REVIEW: New Transformers film is an incomprehensible spectacle

Megatron (voiced by Frank Welker) and Josh Duhamel as Lennox
Megatron (voiced by Frank Welker) and Josh Duhamel as Lennox

Matt Adcock reviews Transformers: The Last Knight (12A)

Humankind – we are in danger.

We are at war with the Transformers and the main metal champion who fought our corner - Optimus Prime - is AWOL. It seems that the key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth – doesn’t sound very hopeful, does it?

Here it is then Michael Bay’s latest full metal assault on cinema-goers – a technical marvel, blessed with some jaw dropping special effects, a decent enough cast including Anthony Hopkins and Mark Wahlberg and a killer script – wait, scratch that last one.

The Last Knight isn’t so much a coherent film, rather an extended collection of almost random and pretty incomprehensible scenes thrown together.

Kicking off in 484 AD, during the Dark Ages of England, King Arthur (Liam Garrigan) leads his knights into battle which they are in danger of losing until good ol’ wizard, Merlin (Stanley Tucci), gets an alien staff from the Knights of Cybertron who then transform into a three-headed dragon, Dragonstorm, and win the day for Arthur. This is probably the highlight of the film and as a stand alone short film would be have been fine.

The Transformers history lesson continues with things like the cool yellow Autobot Bumblebee fighting for the Allies in the Second World War. It really feels like anyone on the production team who had an idea just threw it in there.

So it’s little surprise the main action is around the staff Merlin used at the beginning – both the Autobots and baddie Deceptacons want it and the humans need the good guys to secure it of we’re all doomed.

Female empowerment are two words I never thought I’d write in a review of Michael Bay movie but the main heroines being young mechanic Izabella (Isabela Moner) and Merlin’s last descendant Viviane (Laura Haddock), who at least is an Oxford Professor do their best in this tidal wave of testosterone and gasoline.

On the plus side there are some kick ass robo battles including pitting some formal allies against each other and Bay can shoot a decent car chase even if the huge amounts of collateral damage feel a bit misjudged in the current climate of terrorist activity.

For a full on burst of visual overstimulation Transformers: The Last Knight delivers but for anyone looking for decent film this will be a long dark ‘knight’ of the soul.