“Transformers: The Last Knight”, a science fiction action film based on Hasbro’s Transformers toy line, is the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise and the sequel to “Transformer: Age of Extinction” (2014).
The filmed was released by Paramount Pictures in the United States on the 21st of this month in 3D, IMAX 3D, and 2D formats. It was simultaneously released in 42 other territories including China, the U.K., Russia, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong considered to be major markets for the franchise.
The film has received uncomplimentary and negative reviews from various quarters for its painfully long running time, incoherent plot and storyline, unimaginative screenplay and direction.
Here are some of the critiques the film has received:
Mike Ryan of Uproxx: “I have no proof Transformers: The Last Knight will kill your brain cells, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it does and I’d proceed with caution just in case. But I can say with absolute certainty that after watching, your head will hurt.”
Rotten Tomatoes: Rotten Tomatoes has given the film an approval rating of 17% based on 103 reviews, with an average rating of 3.3/10. “Cacophonous, thinly plotted, and boasting state-of-the-art special effects, The Last Knight is pretty much what you’d expect from the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise,” reads the site’s critical consensus.
Metacritic: According Metacritic’s rating, the film has scored 27 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”.
Alonso Duralde of TheWrap : “…fear not, fans of the franchise: if you’re here for the director’s trademark chaos editing (where fights go from points A to D to Q), toxic masculinity (and female objectification), comedy scenes rendered tragic (and vice versa), and general full-volume confusion, you’ll get all those things in abundance.”
The year is 484 CE and King Arthur is aware that he can’t hope to win the battle he is leading his men and knights into. He is, therefore, forced to seek the help of Merlin the magician, who in turn manages to secure a staff brandishing immense powers from a Cybertonian Knight and with Knight Dragonstorm coming to the aid of Camelot, they annihilate the enemy forces.
In the present times, there has been a massive influx of Transformers, not to mention the ones who are already here and remain outcasts. Meanwhile, the Transformers Reaction Force is on a seek and destroy mission of Transformers belonging to all splinter groups.
When a group of kids encounters a TRF Walker in war-torn Chicago and is in grave danger, Isabella comes to the rescue and destroys the TRF Walker. Canopy, a Transformer companion of Isabelle along with Sqweeks, is shot and killed by a TRF drone while trying to convince the kids to escape.
Cade Yeager and Bumblebee arrive soon after and help the kids escape. The dying Knight gives Cade a talisman, which is seen and reported by Decepticon Barricade to his chief Megatron.
Cybertron, the home base planet of the Transformers, is nearing earth when the missing Optimus Prime crash-lands on their world and awakens from a state of suspended animation.
Optimus is then corrupted by Quintessa, his maker, and a powerful sorceress, to destroy Earth/Unicorn so that Cyberton can survive. General Morshower is informed about the presence of an ancient alien technology on Earth which can help Cyberton into the Earth’s atmosphere. However, that would not be possible without the staff given to Merlin. A deal is struck between the TRF and the reborn Megatron who demands the release of his fellow Decepticons — Onslaught, Mohawk, Nitro, and Dreadbot in exchange for his services.
Megatron and team then march off in search of Cade Yeager who is hiding out at a junkyard in South Dakota along with surviving Autobots, Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Grimlock, Slug, Wheelie and others. Isabelle has also found her way to the hideout and is determined to stay back and fight.
The junkyard is soon attacked by the Decepticons and in the ensuing melee, only Nitro and Barricade from Megatron’s forces survive.
Yeager and an Oxford professor named Viviane Wembly are then brought to England to meet Sir Edmund Burton, the last surviving member of the Witwiccan Order. Yeager learns from Burton he is the last knight as defined by honor and dignity. Viviane, who happens to be the last descendant of Merlin, is assigned the task to retrieve Merlin’s staff which can prevent an ancient machine from getting activated.
Meanwhile, Yeager’s talisman has wrapped around his arm and the three of them soon escape from Burton’s home when the TRF arrives.
Together with Yeager, Viviane learns that the ‘HMS Alliance’ has to be taken out to sea in order to find Merlin’s staff inside the ancient machine.
Bumblebee, Yeager, Viviane, and Cogman head for the machine aboard the ‘Alliance’. Inside the machine, Yeager and Viviane find Merlin’s staff as well as a chamber of Cybertronian Knights when a knight called Skullitron wakes up from his slumber and attacks them only to be attacked and killed, in turn, by the TRF.
Meanwhile, Viviane manages to activate the staff making the machine rise to the surface of the ocean. Optimus Prime who is now called “Nemesis Prime” intercepts Viviane and takes possession of the staff to restore his disassembled home planet.
A fight ensues between Bumblebee and Optimus atop the machine and just as Optimus is about to kill Bumblebee, Yeager pleads with him to remember who he actually is, and the spell is finally broken, and Optimus is free from Quintessa’s hold over him. However, Megatron intervenes and grabs the staff from Optimus who is then attacked by the Cybertronian Knights for his betrayal.
Yeager, whose talisman has now become the Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur, overpowers the Knights and urges Optimus to become Earth’s protector again.
In the interim, Megatron, Nitro, and Barricade along with Quintessa activate the Cyberton-controlling machine using the seized staff of Merlin.
The military intervenes; Burton is shot dead; Optimus succeeds in uniting the Knights who become Dragonstorm. They set off aboard Lockdown’s ship to intercept Cyberton and stop its collision with Earth. The Cyberton is attacked and in the battle that follows, Quintessa’s forces, the Decepticons, and Infernocons, are defeated by the Autobots and TRF soldiers who then guide Yeager and Viviane to retrieve the staff.
Optimus defeats Megatron and together with Bumblebee apparently destroys Quintessa as well. Nitro is killed by Bumblebee. Viviane then removes the staff preventing the Cyberton-Earth collision.
The end sees the Autobots reuniting after the battle and Optimus’ faith in humanity getting restored. They must now work together towards rebuilding Earth and Cybertron. The surviving Transformers are asked by Optimus to go back where they came from and the Autobots return to Cybertron aboard Lockdown’s ship.
A mid-credits scene keeps the possibility of a sixth Transformer installment open in spite of claims that this would be the final one of the franchise.
Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager
Josh Duhamel as William Lennox
Stanley Tucci as Merlin
Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton
Isabela Moner as Izabella
Laura Haddock as Viviane Wembly (Minti Gorne plays a younger Viviane Wembly)
John Turturro as Seymour Simmons
Santiago Cabrera as Santos
Liam Garrigan as King Arthur
Jerrod Carmichael as Jimmy
Mitch Pileggi as a TRF Group Leader
Directed by: Michael Bay
Produced by: Don Murphy, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Ian Bryce
Screenplay by: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Ken Nolan
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Running time: 149 minutes