Transformers is a franchise I grew up with. I loved the comics and collected a few of the miniatures. I was greatly interested in the establishment of a film series by Micheal Bay and the Last Knight is the 5th installment.
I have to say from the outset that I have not been a fan of Micheal Bay’s vision of Transformers. He seems to have removed all the nuance and replaced it with explosions. The Transformers themselves, other than Optimus Prime really looked like their comic counterparts and the story, well in many cases the story was replaced by more explosions.
The Last Knight tries to inject a little mythology into the series and fails heavily. The attempt to link the Transformers with early human history and dinosaurs is much better handled in the comics. Here the dinobots are reduced to pets except for Grimlock who does very little but roar. The other Autobots, aside from Bumblebee are forgettable and no wonder, they play very little role in the film.
I am a big fan of Sir Anthony Hopkins and his work. His role, was frankly an embarrassment for him. He did however steal every scene and the dynamic with Cogmore was great, but even a great actor like him couldn’t push this film to success.
Mark Wahlberg as the lead was uninspiring and I was longing for Josh Dumael’s character to take more of a lead. The female protagonist, Laura Haddock, was a poorly defined character flitting between eye candy and intellectual at will. Her family however were great and added a nice touch.
Qunitessa was an interesting foe but was poorly used and defeated too easily. The whole film was a mish mash of concept and mythology which lost any cohesion as we never followed a character enough to care what happened to them. Many scenes with important dialogue were just throw aways designed to get to the next action sequence.
The kernal of the story was interesting, the dilemma Optimus has between which world to save could have provide real drama, instead the brainwashing removed any deep look at loyalty. Likewise it was interesting to see the evolving relation of human living alongside transformers across the world, some accepted others persecuted, this segregation was not covered either.
The film could not decide whether it was a myth based Arthurian Legend about destiny or a moral argument about loyalty and the rights of one species over another. Or, more likely perhaps I am over analysing what is essentially a visual feast of explosions and action.
This is not my Transformers, so I didn’t expect a lot and yet I was still disappointed, great effects and the odd comedic moment cannot overcome a lack of coherent story and on this it definitely failed.
I wait with bated breath to watch the next film, a spin off of Bumblebee, perhaps the original heart of Transformers can still be found and brought to life.