Hello Everyone, Janet W. here…
Exploding onto our screens without regard for the narrative or progressive plot structure, comes Transformers: The Last Knight. True Michael Bay lovers could care less or would even notice the story’s lack of cohesion with this sequel. They are there for the cool special effects, radical cinematography, and rich hues that make up Michael Bay’s style.
Bay’s signature is followed to the “T” except for the non-existence of American flags. (Could it be a political statement?) If you want solid character development, well thought out backstory, or if you care about building towards and descending from a climax, look somewhere else than this film. I am an action junkie, so although the story meant little to me, I still enjoyed the action to some extent.
Bay has stepped up his in-your-face framing though (UEC – Ultra Extreme Close-up). It is exhilarating to be in the action, but not to have your nose shoved into it, then spun around at rapid speeds with quick pans and tilts that can lead to a headache. One really cool effect that really got me was the way the clouds separated as planes zoomed through in attack formation.
Another interesting tactic used was the endless rip-offs/payments of homage of iconic films of the past. Whether it was, “Do you guys want to see a dead robot?” (Anyone remember Boyz n the Hood?), the floating islands of Avatar, the rise of an alien ship from underwater (The Abyss), Ra from Stargate, or the empire fighters in Star Wars. There are SO MANY MORE, but I cannot list them all here. Just be sure to enjoy the discovery if that’s your bag.
Transformers: The Last Knight picks up from where Transformers: Age of Extinction ended. Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) hurling himself into the void of space to seek out and destroy his creator and the Autobots surviving alongside a handful of humans on Earth. A human military force is on the hunt and are a threat to Autobots as well as Decepticons. In their eyes, there is no distinction between the two. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is practically alone fighting this army and providing refuge for Transformers. The slightly less misogynistic treatment of women was definitely appreciated.
Ladies, no cameras up women’s butts!!! Don’t worry guys, you still get your Megan Fox replacement eye candy in a figure-revealing wardrobe. Also, the attempt at a romantic angle misplaced and comes off very cheesy. By the way, what is up with Wahlberg’s “Simply Pink” lipstick throughout the film? Come on, Makeup Team, you thought that was a good idea? Other than that, Wahlberg delivers on the hotness factor. Bay excessively used slow motion capture to emphasize, too. It was great to see Sir Anthony Hopkins and Stanley Tucci in a film again, but they roles were awkwardly placed.
In the end, I found enjoyment in the action, frustration with the story, and a growing curiosity for the Transformers’ origin, which if it persisted under the guidance of Bay would always, be a conundrum. As can be expected, the Transformers are the real focus. They are beefed up (roid rage to the max) and yet they have muted, mumbled voices. Good luck understanding them.
By watching Transformers: The Last Knight, amidst the aesthetically overwhelming visage, you will obtain secrets of King Arthur’s court and learn the origin of the Witwicky line, too.
THRILL RIDE WITHOUT A POINT
Janet L. White
Your friendly straightforward neighborhood critic