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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 23, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight Review - Spectacular Special Effects But Often Incoherent And Incomprehensible

‘TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT’ is the fifth installment in the successful Michael Bay franchise after the very first “Transformers”, inspired by Hasbro toys in 2007, which was followed by “Revenge of the Fallen” in 2009, “Dark of the Moon” in 2011, and “Age of Extinction” in 2014. It’s overblown, overlong and chaotic at 2 and ½ boring hours and though the special effects are truly spectacular and so good in assaulting one’s senses, the hyperactive on screen goings on are often incoherent, incomprehensible and frankly, we just don’t care.

The 5th movie starts with a prologue during the Dark Ages and attempts to make a revisionist history of King Arthur, who just had another bad reincarnation on screen in the recent big flop that was “King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword”. It seems the Transformers first manifested themselves in the time of Camelot. Anthony Hopkins is the newest recruit in the cast and we really wonder what made him accept this movie. He utters a line in the movie that certainly applies to him aptly, he being a knight himself in real life: "Deep down inside, you begin to wonder: Has my life been wasted?”

We’re sure he already earned oodles of money playing Odin of Asgard in the “Thor” movies. Here, he plays Sir Edmund, an English lord who is the keeper of, believe it or not, the secret history of Transformers through various centuries. Do you know, for instance, that Hitler was actually killed by a good robot? Do you think you can buy that? And all the other nonsense in this movie?

Good Autobots vs. bad Decepticon robots are waging a war against each other. Optimus Prime has disappeared, floating around in space, and is turned into an evil robot by Quintessa, the ruler of Cybertron who hates our planet with a passion. Hopefully, he will ne able to get through his identity crisis. Then there’s a contest as to who will get hold of an all-powerful staff of life that has been hidden away for centuries. The staff can signal the end of life on Planet Earth and the eternal supremacy of Cybertron.

Mark Wahlberg returns as Cade, the American who’s the leader of the resistance who gets hold of a magical talisman that will help him a big deal in the final confrontation at the Stonehenge. He finds a romantic interest this time in Laura Haddock (Lucrezia in "Da Vinci's Demons") as Vivian, the Oxford professor with a mysterious lineage that links her to the all powerful staff. Aside from her, there’s also a teenage girl who survives the robot attacks on her city, Chicago, and becomes an ally of Wahlberg.

In the scenes set in 5th century Camelot, Stanley Tucci plays the Wizard Merlin, trying to provide some comic relief and failing miserably, along with John Turturro as Agent Simmons who is totally wasted in scenes showing him speaking desperately while in a pay phone in Cuba.

In other words, it’s all one big mess and Michael Bay tries to compensate the epic failures of his movie with relentless action scenes of metal crashing over metal, but this can be amusing only for a while and you’ll still prefer watching a good story with relatable characters that us viewers can connect with and which the movie sorely lacks. No wonder our grandson fell asleep while watching it. Hindi niya talaga kinaya.