HOLLYWOOD—There was massive backlash on the fifth installment in the “Transformers” franchise, but I will acknowledge, “The Last Knight” was not as bad as critics had totted the flick to be. Is the movie great? No. Is it the worst thing I’ve seen this year, not even close! The latest in the franchise, just like all the other flicks does not take itself too seriously. That is something that anyone entering the theater should be well aware of; these aren’t movies expected to totally change a person’s psyche or evoke emotions or thoughts that alter how we view the world.
The narrative revolves around Earth which seems to be in disarray with the government declaring all Transformers illegal. As a result, the city of Chicago looks post-apocalyptic; as a viewer I got the impression that it was an all-out war between humans and the alien robots, and the humans lost terribly. Not the case though, there are a few heroes sitting in the wings hoping to re-establish the bond between the humans and the Autobots.
We see the return of Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), who has gone into hiding to protect himself and the remaining Autobots that have arrived on the planet Earth. In his mission to rescue a couple of kids who venture into a danger zone, he builds a bond with Izabella (Isabella Moner) who just so happens to be a smart-mouthed teenager, who reminds him of his daughter who is away at college.
Now this is the point where the movie loses me as a viewer slightly, as we go into the distant past to learn a bit about the arrival of the Transformers to Earth and their connection to King Arthur and the wizard Merlin, who receives an ancient staff that contains powers that can destroy a planet. While many might suspect that Megatron (voice of Frank Welker) to be the big bad in the movie, he is not, that title actually goes to Quintessa (voice of Gemma Chan), who is desperate to retrieve that staff to rebuild Cybertron which has fallen apart.
In order to implement her master plan, she casts a spell on Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen), who makes it his mission to abide by his creator’s wishes. That even puts him toe-to-toe with former ally and pal Bumblebee (voice of Erik Aadahl).
Other players in the movie include Anthony Hopkins as Edmund Burton, who is an astronomer and historian who knows just about everything about the Transformers, and their repeated return to the planet time and time again. Hopkins’ character unites plenty of the glue in the narrative that goes unconnected in the beginning. It is Edmund who brings together Cade and Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock), who not only portrays Cade’s love interest, but is a descendant to the great wizard Merlin himself.
The biggest issue with “Transformers: The Last Knight” is the first hour of the movie moves a bit slow and can easily lose the audience’s interest, but once that second half of the movie initiates it moves at a solid pace that has become expected of flick’s in this franchise. We get the witty jabs, the over-the-top action sequences, plenty of firepower and come to understand the big element of the narrative.
The craziest thing about this movie is I found myself laughing much more than any of the other films; and most of those laughs came directly from the Autobots themselves. Rather it was the script or just comedic timing, it worked in my opinion. I will admit while I love the special effects, I couldn’t fathom exactly what I was witnessing during the big climax, but does it matter?
If you don’t take “The Last Knight” too seriously, the movie is quite entertaining to say the least. Remember this is a movie called Transformers, about aliens that inhabit vehicles, how serious should one actually take such a movie?