Chaotic Mess, Do Not Take Kids
Aside from the typical scantily clad sexy female lead introduction in Transformer films, my viewing experience started with high hopes as main star Laura Haddock as Vivian Wembley is introduced as an esteemed working professor wearing glasses, a blouse, and a mid-length pencil skirt, with her hair pulled back in a “library bun” in the latest installment. Sadly, soon enough, that glimmer of hope changed as she magically leaves one scene in a black blouse and pants and is kidnapped, thrown into the trunk of a car, and shows up wearing an out-of-character tight-fitting, cleavage-bearing cocktail dress. When Cade, Mark Wahlberg, sees her new change of clothes, as a put-down, he says, “So you’re now wearing a stripper dress?” Yes, that’s an actual line in the movie. Not, “You’re wearing that?” Nope, let’s just call it out: “You’re wearing a stripper dress!”
The framework for a Transformer film requires sexy shots of females, explosions, ear-piercing metal screeching sounds, blazing fire, a fragmented script, blatant product placement, and for those of you that haven’t seen all five films, believe it or not, the female lead—whether it be Megan Fox, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, or Laura Haddock— routinely has a scene with her long hair blowing in the wind. Of course, while reviewing the fifth film, you’d look for that. To my astonishment, about two hours into the film, the cheesy “hair blowing scene” does occur, but this time, not only does Haddock’s hair look like she’s being bombarded with several off-screen industrial fans and getting ready for takeoff as Sally Fields in the Flying Nun—I kid you not, Mark Wahlberg’s hair is also blowing in the same scene as they are standing awkwardly next to each other, gazing up to the heavens. All of these trademarks occur in The Last Knight with the addition of, as I call it, “location whiplash effect” as the film’s location changes at warp speed; I kept count of at least 15 different cities, planets, countries in the first hour before I just gave up.
Here’s what the world and the franchise have forgotten, this simple premise: “Based on the Hasbro Toy Action Figures,” which is clearly stated in the ending credits. What Michael Bay has forgotten is that kids do go to these movies. Yep, I know—the PG-13 rating, which sadly doesn’t mean much these days to parents. A five-year-old and a seven-year-old sat in front of me. These are terrible movies for kids, and, yes, as a parent and former educator, these films really get my blood boiling. Bay has added a few new life lessons for kids in this one, such as: when in a library, if you’re looking for information in a book, just rip the pages out of the book instead of photocopying or taking notes on the information. Anthony Hopkins, while in the Trinity College Library in London, ripped pages out of an ancient book. Really? Kids will also learn when you’re in a hurry and run through a crowd, it’s okay to shout to an overweight teen, “Hey, move your fat ass,” while shoving the teen out of the way. Again, parents, these movies are not made for kids under the age of 13, even if your kids love the toys and do play with them, do not take them to see this movie. These are not life lessons you want your kids to think are okay. Do you really want your kids looking up words such as “stripper” and “d*ckhead,” not to mention the other inappropriate phrases? Not on my watch.
The Last Knight has a ridiculous, far-fetched story, one that attempts to have us believe that magic stems from alien power and that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table weren’t alone as heroes. It seems there were 12 transformers that stood behind them at the round table. Who knew? A convoluted storyline includes Professor Vivian Wembley as the direct descendant of the mythical Merlin the Wizard. Hmm… did they locate that information on Ancestry.com?
Honestly, the over-stuffed story-line begins and ends in an ear-piercing battle, and I really didn’t care much about why they were all fighting, nor will you. By the two-hour mark, I was exhausted from the “location whiplash,” and couldn’t even tell you how they ended up in submarines looking for a lost alien ship, unless wait—maybe that was a reason for Mark Wahlberg to wear a tank top inscribed H. M. S. and show his cut abs to Professor Wembley and all of us. Okay, now I totally get the reasoning for the hot, steamy underwater environment. Cheesy again.
Transformers: The Last Knight ends the movie and the series with a conflicted message: “At the heart of every legend, there is truth. We can all be heroes in our world only if we have the courage to work together.” Blah, blah, blah…guess what? No one has the energy or desire to care after suffering through two and half hours of a film that is nothing short of a chaotic mess.
The Bottom-Line? Do not take kids under 13 to this film. Fans of the franchise know what they are in for.
Cast: Mark Wahlberg as Cade, Laura Haddock as Vivian Wembley, Isabela Moner as Izabella, Josh Duhamel as Colonel Lennox, Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton, Santiago Cabrera as Santos, John Turturro as Agent Simmons, Gemma Chan as Quintessa, Jerrod Carmichael as Jimmy, Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime (voice), Frank Welker as Galvatron/Megatron (voice), John Goodman as Hound (voice), Ken Watanabe as Drift (voice), John DiMaggio as Crosshairs (voice), Jess Harnell as Barricade (voice).
Credits: Directed by Michael Bay. Writers, story by Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Run Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Sarah Knight Adamson© June 23, 2017