Plot: The war between man and machine rages on in an unknown future where Optimus Prime is missing and our world has fallen into chaos. Again.
Director Michael Bay has once again managed to drag his already low bar of storytelling into the depths of oblivion in the latest installment of the Transformers franchise. This is absolutely the worst Transformers movie to date, period. Which is really quite a feat considering just how bad the previous ones were. The only sliver of positivity is that this film’s runtime is slightly shorter than the previous sequel.
This has to be the laziest piece of filmmaking ever, even by Michael Bay standards. Coherent plots are not his forte but this is so disjointed that it feels like the scriptwriters wrote it with a Mad Libs word pad. This is surprising because Ken Nolan actually co-wrote Black Hawk Down while Matt Holloway and Art Marcum both worked on the first Iron Man.
The very loose plot picks up with Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) hiding out in an abandoned junkyard with the remaining Autobots. It turns out that a mystical Transformers staff has been hidden on Earth along with a massive sunken spaceship all this while, completely ignoring the mythology that was set up in the previous four movies. Apparently, the Transformers were the ones who gave Merlin his magical staff that saved Camelot.
That is the plot in a nutshell. Yes, really.
To start with, this film is a mess of characters. There are just way too many for us to keep track of and they certainly do not warrant our emotional investment. While I was somewhat relieved to see that both Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Frank Welker as Megatron are back, the dialogue is so juvenile that it makes the conversations in the 80’s cartoon look like Pulitzer Prize-winning prose. Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Agent Simmons (John Turturro) also return in completely throwaway roles.
Even pay cheque collector Sir Anthony Hopkins cannot save this drivel. I died a little inside every time he was forced to say the word “dude”.
The cinematography is adequate but it feels more like Mr Bay is phoning it home. I’m pretty sure that he is just collecting a pay cheque like Sir Anthony as this is really shoddy work. The awesome ultra slow-motion panning shots are missing, the sepia-drenched imagery absent. What we get instead is an orgy of pixels that looks more like a Pollock painting rendered in 3D.
And let’s not forget the ever-present product placement, one of the six Michael Bay directing tricks we were so looking forward to. Every time I see Wahlberg reach for a bottle of Bud Light, Hollywood sinks to a newer low. Product placement trumps plot in Bay films and this one ramps it up by a quotient of infinity.
Watch this if you must but be prepared for your brain to hop onto a cab and head home even before half the movie is over.
Transformers: The Last Knight opens in Singapore theatres and in IMAX® 3D today (June 22). Tell us your thoughts on the movie!