Transformers: The Last Knight
"I was around a campfire the other day regaling a bunch of out-of-towners with the story of Transformers 1-5 and they couldn't come up with one logical explanation as to why these movies are twelve-and-a-half hours combined [...] There are also terrible action pieces, shitty editing, no character development, an incoherent story, and there is also the illusion of female empowerment embodied by two characters who could have been way more awesome. So you can keep your truth, dick. We can't understand it or appreciate it."— CinemaSins
Transformers: The Last Knight is a 2017 American science fiction action film based on the Transformers toy line. It is the fifth installment of the live-action Transformers film series and a sequel to 2014's Age of Extinction. Like its predecessors, the film is directed by Michael Bay. Returning Transformers include Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Wheelie, Megatron, and Barricade. The film premiered at Odeon Leicester Square in London on June 18, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 21, 2017, by Paramount Pictures in 2D, 3D, IMAX, and IMAX 3D.
After its released, it was critically panned by critics, audiences, and fans alike, reaching a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, marketing the worst of the Transformers series and it became bombed at the office, grossing $605 million worldwide against a production budget between $217–260 million, causing the sequels were cancelled and the franchise was rebooted with Bumblebee by Kubo and the Two Strings director, Travis Knight, which released on December 21, 2018 to a successful critical and financial reception.
Humans and Transformers are at war and Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Bumblebee, an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins), and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).
Why It's No More Than Meets The Eye
- This film repeated the entire same plot from its first four Transformers movies, which is very unoriginal. If you've seen the first movie or just previous sequels, then you've basically already seen this movie.
- Just like in Age of Extinction, the new designs for the Transformers are pretty illogical, as they barely even have vehicle parts on any of the neccessary spots, making their transformations nonsensical. This comes off as disappointing, as the first three films did a great job at this by putting vehicle parts in all the right spots.
- Wasted potential (yet again) for new Transformers in this movie of Mohawk, Dreadbot, Nitro Zeus, Onslaught, Berserker, Hot Rod, Daytrader, and Infernocus.
- The writing is very messy and poor because it took seven writers for this film's script, it's as if Michael Bay never really cared about these movies anymore.
- The jump cuts during many non-action scenes are very choppy and inconsistent. They look like completely different shots when seen separately. For example when Cade stops his car to talk to the sheriff, he says "Oh hey, chief!". The car was just stopping and surrounded by just when he says "Oh", and then there's a jump cut when he says "hey, chief!" The dust has disappeared.
- Much of the events are pointless, confusing and nonsensical considering that the movie's plot is full of retcons, anachronisms, continuity errors, and even plot holes.
- Megatron actually became in Galvatron in the last film, but now he's Megatron again with absolutely no explanation given.
- Similarly, Colonel Lennox who also wasn't in the previous instalment reappears in this one with literally no explanation why.
- Optimus claimed that he hasn't heard Bumblebee speak since the fall of Cybertron, even though he talked (though it was only maybe two lines) in the first movie.
- Apparently, Transformers are born as babies but in the previous movie, Lockdown told Optimus "You think you were born? You were built. And your Creators want you back".
- In the first movie, Optimus Prime says they learned Earth Language through the World Wide Web, yet in this movie, the transformers can talk English normally during the King Arthur era.
- Speaking of which, after the first movie, Bumblebee doesn't talk in the other Transformers films, but in here, he does without any explanation why. After he does however, he goes back to his pop-culture voice.
- Cybertron was said to be destroyed in the previous movies, yet in this movie, it's actually still around, but dying.
- When Bumblebee and Optimus are fighting on top of the alien ship, Cade's shirt is torn around the neckline and the arm. But after Cade saves Optimus from the Knights, his shirt is no longer torn.
- In one scene Cade breaks open the glass of the dying Knight's ship, completely opening it up. In a shot later on, the glass is intact.
- In the flashback scene when Sir Edmund tells about Arthur and his knights working together with the Transformers, the environment where the Round Table is placed is shown as a Gothic style cathedral ruin. In reality Gothic style didn't appear until the 12th century, so cc. 700 years later. The clothing also show similar anachronisms.
- We see Merlin drinking out of a glass bottle with a grooved neck that is clearly for a screw on cap. That's at least a few hundred years ahead of its time.
- While the submersibles are following the submarine into the alien space ship the Navy Seal says "we are about to lose radio contact".... radio waves cannot pass though water therefore radios are not used for under water communication.
- The gravity of an approaching "planet-sized object" (namely Cybertron) would effect Earth, most notably massive tidal changes. However, the only changes seen are from physical impacts.
- Towards the end of the movie Colonel Lennox states that the Osprey's flight ceiling is 12,000 ft and the target where the battle will be taking place is at 21,000 ft, "nearly double" and the air would be too thin for the Osprey's rotors to "bite". This is incorrect. The Osprey's operational flight ceiling is in fact 25,000 ft, well within the operational area.
- When Bumblebee shoots Barricade in London, driving past a side road, you can see a normal police car next to a regular car waiting, but in the close up of the Decepticon crashing/blowing up on to that street the cars have changed.
