The first reviews for Transformers: The Last Knight have hit the web.
Michael Bay’s final installment as director in the franchise is expected to take at least $70 million at the domestic box office this weekend. The Last Knight picks up with Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) along with the Dinobots introduced in Transformers: Age of Extinction as the franchise explores the mythology of how the Transformers were created. The film will also lay the groundwork for future installments and spin-offs as the studio plans to expand the franchise beginning with Bumblebee.
Coming as no great surprise, the new film has been poorly received by critics, being regarded as a sloppy, incoherent mess of a story overloaded with special effects and CGI. You can check out a round-up of what the critics are saying below.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck:
“The sprawling action includes a flashback depicting the Transformers battling Nazis and an explosive battle at Stonehenge that keeps you on the edge of your seat with concern for the ancient stones. And while there’s no shortage of large-scale set pieces, the storyline provides so many opportunities for attempts at droll humor, most of it involving Hopkins’ dotty character, that the proceedings start to resemble drawing-room comedy. It’s all an overstuffed mess, but that was true of the previous entries as well, and audiences obviously don’t seem to mind.”
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman:
“Mystical medieval hokum aside, Haddock and Wahlberg generate the kind of hostile sexualized chemistry that is fast going out of style, and a movie like this one can use every ounce of it. The two bicker and pout through a plot that’s like “The Da Vinci Code” crossed with a “Terminator” sequel on Jolly Rancher candies, and they’re accompanied by Sir Anthony Hopkins, who plays Sir Edmund Burton, an elite astronomer who guides the events, but is really on hand as a kind of aging mascot of the happily unhinged. Hopkins helps to spank things along with his can-you-believe-this-is-what-it’s-come-to? reading of lines like “What a bitchin’ car she is!””
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblat:
“Bay has always been a champion of shock-and-awe spectacle over storytelling, a defibrillator jolting volts of pure, uncut action until somebody cries uncle. In rare moments, he does attempt to inject a little sense and context into the franchise’s frenzied mash of Hasbro-toy kitsch and blockbuster bombast (Decepticons, apparently, eat Da Vinci Codes for breakfast, and something Fast and Furious for lunch.) True fans probably don’t need the tangled universe of good versus evil explained to them: Bionic aliens rumble; ancient monuments crumble; guys in the middle of robot Armageddon deliver wry one-liners. That’s just what you do when things go boom.”
Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson:
“Transformers: The Last Knight is something I’ve never been able to say about a Michael Bay Transformers movie. It’s… ordinary. While it looks gorgeous and has a few impressive action beats, it feels oddly run-of-the-mill and lacking much of what made the franchise stand out even as big-budget would-be blockbusters became more and more par-for-the-course. Yes, there is something to be said for Bay toning down some of his eccentricities and offering a more kid-friendly Transformers movie, but the film mostly lacks the jaw-dropping absurdity, spectacle and weirdness of the sequels.”
“There are a few action sequences of shocking coherence in “Transformers: The Last Knight,” the fifth of Michael Bay’s clang-clang-clang-went-the-robot adventures, but fear not, fans of the franchise: if you’re here for the director’s trademark chaos editing (where fights go from points A to D to Q), toxic masculinity (and female objectification), comedy scenes rendered tragic (and vice versa), and general full-volume confusion, you’ll get all those things in abundance.”
Deadline’s Pete Hammond:
“Bay’s big production takes us back to some key historical events to show how Transformers have had an impact on Earth over hundreds of years, particularly in an impressive sequence where they mow down Nazis in World War II. And there is lots of fun to be had in this edition with an decommissioned old wartime submarine that becomes a central hub in this new age battle for control. Special effects and sound work are again state of the art.”
Empire’s Ian Freer:
“If you are playing Transformers Bingo, you can tick of military porn, tin-eared exposition, Josh Duhamel as Colonel Thingamy, one dimensional characters, painful banter (there are dialogue exchanges in Yeager’s junkyard that are given the screen time and respect of Dorothy Parker’s roundtable), John Turturro as Agent Whatsisname, sunsets, slow-mo every other shot and a bombastic score. The comedy robot duties this time are carried by Burton’s sociopathic butler Cogman (voiced by Downton’s Jim Carter) who is brazenly described as a “C-3P0 rip-off” and grates very quickly.”
We Got This Covered’s Matt Donato:
“Do casual racial stereotypes or unnecessary side-characters even require mention at this point? Even with the lowest expectations – and a certifiable appreciation of fun – Bay fails to cut the needless anchors that weigh down his gargantuan ask of a movie. Bring a pillow and some Advil – this is going to be one long, bumpy ride filled with “Are we there yet?” prayers.”
Screencrush’s Matt Singer:
“In the final accounting, sheer visual grandeur makes The Last Knight a marginal improvement over Age of Extinction, at least in IMAX 3D. If nothing else, it also buries the needle on the WTF scale, thanks to its wacky narrative digressions, Hopkins’ bizarre performance, and the strange antics of Sir Edward’s sociopathic robot butler Cogman. (At one point during a car chase through London, Cogman sings Ludacris’ “Move Bitch” while Hopkins smiles approvingly.) The Last Knight is not, in any conventional sense, entertaining or good, although parts of it are spectacular. Michael Bay, a filmmaker with genuine and unique skills, has now wasted most of a decade chronicling the adventures of Optimus Prime. On the plus side, Transformers: The Last Knight is easily among the top five Transformers films he’s ever made.”
IGN’s Gav Murphy:
“Michael Bay has now been making Transformers films for more than ten years. In that time, the series has moved on very little and The Last Knight is the loudest and most explosively dull instalment yet. A recycled plot told through an overly on-the-nose script, read by a confusing parade of characters, and muddled action scenes does nothing to justify its epic length.”
HeyUGuys‘ Scott Davis:
“You can almost see the moment when the two ideas that were suggested in the now famous writer’s room and subsequently smashed together in the crudest possible way – so disjointed and incoherent is the film after that first hour that it all becomes slightly embarrassing to watch despite all the noise that surrounds it.”
Crave Online’s William Bibbiani (aka The Beast):
“Transformers: The Last Knight isn’t so much a film as it is a catalogue of everything wrong with western civilization: racism, sexism, ageism, the objectification of minors, warmongering, immaturity, a complete inability to focus, and a seemingly random assortment of pop culture references and swear words in place of a sense of humor. Instead of entertainment, it offers a series of images flashing in such a rapid, incongruous succession that they may as well be random. It’s the cinematic equivalent of dangling keys in front of a baby while yelling curse words at it. Nothing but anger, noise and condescension, for multiple hours. And they expect us to pay for this.”
So what do you think? Will you still be heading out to see Bay’s final installment to the Transformers franchise as director this weekend? Let us know in the comments below.
The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Isabela Moner, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Stanley Tucci, Laura Haddock, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Santiago Cabrera, Jerrod Carmichael, Liam Garrigan, Peter Cullen and John Goodman. Here’s the official synopsis:
“The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world 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).
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.”
Transformers: The Last Knight hits theaters tomorrow.
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