas, but they aren't executed to their potential, as the script juggles too many sub-plots at once. Set several years after Transformers: Age of Extinction, Optimus Prime has gone rogue to find his creators and the Transformers are now in all-out war with Earth.

Planetary survival lies embedded in the roots of Earth and Cybertron, as we are finally told the reasons Transformers came to Earth.

Michael Bay expands the series to give room for a potential Hasbro Cinematic Universe, fusing both real-life events and the car-shifting robots with bizarre results that feel at odds with the film's comedic elements. Transformers: The Last Knight is the most unnecessary and darkest film in the series; turning against the down to earth tone seen before and moving prime characters into different and strange directions.

Bay uses this latest outing to explain the cybertronian origins with his signature blending of English legends and sci-fi. The new writer's room techniques are reflected in Transformers: The Last Knight, as overcomplex storytelling is thrown out for a more streamlined adventure - at points setting up for sequels.

Mark Wahlberg returns as Cade Yeager, a struggling inventor who helped the Autobots in the last film. This time forming a stronger bond with Bumblebee and astronomer Sir Edmund Burton (Antony Hopkins), who wants to learn the secrets of why the Transformers keep returning to Earth.

Mark Wahlberg does a decent job, providing a more grounded Cade Yeager who has seen the war begin. The script allows Wahlberg to bring some laughs and other serious scenes with his co-stars. Sadly, I could tell that Wahlberg wanted to part ways from the film series, as his performance feels like a finale goodbye.

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I would have preferred less Cade Yeager moments and more Autobot and Decepticon fights,  but it did not pull me away from the screen.

Isabela Moner (100 Things to Do Before High School) plays Izabella a young girl who was orphaned from the Chicago Battle in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. She lives with her Autobot friend Sqweeks and teams up with Cade Yeager.

Moner is a great addition to the franchise, adding-in hope and joy into a dissolute world and bringing in a loveable aroma to the screen. The character needed more development, but steps-up from the other infamous cliché female roles in this franchise: I personally wouldn’t mind seeing her in potential sequels. She is a needed change for a fresh picture.

 

Transformers

Credit: Paramount

 

The Autobots (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, and Crosshairs) all return and are given a good bit of character development, breaking them apart for various sequences and pushing them to fight their own leader Optimus Prime who has gone rogue.

Peter Cullen, as always, is Optimus Prime, away in the cosmos searching for his maker and delivers the darkest take on Prime yet. Micheal Bay sets up the villainous twist in a way that hardcore fans will recognize, it’s a move needed to shake-up Transformers: The Last Knight from prior entries.

Cullen gives fans another solid voice performance, channeling the 80’s cartoon with effect and, at points, frightening the audience. His screen-time (15 minutes max) is embarrassingly short and will annoy fans after the intense marketing campaign.

The series is known for crazy action scenes, and Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)  isn't a slouch in that regard; with the IMAX 3D technology used popping out on the screen. Michael Bay's love for explosives is tamer here, not getting in the way of those groundbreaking fights and car chases.

Transformers: The Last Knight is a return to mediocrity, which is still much better than another Transformers: Age of Extinction. It tries to returns to series' beginnings, with new twists and beautiful action moments but ends up squandering potential with boring human characters. It's messy pace and awful human subplots limit The Last Knight from being remembered.

Micheal Bay’s final Transformers outing isn’t his worst, but ends up proving that the franchise has finally run its course.

 

Transformers: The Last Knight

  • 3

Mediocre

Transformers: The Last Knight is a return to mediocrity, which is much better than another Transformers: Age of Extinction. It tries to return the series to its beginnings, with new twists and beautiful action moments, but ends up squandering potential with boring human characters. It's messy pace and awful human sub-plots limit The Last Knight from being remembered.

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