Transformers: The Last Knight
by Hope Madden
Have you ever wondered what kind of chaos would ensue if both Optimus Prime and Megatron just disappeared?
Nope? Well, what if we could work the Transformers story and the King Arthur story into one?
Cars, robots, explosions, needless sentiment and a girl who looks alarmingly like Megan Fox in tight clothes?
Let’s be honest, either you’re going to see Transformers: The Last Knight or you are not. Nothing I say is going to sway you one direction or another. But I had to see it. So I’m saying some stuff.
The latest installment in Michael Bay’s toy franchise might actually be more palatable than any of its predecessors. The story borders on being coherent. The action is far more clearly presented than usual. The racism is somewhat muted. There’s less sentimentality.
Also, Bay – not known to have a sense of humor at all – flirts with self-referential comedy now and again. Sure, he steals whole cloth from Alien, Terminator, Star Wars, Short Circuit – but he jokes about it, so it’s cool.
There’s also a strong female character – Vivian (Laura Haddock). We shouldn’t question her strength just because she’s convinced to do something when a male character yells, “Do it. Now!”
But the costume changes have to raise an eyebrow. In the car ride she wears one outfit, she gets out of the car in another, goes back home to change, goes directly to a submarine in another outfit, gets off the submarine in another outfit – where are all these clothes coming from?!
And, in case you’re betting, Michael Bay is not above shooting down the shirt of an under-aged girl (Isabel Moner – here playing Needless Emotional Youngster).
All of which could have been almost tolerable, until it occurred to me that we were 70 minutes in and the plot had still not been explained. Then more than 90 minutes in and the hero (not Mark Wahlberg, the real hero) hadn’t joined the cast.
Transformers: The Last Knight is long.
So needlessly long. So unendurably long. It’s a movie about toy trucks that turn into robots who fight with each other. For the love of God, can we cap it at 2 hours?