Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Film Review: 'Transformers: The Last Knight'

By Darlene Donloe

To save the future, you must unlock the past. That is the concept and mission of Transformers: The Last Knight, Michael Bay’s latest installation in the franchise - out nationwide Wednesday, June 21.

It’s been three years since the last Transformers: Age of Extinction film.  It was a hit!

In this latest edition Optimus Prime is back and badder than ever. No, he’s really bad!  He goes rogue and the world may end as a result.  You don’t want Optimus Prime on the side of the enemy.

The film opens with a raucous human vs. Transformers fight that is no-holds-barred and massive.

The main players are back. Mark Wahlberg, as Cade Yeager, is not only the “chosen one,” he is still protecting the Transformers. Josh Duhamel is still a military man. The always wonderful Anthony Hopkins adds class to the proceedings returning as Lord Edmund Burton, who is out to help save Earth by exploring the history of Transformers on the planet. John Turturro is back as Agent Seymour Simmons.

As always, the Transformers, with their distinctive, hilarious personalities, move the film forward. Their repartee is clever. There’s the popular Bumblebee, Cogman (Jim Carter), Hot Rod (Omar Sy) and Drift (Ken Watanabe). Sqweeks (Reno Wilson), who is about a rickety as they come, is a new autobot who is a great addition.  The artists lending their voices are impressive.  Frank Welker is Megatron, Erik Aadahl is Bumblebee, John Goodman is Hound, Steve Buscemi is Daytrader, John DiMaggio is Nitro Zenus/Crosshairs, Steven Barr is Volleybot, Tom Kenny is Wheels and Jess Harnell is Barricade. But, the fans of this franchise would riot if Optimus Prime wasn’t back. He is – in all his glory.

This time there are a couple of new additions. Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) plays Jimmy, a car junkyard employee – who is really there to make sure the Transformers fugitives have everything they need. There is also Laura Haddock, who plays a classy and knowledgeable Oxford Professor, who, for some inexplicable reason walks around in six-inch heels at the most ridiculous times.

The film starts off back in the day – like, literally back in the day - during the age of Camelot and King Arthur and Merlin, played firmly and with wit by Stanley Tucci.

This is the story: Humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it's up to Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world.

The special effects are state of the art.  Michael Bay does what he does – and he does it well. It’s just that, this time, it feels very familiar. Even though the battles are bigger and the film is louder, it still feels the same. There was no WOW! Still, Transformers fans will probably eat this up.

At 2 ½ hours long, the film is about 40 minutes too long. The film becomes redundant, but to diehard fans it will probably still be a lot of fun!

Transformers: The Last Knight, directed by Michael Bay, stars Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock, Jerrod Carmichael, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Isabella Moner, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro and Tony Hale. Optimus Prime is voiced by Peter Cullen.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah), E (excellent), Transformers: The Last Knight gets an L (likable).  The film is RATED-PG:13

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