Disclaimer – I’m a Michael Bay/Transformers Fan Boy
Transformers The Last Knight is by far the sloppiest film of 2017 and it will be difficult for any flick to beat. Running at almost three hours long, the fifth film in the Transformers franchise fails to deliver on not only a coherent plot but an admirable set of characters.
The film starts with Optimus Prime floating through space after blasting off from Earth in The Last Extinction. Why is Optimus floating motionless? Is he sleeping? Do Autobots sleep? Anyways, he meets up on a dead Cybertron with Quintessa, a Cybertronian Goddess who claims to have created the Transformers. She then turns Optimus evil. That’s plot line 1.
Oh wait, there’s some scene from medieval England where King Arthur and his goons team up with an alcoholic Merlin plus a three-headed dragon Transformer to combat an evil army. That’s plot line 2.
In the present, Marky Mark aka Cade Yeager is a fugitive on the run because Transformers sympathizer. Both Autobots and Decepticons are outlaws and are being hunted by a militant group called MAGA. Just kidding, they’re called TRF, Transformers Reaction Force. Yeager then rescues an orphan girl, who was presumably raised by an Autobot named Canopy. Canopy then dies unceremoniously after introduction. This little girl is introduced as Izabella who fights against the TRF and is all about the Autobots. Plot line 3.
(I tried explaining this film to a coworker earlier and got admitted to the emergency room)
Now we go back to England and meet Viviane Wembly, a historian who thinks Transformers have only been around since 2007. She then is kidnapped by Anthony Hopkins’ Sir Edmund Burton. Burton is part of a lineage of individuals who worked with Transformers to help get rid of evil. These individuals included Sam Witwicky, Harriet Tubman, and many others.
While that’s going on, it turns out Megatron is still alive. He negotiates with Josh Duhamel’s William Lennox, he’s back in this one, on freeing his newly introduced goons. Yeager is given an ancient talisman from a dying Transformer, that has enormous power and of course Megatron is after it. They find Yeager, there’s a fight, then Burton’s butler, ANOTHER NEWLY INTRODUCED TRANSFORMER!, invites Yeager and Bumblebee to Burton’s castle.
(This is where like 10 plot lines come together)
After 30 minutes of fan service, Yeager and crew find out Earth is Unicron and Merlin’s staff has the power to either kill Earth or save it. Yeager and Wembly then go and search for the staff, find it. Then, BAM! Optimus Prime comes down in all of his glory, but he’s controlled by Quintessa. Quintessa wants the staff for her own to rebuild Cybertron.
Megatron and his goons come down and take the staff, after Optimus and Bumblebee fought in a battle that almost made me forgive Michael Bay for this shit-plot. There’s then more fan service and it turns out the talisman from earlier turns into Excalibur and makes Yeager strong enough to take on a damn Autobot. (Spoiler, we never see this sword again)
The movie ends on this epic-looking battle sequence where Optimus Prime and the Autobots kill Megatron’s goons, kick Megatron out of a spaceship, then killing Quintessa. She then turns human and says “You don’t want to touch Unicron” to some unsuspecting scientist. Film ends, the sixth film begins production.
Overall, The Last Knight is a giant shit show that gives amazing fan service while making uninterested significant others fall asleep faster than usual. The film could have been an hour shorter, took out 20 robots, and it would have delivered a better experience. After the bad taste The Last Knight left in my mouth, I will still see the next film in the Transformers franchise.