Time to draw curtains on this franchise asap!
Michael Bay’s fetish for explosions and state-of-the art imagery over characters and content continues to remain a curse in the fifth instalment in the Transformers series. This film mostly feels like its trying to pick up bits and pieces from various other films. Here’s a list of films ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ heavily reminds you of (*spoiler warning*):
a) King Arthur – both the old and new one; contains umpteen references to the Knights of the Round Table, Excalibur, the wizard Merlin and so on.
b) Batman v Superman – the setpiece where Nemesis Prime (Optimus, who are you kidding?) hears Bumblebee speak after ages and this all of a sudden frees him from the dominating hold of the evil Quintessa, much like the ‘Martha’ scene in Batman v Superman.
c) Wonder Woman – Laura Haddock who plays Vivian is told to be the last descendant of the wizard Merlin and has a scene where she runs and floats (like literally) around quite a bit to get hold of the staff which is seemingly destroying the Earth (apparently melding it with Cybertron). There’s even a too-similar-looking shot of Haddock holding her ground with the staff of Merlin just as Gadot does with her ‘Godkiller’ sword in WW.
d) Avengers: Age of Ultron – The entire climax setpiece feels like a rip-off of the climax setpiece from the Joss Whedon flick.
e) Independence Day (Resurgence) – Add this to the above mentioned point.
f) Edge of Tomorrow – Some of the action choreography and motion styles of the Decepticons and Infernocons appear tremendously inclined towards the Tom Cruise film.
g) The Mummy / National Treasure – Scenes involving a tomb and ancient relics supposedly located in a sunken spaceship. Following clues and making discoveries a.la these two films.
h) Harry Potter series – The Witwiccan mansion where Sir Burton (played by Hopkins) resides looks a lot like Hogwarts.
i) Suicide Squad – The villainess Quintessa is much like Enchantress seeking revenge against mankind.
(Some of Bay’s own films like 13 Hours) The list goes on, the sense of déjà vu is conspicuous. Even if you disregard all that I mentioned above, the film is still an overstuffed mess, with poorly written characters, unclear motives and blaring sound design (it’s like listening to dub-step for a hundred and fifty minutes straight; sure to induce headaches!). Not to mention the rendering in 3D which only adds to the woes. CGI is indeed remarkable but Bay seems poised not to let the viewer slide past even a single frame without flashing fiery particles or colliding vehicles or exploding bots. The break-neck editing style complements Bay’s vision perfectly (and I don’t mean to say this in good intention). Mark Wahlberg (who plays Auto-bot enthusiast and trustee Cade Yeager), Laura Haddock and Anthony Hopkins put in lukewarm efforts ensuring fat pay-checks and nothing more. Optimus’ role is a mere extended cameo and he keeps reinstating the fact that he is ‘Optimus Prime’ (as if he himself isn’t sure!). Josh Duhamel returns to play Lennox (like it’s an obligation!), period. There’s no Tyrese and Turturro’s role is more like a cameo. Even an impressive array of writers (including the likes of Akiva Goldsman and Ken Nolan!) can’t seem to save this franchise from apparent doom. Hasbro, please don’t let Bay conjure up more insipid Transformers films simply for the sake of keeping the blockbuster franchise alive and nipping people off their intelligence, time and hard-earned money. You will forget all about the film the moment you exit the cinema hall. In case you didn’t, let’s talk about it!
Watch the trailer here: