Before I saw the film, I perused some of the review online. It was truly astonishing how many claimed this was the worst film of the franchise. Maybe that lowered my expectations, but, come on, let’s be real. This is the fifth in a series of films about alien robots that can transform into cars and planes and (?) clocks, apparently. So expectations start low.
But, let’s break it down. In my review of Dark of the Moon, I analyzed which aspects of the films are best. Here, I’ll look at some different things, and analyze which are worst.
Most Embarrassing Appearance by a Respected Actor — The first film (and all the sequels) has John Turturro. He’s kind of fun, and at least gives it his all. Revenge of the Fallen has none! But in Dark of the Moon we get Patrick Dempsey (good), Frances McDormand (boring) and John Malkovich (fine, I guess). I’ve already explained how much I enjoyed Kelsey Grammer in Age of Extinction, and Stanley Tucci was at least funny. In this one, Anthony Hopkins brings the crazy. I enjoyed him thoroughly. Winner: Frances McDormand.
Most Useless Eye-Candy Performance by an Actress — When Megan Fox left the franchise I wasn’t saddened…until I saw her replacement (Rosie Huntington-Whitely). Yawn. And Nicola Peltz’s inclusion was kind of skeevy. Laura Haddock (playing a history professor in this one) is easily the best in this category, yielding what might be Michael Bay’s least sexist film! (It’s a low bar, people.) Winner – Tie: Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Nicola Peltz.
Most Egregious Flouting of the Laws of Physics — Okay, this is going to be a tough one. Every film has humans flying around in robotic carnage and not dying. Revenge of the Fallen had three “dead” characters (two robots, one human) get resurrected, not to mention that stupid Matrix subplot. Dark of the Moon had that “building falling down but everyone is okay” sequence. But both of the last two films had Cybertron (the home planet of the Transformers) appear right next to the Earth without anything realistic happening. (Enormous ocean tides, planet pulled out of orbit, moon crashing into it, etc.) Winner – Tie: Cybertron Proximity
Stupidest Historical Reimagining — I continued to believe that the alternate explanation for the building of Hoover Dam is awesome. The star killing machine inside the pyramid is weak. The secret mission of the Apollo astronauts was probably the least crazy of them all. Reimagining the death of the dinosaurs as caused by Cybertronian technology was not very interesting. Putting Transformers into the Arthurian legend was a middle of the road inclusion from this latest film. On the other hand, I would pay folding money to see an entire film about Bumblebee fighting Nazis! That flashback was excellent. (The actual Bumblebee spinoff is said to take place in the 1980s. Oh, well.) Winner — Star Killing Pyramid Machine
Bottom line, The Last Knight is a middle of the pack film. Better than Revenge of the Fallen, but not as good as the original.