Transformers: The Last Knight

Transformers 5 is a steaming pile of donkey poop – it’d probably be fun if it wasn’t so exhausting.

*Marky Mark yelling incoherently*

Michael Bay’s disasterpiece. A maelstrom of cold-hearted carnage, hideous wise cracks, baffling plot progression and noise!!! He’s finally done it, wielding $250M in one hand and total carte blanche in the other. This is Bay unfiltered, unhinged, unchecked. It’s impressive – it truly is – briefly evoking that arrogant, dumb, guilty pleasure flair that’s drawn me to so much of his previous work. I imagine this is why he kept prolonging his ‘departure’ from this franchise. It’s a vanity project like no other – a warped hybrid of his entire career (featuring cringe-inducing epic romance, juvenile humour, a total lack of respect of history and a giant object hurtling towards Earth). Only this time, I was fed up.

You might’ve perked up at the pure Bayhem described above. On paper it carries a strange bombastic charm. Even as I write this I *want* to like it so badly. I’m smiling at the thought of something so audacious… But when you’re trapped in that auditorium at the mercy of this filmmaker’s insanity, it’s too much. What might’ve been a spectacle of stupidity doubles down on the ‘stupid’ and lost me somewhere around the hour mark. Overstuffed is an understatement. All of the medieval warfare, revisionist history, horny robots, sociopathic sidekicks, submarine shenanigans, racial stereotypes and incoherent storytelling – it wears you down. Erodes your spirit. And when you’re hit by wave after wave of this for 150 minutes, it all feels a lot less charming.

At its worst it’s headache-inducing, seemingly never-ending and frustratingly unsatisfying. Jokes are awkwardly-improv’d to feel like they last an eternity. Character moments are rendered useless by terrible characters (I’m looking at you Optimus “Do You Know Who I Am?” Prime, world’s biggest narcissist). It’s wildly derivative – ripping off its own franchise *and* Hollywood’s worst. Every big sequence or speech has been taken from a previous Transformers movie, while it appears the writers zeroed in on some of the most egregious blockbuster tropes of recent years (hello music video villain intros and our latest self-declared ‘family’). Forcing myself to stop here. I feel exhausted just writing about it. Transformers: The Last Knight is a gargantuan pain in the ass. And no, it can’t all be forgiven because Anthony Hopkins screams “bitchin!” Not this time.

1.5 Stars


Random Thoughts

There’s lots more I could say about this, but I’ll leave you with the fact I sat there speechless through the credits stunned by how aggressively awful this frequently was.

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