‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Blu-Ray Review: More Simple Animatronic Fights In Fifth Installment
Transformers films have been known for their bombastic fight sequences between gargantuan robots dubbed Autobots and Decepticons that can morph into all sorts of cool gear: cars, trucks, and other machinery.
The Last Knight, the fifth movie in the franchise based on Hasbro’s toys that began appearing in the 1980s, brings this trope back at a slightly higher level. Michael Bay also directs this episode, and Steven Spielberg serves as executive producer.
Here, we see humans now sparring with Transformers. Specifically, we see inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Autobot Bumblebee, an English astronomer and historian named Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) and an Oxford professor of English named Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock) trying to save the world from the descendants of disappeared Autobot Optimus Prime, who wish to save their home Cybertron by annihilating Earth.
It’s noteworthy that this installment at least flipped the plot around by making the good guys the villains, but the storyline and its pacing remains unequivocally clunky. Hopkins delivers a powerful performance as a man who is highly knowledgeable about the history of the Transformers and how they came to grace the Earth.
Nevertheless, the attempt at introducing medieval culture and nobility to the series appears supremely forced, hackneyed to the point of utter desperation. It’s telling that the film — despite being the No. 1 movie in North America at one point — earned only $45.3 million at the box office on opening weekend, the lowest opening of all the films in the franchise.
The backstory of the robots in this film includes ties to historical figures like Arthur, Lancelot, Merlin and the Dark Ages.
This is the second Transformers film Mr. Wahlberg has appeared in, following 2014’s Age of Extinction. He replaced Shia Labeouf after the child actor refused to star in more than three films. Bay has said he won’t return to direct another Transformers film, and it’s not difficult to ascertain why.
This franchise will surely never attain the entrancing nature of other major sci-fi sagas like Star Wars or any of the Marvel superhero films, and it seems to be for one simple reason: a captivating story is foregone for a litany of visual effects and combat scenes. At least these are all interspersed with unexpected humor appropriate for a PG-13 movie, but even those are sparse. The sword used in the film — presumed to be Excalibur — is rather amazing, however.
Special blu-ray features include “Merging Mythologies — The Secret Transformers History,” “Climbing the Ranks — Military Training,” “The Royal Treatment: Transformers in the UK,” and a look inside the home of the Transformers in “Alien Landscape: Cybertron.”