(Rated PG-13) | 2 Transformers (out of 4)
It appears the “Transformers” movie series is becoming a bit rusty, at least if you go by box office results. “Transformers: The Last Knight”, the latest in the series that began in 2007, fell well below box office expectations when compared to the previous films.
However, never one to miss the chance of wearing a franchise into the ground, Hollywood brought the battling Transformers back to the big screen in hopes of a summer smash. The filmmakers even brought a Oscar winner to the battle, Anthony Hopkins, who apparently needed the work. Mark Wahlberg returns in the role of Cade Yeager, a single father and struggling inventor, who has made it his mission to protect the Autobots (the good Transformers) from the humans who have turned against them. Despite the efforts of the governments of the world, the Autobots and Decepticons (the bad guys) continue crashing on Earth in what no doubt will be a huge showdown.
The story flashes back to 484 AD in the age of King Arthur and reveals just how long the Transformers have been around. Of course the age of knights ties into the plot and set the stage for one of the characters to become the person who will protect the Earth from the ruthless Cybertron. Cybertron? Oh, Cybertron is the home world of the Transformers that was destroyed, but still has some Transformers in residence, including the sorceress Quintessa, who claims to have created all of the Transformers. Quintessa has devised a plan to use the normally good Optimus Prime in her efforts to rebuild Cybertron at the expense of Earth. The plot of this movie seems a bit all over the place, and is really not that meaningful to discuss. Director Michael Bay (the other Transformers movies) is determined to wow us with spectacular special effects, but while some are certainly impressive, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the bombast. You know what they say about too much of a good thing.
The special effects aside, the film also features Megan Fox (who apparently gave up after two films) look-alike Laura Haddock as Viviane Wembly, a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, who I’m sure was cast to clash with Wahlberg’s all-American male character, and provide some “witty” banter. Haddock is good in her role, but her talent seems really wasted in this film. Wahlberg on the other hand, comes off as annoyed, but I suppose that fits the tone of his character. Wahlberg also appears a bit haggard in appearance, but Bay still has provided a chance for him to show off his chiseled body. The film is essentially battling Transformers, over-the-top special effects, and actors trying not to act embarrassed. You know, the typical Transformers movie. The movie runs 2 hours and 29 minutes, of which 29 minutes could have easily been trimmed, but where would Bay have put the King Arthur scenes? “Transformers: The Last Knight” is overwrought and seems like several movies in one. I really hope the word “last” in the films title proves true, as it’s time too give the rusty ‘bots a long vacation.