Michael Bay’s “robots in disguise” franchise has been a financial force to be reckoned with since the theatrical live action (yeah, heavy CGI counts as live action) debut of Transformers (2007). Since that time, three sequels followed with each making Paramount Pictures truckloads of money. The interesting dynamic is that it didn’t take US audiences long to become burned out, thus turning a cold dollar-less shoulder to the franchise. Fear not Michael Bay & company, international audience’s love has been unwavering since day one. Regardless of what critics have said, thought or written, money was coming in droves. Now we’re to a fifth movie and the same questions have risen to the forefront. Let’s talk about Transformers: The Last Knight and how it’s probably going to fare.
Picking up some time after the events that transpired in Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), Earth is still a battleground between man and machine, man and man, machine and machine. Basically the world is at war for one reason or another. Divided more than ever, Earth is in more danger than anyone could imagine. An ancient secret is revealed which changes the perception of planet Earth forever. Returning to fight the good fight is Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) as he helps defend the now-hunted-without-prejudice Autobots. Racism exists but, in this case, it’s all about the alien race.
Cade is brought together with young Izabella (Isabela Moner), an advocate and defender of the less fortunate Autobots as well as Vivian (Laura Haddock), a scholar with a hidden secret that has not yet been realized. Sir Edmund Burton (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is the man with all of the answers and begins to orchestrate a plan of action to help save the planet. Everyone must come together if there’s any chance at all of Earth surviving an attack straight outta Cybertron. If the hated Decepticons have their way, Earth’s fate, along with Autobots’, is signed, sealed and delivered.
Jumping back to Michael Bay for a quick minute, there’s no doubt at all that he’s the guiding hand behind Transformers: The Last Knight. His fingerprints are all over it. Mark Wahlberg is back to the franchise for a second time and he is just as entertaining as he was in the last one (you can take that as good or bad depending on your views). The humor was dialed up a notch or two so that’s always a welcomed change. It is still a long movie (148 minutes to be exact) but thankfully it isn’t a snoozefest. That said, the final fight sequence is a little drawn out.
Transformers: The Last Knight is exactly like a Michael Bay directed Transformers movie. I mean he DID direct it after all. He checked all of his typical boxes without any variation. Action, flashy special effects complete with lots of exploding scenery, slow motion running, an eye catching female lead and comedic moments sprinkled about. It’ll kill in Asian markets and be generally panned domestically. It’s just the “Bay Way.” I say all of that to say that it’s the Bay Status Quo. Don’t expect to blown away now should you expect to be bored. Say what you will with these types of films but they’re still a little fun.
It’s been rumored, and even said that this is Michael Bay’s last time directing a Transformers movie but that remains to be set in stone. Word is that even though he’s done wearing one hat, he’s not done wearing another. He’s back as producer for the franchise’s first spin-off attempt, Bumblebee, set to be released in 2018 and then again for the next Transformers movie coming in 2019. Take it with a grain of salt and then take the other grains of salt with you to the theater when seeing Transformers: The Last Knight because it’s definitely a popcorn flick for sure! You can see it in theaters right now but the 3D upcharge is definitely optional.