I’m coming clean right away. I had never seen a Transformers film before I went to see the Last Knight. Not quite shocking, I assume, as it’s not exactly the Godfather we are talking about. Still, when my boyfriend begged me to come along to see the Last Knight, I caved. All I knew about Transformers was that it was about alien robots who turned into cars. I knew Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Also, supposedly there would be tons of explosions. That’s what you get when you let Michael Bay direct a film. Then again, that does not always have to be a bad thing. Sometimes it is fine to watch a mindless action-packed film. As long as it is good. But is that the case for The Last Knight?
King Arthur got dragged into it
In case you were wondering where the knight idea came from, blame King Arthur. Somehow they found a way to take the ancient story and put it into a rather confusing storyline. It felt as if the writers sat down and argued that they really had to have some profound storyline this time. But as my boyfriend cried out after the film, Transformers should not be about the story. Just action is enough, apparently. I do love a good story, but in The Last Knight’s case, they wanted to do way too much. Frankly, I can’t even explain the story because half of the time I had no idea what was going on. Apparently Merlin was a fraud, got help from a Transformer and was given a staff. Naturally, everybody wanted that staff and only one of our heroes could wield it. Throw in a secret society á la Kingsman and an organisation set up to hunt and kill Transformers, and you’re halfway. Right? No.
The film itself has no idea what it is doing either and tries to shove this story down our throats by involving in a lot of telling but barely any showing. There is an overload in characters and it gets exhausting trying to keep up with who is who. Oh, Megatron is thrown in the mix because that is an important villain right? Oh and Optimus Prime (spoiler) is bad, but then turns good within the span of fifteen seconds. Makes sense! A lego brick has more depth than any of these characters.
There is an occasional funny joke and the genuinely funny characters barely get any screen time at all. Not impressive.
Everything gets blown up, really.
Another thing that I found fairly exhausting was the overwhelming use of special effects and the way the whole film was edited. Especially during the action scene there was too much going on. On top of that, not a single shot lasted for more than a few seconds. That did not do much in contributing to the understanding of what the hell was going on. It was incredibly tedious to watch and half-way through, I checked my phone to see how long I still had to suffer. The action in the end is overwhelming but the plot resolution is unsatisfactory. Usually when I think a film is bad, I will find at least some good points, but in this flick, there is not much good I can say. Well, the occasional jokes are funny, but apart from that, this whole film is an explosive snoozefest.
Perhaps Michael Bay should let this franchise rest. Unfortunately, as I’m sure Transformers still bring in the big bucks, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Especially not considering the ending which very much hinted at another instalment. But if you are looking for a film that actually involves King Arthur, check out Legend of the Sword. If you prefer cars and action, Baby Driver is a better fit for you. If you don’t want to waste your time, then skip this one.