Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Transformers - The Last Knight!

Well the other day I was just bored and decided to take in a movie. It was frankly a pretty slim picking as the only options were the latest Spider-Man flick (which as dull as dishwater to me) and the latest Transformers offering Transformers - The Last Knight. Of these two, the latter seemed the best bet for the big screen. I was right as the visual spectacle in this one actually tops what has come before and that's been pretty impressive. The visual splendor of the Transformer movies has improved steadily from the earliest ones in which the transformations are too visually obscure for my eye. The latest takes on the gimmick really seemed to work quite well. And the finale is a feast for the eyes.

But as with any of these stylistic wonders, the story is where the rough edges begin to show. Most of the Transformer movies make sense for about half of the movie then they slide off the rails. I like them for what they are, popcorn fests, but I'd still prefer they make more sense. The acting in these things can be indifferent and that's improved a bit in this one by the presence of Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton, a keeper of the secret history of Transformers on Earth. The attempt at a love interest between obligatory hero Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and newbie Viviane Wembley (Laura Haddock) is pretty lame to be honest. They have almost no chemistry despite every attempt to make her into a total hottie, it doesn't catch fire. Much much better was the youngster Izabella (Isabella Moner)  who Wahlberg's Yeager character takes on in the first part of the movie. She's capable and has some charisma but falls out of the movie after the first half hour or so despite showing real skills. If they'd kept her and ditched the other the movie would  have been much tighter.

Switching up Transformer history in this one doesn't make much sense. Not unlike the X-Men movies which have different continuities each time, the Transformers seem to do that too. I guess it's supposed to make sense but it's a lot to absorb and I don't really care that much about it. The expository requirements in this movie are immense and the constant need to keep the characters in almost frenetic motion makes such elucidation difficult.

Overall, I give the flick a strong "B" for outstanding visuals but the story just falls apart after a while. But it's so pretty it's hard to care too much. I did like the King Arthur stuff at the beginning, though the homage to the opening of Gladiator was pretty obvious.

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