Grade: B-

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Author: Billy Madden

People easily dismiss and love to hate Michael Bay. They think his work is cheesy and nothing but explosions. That may be true, yet I am a fan of his work. Bay knows how to shoot a movie beautifully. Every scene is meticulously set up in a dramatic fashion, and coupled with his quick-shot style, it tends to deliver an exhilarating experience to keep you on the edge of your seat. His flicks, for years, have all been similar, and that’s a good thing. He has spent time crafting his brand; I’ve enjoyed his consistency of technique.

Many critics and moviegoers confuse me about why there is so much hatred and where it stems from. Though this is a discussion for another article, I felt I needed to defend my opinion for this review heavily. When reading, keep in mind that I do enjoy Bay’s work.  I think providing a different perspective and giving my two cents is necessary.

At the time of this review, Transformers: The Last Knight is currently hanging out at 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. It makes me wonder if their critics truly saw or dismissed the movie because it was another Michael Bay flick. I have very little faith in Rotten Tomatoes and oftentimes do not agree with their reviews. The Last Knight, to me, was so much fun! (GASP!) Bay had a huge two-and-a-half-hour canvas, cramming as much of his style into it as possible. While I admit it was about 35 minutes too long, the film held my attention throughout. 

As typical of this director, there are numerous explosions (kind of goes without saying), cheesy one-liners, and overly dramatic story arcs that are sometimes nonsensical and hard to buy into. Since the picture is pretty much the definition of a summer blockbuster, you buy into the silly and complex story to enjoy Bay’s playtime! Transformers isn’t looking for any Academy Award; it just looks to bring you good, clean, and explosive fun!

Due to the story’s complexity, focusing on the plot would be meaningless to those who haven’t seen the film. Pretty much all you need to know is that humans and Transformers are at war again. While Optimus Prime is on the sidelines, all others are involved in a race to find a magical staff that is the key to restoring the evil-run Planet Cybertron to normal. The “treasure map” to find this artifact is hidden within ancient history secrets. Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) learn they have historic ties to the staff (you’ll see why, I can’t give it away), which means they must grab it before it gets into the wrong hands. I know it’s silly, but you should know what you’re getting into, as it’s the 5th movie in the franchise.

The feature does boast some incredible CGI throughout the entire runtime. It was hard to catch a shot of the movie without some CGI being used. All the robots look amazing, and their personalities are shown using clever one-liners that emote laughter from the audience. Bumble Bee’s ever-long journey for his true voice is funny; you’ll hear clips from old-time comedians to rappers.

Car crashes are also a specialty of Bay and Transformers: The Last Knight has PLENTY of them. Of course, with cars turning into robots being the movie’s main focus, Bay has a huge arsenal to play around with. The chases were shot extremely well, with quick cuts and crash cams that deliver the experience blisteringly, causing your heart to tick a bit faster. It also helps that beautiful scenes showcase exotic-looking cars in the mix – from an Aston Martin to a Lamborghini to a McLaren.

A final testament worth mentioning is the accompanied engaging score. The sound was well-mixed and truly engaging. The pumping beats are playing as the robots battle, causing the world to go “boom” around you. It adds to the film’s exhilaration and completes a movie about intergalactic sentient beings battling on Earth.

Wrangle up your autobot friends and roll to your nearest theater to enjoy the newest movie in this beloved franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight! It is an invigorating popcorn movie you may just enjoy! 

Rated: PG-13 (for violence and intense sequences of sci-fi action, language, and some innuendo)
Director: Michael Bay
Screenwriters: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Jerrod Carmichael, Isabela Moner, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Santiago Cabrera, Liam Garrigan, Stanley Tucci
Genre: Action, Science Fiction

“The Last Knight” shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).

There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In “Transformers: The Last Knight,” the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive, theirs or ours.

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