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Tranformers The last Stand Should It Be The Last? @duffythewriter

Transformers The Last Knight – Should it be the last movie?

I must admit, I could have quite easily bailed out of the screening for Transformers The Last Knight. It was screened the night before State Of Origin, and as a 41-year-old woman living on the lower north shore, I thought, ‘surely this movie is out of my demographic?’

But, off we trotted to George Street cinema, and my mood change. I immediately regressed to little 1980’s Jo when I saw a giant Optimus Prime in the foyer, just waiting for a photo op.  I must preface this movie review by saying that my little brother and I were mad keen on the Autobots and Decepticons in the 80’s. Optimus Prime always was my favourite, my brother liked Megatron (that says a lot about later years!) but the 80’s was our era for the Transformers cartoons. It was the Transformers heyday; the best theme tune and the coolest toys on the planet.  When the first major movie reboot happened years later in 2007 with a young Shia LaBeouf, I found it ok, but it didn’t peak my interest enough to watch any more of them. I’m one of those guys that says ‘it was better in my day!’.

So, What’s Transformers The Last Knight All About?

So, that brings us to the fifth installment of the franchise, Transformers The Last Knight.  Let’s just say that this movie has A LOT going on in it. In fact, most of it is preposterous. The film focuses on the origins of the Transformers on earth and how, without one true leader (Optimus Prime has taken off for a time out), the world is in disarray.  It takes a while, especially with all the stunning visual effects flying at you in 3D to get your head around it all, and even then, you end up chasing your CGI tale a bit!  There is no downtime in the movie at all, it’s one action scene after the next with no lull to let you reset.  I guess that’s because the movie is almost 2.5hrs long; longer than The Godfather! I was also very skeptical about Optimus Prime leaving us humans in the lurch (he would never do that!), let alone lay a hand on fan favourite Bumblebee, but that became the last of my plot worries when all was said and done. I got the feeling that the writers had no idea where to go with the plot, got a little desperate, and then used all the ideas they had and crammed them into the movie.

Transformers The Last Knight – Cast Roundup

It does all get a bit silly, especially the Merlin link up (not to mention a few others but don’t want to spoil anything). But, in saying that, Wahlberg as the hero of the hour Cade Yeager, does a bloody good job as a cookie-cutter action hero, and quirky, slightly confusing characters such as Cogman (Jim Carter), give this move a little something. There are some cringey Dad jokes coming from odd little butler robot Cogman, but I let them slide, I didn’t have space in my brain to worry about time.  Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton is the standard production line Hopkins of late, but standard Hopkins is still pretty solid. The one disappointment was Stanley Tucci, I was looking forward to watching him in this one, but blink and he’s gone!  The kid, Izabela is ok, but kinda gave me a Jar Jar Binks vibe, popping up, being slightly sassy, or annoying, depending on the scene, then stuffing it up for those who are trying to save the planet. All forgiven though because she’s a feisty 14-year-old (yawn!). I have nothing to say about Josh Duhamel as Colonel William Lennox, it’s not his fault, but really he adds nothing to the movie. Laura Haddock as Vivian Wembley was absolutely chosen for her Megan Fox looks, but I found her slightly hoity and annoying. I didn’t feel there was any substance to her role, apart from looking pretty and being saved by robots, and of course Cade. The crass American male who hates the stuck up blue-blooded English woman, but then find common ground and fall in love is a rather tired cliche, and I had no time for it.

Haven’t I Seen This Somewhere Before?

There are also a few nods to other movies in The Last Knight, intentional or otherwise.  Star Wars-The Force Awakens (BB-8), The Chronicles Of Narnia (big Aslan moment with Optimus Prime) and of course King Arthur.  There seems to be a big Hollywood resurgence and interest in the Knights of the Round Table, and that’s no bad thing in my book.  I love that kids today are hopefully reading and learning more about legends (mythical or otherwise) from hundreds of years ago because they saw a bunch of cools guys with long hair, riding horses doing badass things. I just struggled with the Transformers storylines which were kind of thrown at, and stuck on, some mythical historical tales. The shark, I fear, has been jumped by Autobots

The effects are stunning and of course, everyone is there to watch the Transformers ‘transform’, after all, they are robots in disguise!  3D is definitely where you want to see this movie if you are a fan of the franchise to get the best out of it. I have to admit for fleeting moments  I was 8 years old again, sucked into a world where I was supporting the Autobots and protecting the earth from whatever darkness was coming. The shame was, once the epic Autobot vs Decepticon battles were done, there was just pure ridiculousness. 

Transformers The Last Knight – Is it worth it?

Overall, the 2.5hours went quick enough and I only checked my phone once.  Wahlberg does as well as he can with this CGI, world history, alien robot mash up, and I came out of the movie theatre thinking it wasn’t a Tuesday night completely wasted. The critics are taking this movie to task, and it IS a mess, but the effects are great, and if you’re looking for a movie to switch off, forget a bad day, regress to the 80’s, and check out some hot people saving the earth with cool robots, then this should be a mid-week flick.  If you loved Pacific Rim, get out to the movies, if not, wait for it to come on TV, Blue-Ray, Online..

Note to parents: Younger kids may find some scenes a little violent, particularly the opening ones.

4.5/10 – but this really needs to be the last one 

Check out my other movie reviews here