By the fifth film in any franchise there’s usually a diminishing of quality. Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach for example, is so crap even Steve Guttenberg bailed on it (and bagged a hit in Three Men and a Baby). At this stage in the Transformers franchise, the writers seemingly admitted defeat at even trying to produce a coherently plotted film and just threw a bunch of shit at the wall to see what would stick. Problem is, it seems all the shitty ideas stuck and so we get a film that seeks to retcon Transformers into Earth’s history and shoehorn them into every major event in our species’ history.
It manages this by being fearlessly stupid. Flinging what passes for ideas and one baffling, tiresome action sequence after another at the audience, we imagine the idea was to simply pummel viewers into giving up caring about character, story or wit, charm and imagination and instead just coo ‘oooo, explosions’. And in that, it’s entirely successful. But as a film? It’s crass, dumb, insulting, creepy, teetering on racist, longer than it has any right to be, unfunny whenever it tries for ‘jokes’, and almost worse than all this it’s just so frigging boring. It’s loud too, but that’s more because if it wasn’t you would probably hear the death rattle of cinema trying to scrape its way in at the edges.
However, if you like this film or have money to piss down the drain then this release serves you well. On one disc you get the full near 2 hour 40 minute ‘epic’ in all its <ahem> glory. Picture quality is excellent, as one would expect from a major release of 2017, as is sound, music and all the other Doodads Bay uses to enhance the nonsense taking place. On the second disc is where the extras are, some 80+ minutes of various featurettes on the writing (ha!), mythology, special effects and whatever else. Are they any good? Hell if we know; after suffering nearly 3 hours of this guff we couldn’t face more than a few minutes, but it’s probably fine and (along with the technical quality) is the only reason for the rating below.
Bay assures us this is his last Transformers film but really, it doesn’t matter, the damage is already done. Seriously though, it’s pretty obvious the guy that made The Rock (a great ‘big’ studio nonsense-action film) just doesn’t give two craps about whether the movies he puts out are any good anymore and that’s a shame. This is just an artless, joyless dirge of a string of terrible decisions fluffed up with fancy effects to distract from the fact it’s pure bollocks. Bah.
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT / CERT: 12A / DIRECTOR: MICHAEL BAY / SCREENPLAY: ART MARCUM, MATT HOLLOWAY, KEN NOLAN / STARRING: MARK WAHLBERG, JOSH DUHAMEL, STANLEY TUCCI, ANTHONY HOPKINS, LAURA HADDOCK / RELEASE DATE: 30TH OCTOBER