Just Shut Up And Watch: Our Review of ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - June 20, 2017
Just Shut Up And Watch: Our Review of ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

Sometimes with a movie, you just need to lean into what is happening in front of you as an audience member.  By no means is Transformers: The Last Knight what you would traditionally call a ‘good’ movie but it is hands down one of the best looking pieces of knowingly goofy spectacle filmmaking that this critic has seen in quite some time.

The Human Race is locked in a war with the Transformers that is born out of fear more than anything else.  Optimus Prime is gone and the key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. The task of saving the planet falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock). It’s that eternal moment where you are called upon to make a difference; the hunted will become heroes, the heroes will become villains and only one world will survive; theirs, or ours.

This film along with the recent reboot of The Mummy have got to mark the beginning of the fact that North America as a market has become fairly secondary since Transformers: The Last Knight is to put it simply; spectacle based nonsense that caters to foreign markets where having to translate things like ‘plot’ don’t always come across.  That being said, it’s a credit to Michael Bay because this is a style of filmmaking that you could easily half ass…but everyone involved in this one, used their whole ass to make this one of the prettiest yet goofiest movies that I have ever seen.

 

To say that this film is about as dumb as a sack of hammers with its corny dialogue, campy set-ups and near cartoonish delivery throughout would actually be an insult to a sack of hammers but you can’t deny that the material really does lean into the comedic aspects of having humans at war with giant robots from outer space.  Even in the face of the end of the world (which is now the fifth time these characters have had to deal with this) it plays as a universally dumb but fun action movie that will easily translate across all language barriers.  You can feel how it’s been script doctored to hit all the key crowd pleasing points from beginning to end and it oddly works with Bay’s penchant for the extravagant when it comes to his visuals.  Filmed in IMAX 3D, this film is the height of bombast.  It looks amazing and the nearly non-stop action sequences are littered with detail and definition that makes you feel like you are in the moment as building and literally planets are falling all around our characters.  In many ways this is Bay at his most visually masturbatory and it feels like a Jackson Pollack of cinematic violence.  When it comes down to world construction, or in this case, destruction; Bay is unquestionably at the height of his powers.  We get spectacle with as little substance as humanly possible.

Wahlberg is fine enough as our charismatic, working class hero but other than miss his daughter who is forced to stay away from while on the lam from the law and helping the Transformers, he just is along for the ride.  Sir Anthony Hopkins is trolling this role as Sir Edmond Burton as hard as he possibly can, making jokes and playing it as eccentrically as he possibly can.  Laura Haddock fills the standard Bay quote of looking good in a tight dress while Josh Duhamel and a few other returning familiar faces all make it a fun ride but this isn’t a movie where character development and nothing more than the bare minimum of plot are any kind of priority.

Transformers: The Last Knight is truly a rare kind of beast.  You can’t genuinely pan it because it’s not like this film was trying to be anything other than a spectacle laden cavalcade of visual nonsense…and to be fair it does it really really well.

 

This post was written by
David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.