Bayhem: defined as the non-stop assault of wild images and loud sounds that come at you from a movie directed by Michael Bay. That is what is expected from his movies, and “Transformers: The Last Knight” will not disappoint the Bay fans out there. It is a long, non-stop and nonsensical action meat grinder of a movie. Are there giant robots – yes of course. Are there gaping plot holes – yes of course. Are there spectacular scenes of motion and movement – yes of course. Will Bay fans eat it up – yes, without a doubt.
To sum up: Autobots are good guy robots that transform into various vehicles. Decepticons are the bad guy robots that fight the Autobots, and they also transform. Autobots are led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) who always pledges support to the humans. The robots go all the way back into history, back to the days of King Arthur. The last living descendant of Arthur, along with the “Last Knight” are needed to fend off an attack on Earth from the crazy robot who has taken over the robot planet and is going to smash it into the Earth. Or something like that…
Actually, there is a very broad outline of what goes on in this movie. There might be an overall plot line, but it is obscured by all the action set pieces. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is a friend of Optimus Prime and is hiding a group of Autobots in a junkyard in the dessert. Viviane Wembly (Isabela Moner) is a Professor at Oxford in England, and she is the final one related to Arthur. Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) is an English earl with a vast knowledge of the Transformers history and why they are always coming back and mucking around on Earth. William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) is a military guy who is sometimes helping Cade and most times chasing after him. Due a set of some unclear circumstances, they all get together to work with the Autobots and save the world.
The action scenes are fantastic, yet the excessive editing cuts made them all look very choppy. The visual special effects are overwhelming and overbearing. They are done professionally and look terrific, yet the images are just thrown at you for more than two hours. It can just wear you down. The audio sound effects are growling and grinding and full of a lot of noise. There is a bombastic score playing under everything else, which increases the sound level. It is impressive and disturbing at the same time, like not being able to turn away from a bad car crash.
The story meanders from the US to England, where Sir Burton has brought Cade and Viviane together. There is some special staff that used to belong to Merlin, but it was given to him by an ancient Autobot. Viviane is the only one who control the staff, since she is the last of Arthur’s line. Cade had been given a special talisman that identifies him as “The Last Knight”. So, the major money of this movie went to the visual effects and not the script. However, there are a handful of performances that are OK. The plot is secondary to the stunning special effects, so call it a wash.
Mark Wahlberg is always a great action figure, even if the movie bumps into crazy dialog that could come from “The Happening”. He plays the earnest and trustworthy guy who can fight off anyone with his brains and brawn. Isabela Moner does a fair job in her role, nothing too special, but plays it with no problems. Anthony Hopkins does a delightful job as the slightly befuddled old guy who has a glint in his eye and tells you he knows more than he says. Just hope that he does not consider you a “friend that he would like to have for dinner”.
Granted, if Michael Bay is your thing and you have a deep appreciation for all things ‘Transformer’, then by all means, this is the movie for you. However, everyone else still need to determine how much of an action-packed blast in the face you can stand. If you have extra bucks, you can even see the “No Reason to be 3-D” version. It has 3-D on top of the already crowded screen of visual ADHD fever dreams. There are few scenes that use the 3-D to a good effect, but it sails through the film just fine without it.
More than likely “Transformers: The Last Knight” will make a ton of money, either here or abroad. Can it be too much to ask that Bay finally give up ‘his’ franchise? Or will he get enough incentive to come up with a sixth movie… “Transformers: The Ring of the Register”?