Director Michael Bay is back with “Transformers” The Last Knight”, and even before the Paramount logo could fade; Bay’s trademark fire and explosions light up the screen. This is a big indication of what is to come as from the start we are bombarded with fire, explosions, and lots of slow motion shots of people being thrown about.
The film stars Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager who continues to try to help the Autobots despite being declared illegal for their destructive war with the Decepticons which has left a path of human death and destruction in its wake.
While Cade runs afoul of the government, he reluctantly helps those in need including a young girl named Izabella (Isabela Moner), who also has a soft spot for the kind Autobots.
The two warring factions are in a race to find a mythical object that they believe will restore they damaged home world but of course, will lay waste to the Earth in the process. One would say ok with this storyline we have enough to work with. Unfortunately the film keeps cramming in plot points and subplots that do not really go anywhere. We are introduced to characters that appear important and then vanish for most of the film without contributing much of any significance. The audience is also bombarded with a barrage of chases, action sequences and of course; fiery explosions after another but without anything in the form of suspense or excitement.
Sir Anthony Hopkins appears and for a few moments I had hopes that the film would start to be more coherent and gain some focus, but thanks to his erratic and annoying character and even more annoying robotic butler, the film almost becomes unwatchable. It was like watching a two-plus hour FX reel for people with short attention spans. The dialogue is groan inducing even for an action film and it seems as if every character can only say Sh*t when they are frustrated or stressed.
I do not expect a great plot, acting, or writing for a film based on a popular toy series but we have seen much better examples in the prior films.
It seems that Bay is so content to simply let the very impressive visuals of the film carry the day and things such as a plot, character development, and a brisker run time simply got in the way of his desire to blow more things up and fill each shot with as many FX sequences as possible regardless of how annoying they were and if they were needed at all.
I am not a Michael Bay basher as has a solid track record of success and you know what you are getting with him. But if the franchise is to move forward, it will need an infusion of fresh ideas and creativity as this was borderline unwatchable at points. The fans and the franchise deserve much better than this effort.
2 stars out of 5