Where to begin with Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight? Well for starters, if you go into this film expecting any semblance of narrative or plot then it’s really your own fault. But if you go into it expecting peak Michael Bay, well, then you’ll be rewarded.
Set after the events of Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Last Knight follows an impending battle between Earth and the alien world of Cybertron. When the alien planet is set to strike and fuse itself with our own, it’s up to intrepid inventor and Transformers ally Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), and a ragtag team of Autobots, including the Bumblebee, to save the day.
Like I said before, Transformers: The Last Knight is peak Michael Bay. Evocative music, twilight hour wide shots, rousing ‘do or die’ speeches, loads of high-tech Special Forces soldiers, big guns, fast cars, Mark Wahlberg’s abs, and a fiercely intelligent, yet highly sexualised female character appear heavily.
I went into The Last Knight expecting all of this, and Bay absolutely delivered on my expectations. And hell, sometimes you just want to see the mindless fun that occurs when you blow up an entire city, or when Optimus Prime and Bumblebee go head-to-head in full robotic combat.
But if we’re talking standouts, then Sir Anthony Hopkins and cinematographer Jonathan Sela went above and beyond.
As an audience member, I’ve never seen Hopkins so lively as cantankerous old historian Sir Edmund Burton, a special guardian of the lineage of Transformers. Plot points and characterisation aside, Hopkins appears to be having a blast as his character, who acts out for no apparent reason and comes up with an ingenious plan to save the day.
The work of cinematographer Jonathan Sela deserves to be praised in particular thanks to his extensive use of IMAX cameras. The word slick comes to mind here, as Sela creates a hyperreal environment that really shows off the speed and agility of the film’s awesome vehicular line-up, and its bombastic action scenes.
Transformers: The Last Knight is not a good movie. It’s a Michael Bay movie. So just prime your brain for mindless action and you’ll get through it.
Image: Paramount Pictures