Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Transformers blunders chaotically into darkest night

Published:Saturday | June 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy

It's been 10 years since the first Transformers film was released in cinemas. Since then, we've watched the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons wage on, getting grander and grander with each film. With Transformers: The Last Knight, I believe the series has finally reached its breaking point with its most incoherent entry yet.

The war of the Transformers once again threatens planet Earth except, this time, the Autobots face their greatest enemy yet. It is the leader of the Autobots gone rogue: Optimus Prime.

That summarisation of the plot is extremely lacking, but to include the one trillion plot points this film sees fit to hurl at the viewer would be a fool's errand. Most of them are inconsequential, go nowhere and contradict the plot as the film goes on. If that wasn't bad enough, the way the film presents it to you is in a manner consistent with director Michael Bay's style, with everything in the film shot and edited like it's the most important moment of the movie. The problem with that is when everything's supposed to be special, suddenly nothing is.

None of this is new to the Transformers franchise, but previously, the average moviegoer could at least expect a fully finished product. Specifically, there are shots in the movie which fill the entire frame, seemingly taking up most of the screen, and then there are shots which use significantly less space, with black bars appearing at the top and bottom of the screen. The switch between the two is often rapid, forcing the viewer to constantly adjust their focus. It's menacingly distracting and not an experience I would wish on my worst enemy.

Transformers: The Last Knight is a technical marvel of the worst kind. It's the very definition of 'all over the place'. At times, the movie is dark and contemplative, but then it will switch to being as goofy as a Saturday-morning cartoon.

When I ask myself, though, did I enjoy watching Transformers: The Last Knight, the answer is, regrettably, yes much like the way one enjoys watching a series of car wrecks on YouTube. I cannot in good conscience, however, recommend that anyone, man, woman or child-pay money to see this film, as being forced to sit in a cinema for the film's 2-hour and 30-minute runtime was devastatingly exhausting.

Rating: Catch it on cable.