- Apparently, there is a secret society called the "Order of Witwiccans" dedicated to protecting Transformers and keeping them secret. However, Bumblebee is seen fighting in World War II, indicating that this conspiracy to keep them secret would not have lasted so long since the Nazis could have easily exposed them. To rub more salt on the wound, this scene attracted controversy as the battle took place at Adolf Hitler's headquarters. In reality, Michael Bay had draped swastika flags over Winston Churchill's (a brave Englishman who helped fight bravely against the Nazis and Adolf Hitler) home. This left WWII veterans appalled.
- This also doesn't make any sense; it would've more sense to introduce it around the second Transformers movie. Keeping it hidden until the fifth movie makes no sense. This is also wasted potential to make the main human protagonist in the first three movies, Sam Witwicky, more stronger and likeable.
- The movie also suggests that scientists Frederick Douglass and Harriett Tubman were part of this society, but CinemaSins pointed out that this wouldn't have made any sense as their knowledge would have been on more important stuff. Because of this, CinemaSins added 500 additional sins to the movie.
- A little rapid hand-watch Transformer apparently killed Adolf Hitler for some reason?
- Sir Edmund Burton says that an Autobot would pass on to every Witwicky and serve them, yet Sam Witwicky and his parents were shocked to know about the Transformers.
- Chicago is still a destroyed city despite being rebuilt in the previous film.
- Barricade somehow survived the Battle of Chicago with no explanation of how he escaped.
- In Age of Extinction, Lockdown mentioned that there are multiple creators. But in this film, Quintessa is the only creator.
- Speaking of Quintessa, she is called the "Prime of Life". But in Revenge of the Fallen, it is stated that Optimus Prime is the last Prime (The Fallen and Sentinel Prime are both exceptions because The Fallen was the original Decepticon, while Sentinel was still in stasis on the Ark).
- The biggest plot-hole of them all is when Megatron negotiates with Lennox about releasing certain Decepticons out of prison. which doesn't make sense since Megatron can free them himself or the Deceptions can free themselves since they're large robots. It doesn't help the fact that N.E.S.T. should have destroyed them so there's no reason for them to "arrest" them other than for making this scene. Also, how is it even possible to arrest one Autobot, let alone five Decepticons?!. The movie doesn't even explain why they were in there except for Dreadbot who, believe-it-or-not, was in for a friggin' bank robbery. Why would a Decepticon need to rob a human bank? That also goes unexplained.
- Megatron actually became in Galvatron in the last film, but now he's Megatron again with absolutely no explanation given.
- The acting of the human characters from actors such as Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager and Stanley Tucci is still poor, hammy and wooden, even more than Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, and Laura Haddock also gives a terrible performance as Vivianne Wembly.
- Some characters from the previous film, peculiarly Grimlock, don't appear in this film.
- The Dinobots are much flanderized and out of character. In the previous movie, they were brave warriors, but here they act more like as pets instead of brave fighting at all, they don't even fight in the final battle.
- What's worse is that the movie is mashing fantasy/medieval with sci-fi, which is a huge missed potential for them to not fight or even have bigger roles.
- Extremely cliched dialogue that tries to be deep, but instead comes off as cringeworthy. A major example being Cogman telling Cade "My master is fond of saying that all the important decisions in life often come down to just one moment." Which is also a false statement, as most of the constant important decisions one makes in life have nothing to do with one another and all are dedicated to a different situation that aren't connected to each other in the slightest.
- Yet again, given that it was directed by Michael Bay, the film still continues overuses obvious explosion effects.
- And speaking of Michael Bay, he still gives terrible direction again. He, like the sequels, ends up being nominated at the Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Director, but unlike the second and four movie and like the third movie, he never won the awards where he lost to Tony Leondis for The Emoji Movie (which came out the same year as this movie).
- Some of the robots/transformers are way obvious rip-offs from Star Wars, such as Squeeks being an obvious clone of R2-D2, and Cogman being an obvious clone of C-3PO as stated by Crosshairs.
- Unfunny humor such as the scene where they talk about how long it's been since Cade Yeager had sex.
- Similar to Grindor from Revenge of the Fallen, most members of Megatron's crew are reused, for CGI models. This proves that the animators were too lazy to make new ones.
- Bumblebee's new vehicle mode looks ugly, as the front looks like one giant grill. Even worse is that the look was carried over to the actual Chevrolet Camaro. Here's proof.
- Similar to the fourth film, Michael Bay trolled fans by making them think that the Aston Martin and McLaren in London were gonna be new characters, which ended up being false.
- The intense fight between Optimus Prime and Bumblebee ends with a Martha moment, with Bumblebee saying, "I am Bumblebee. I am your oldest friend, Optimus. I would lay down my life for you." just before Optimus could stab him.
- There is no reason why or how Bumblebee suddenly started talking.
- This actually makes Optimus change his mind and decides to become friends with Bumblebee and Cade because he hadn't heard Bumblebee's voice since Cybertron.
- The soundtrack, while still pretty good as mentioned down below, isn't quite as memorable, compared to previous installments in the franchise.
- It keeps switching aspect ratios. Unlike Christopher Nolan's movies, which switch from widescreen during dialogue scenes to IMAX during major action sequences or establishing shots, this switches from 1.85:1 (TV aspect ratio, close to IMAX), 2.00:1 (Univisium aspect ratio, popular on Netflix), and 2.35:1 (common cinema aspect ratio) at random points every second, even during conversations, which is very distracting and noticeable. It doesn't even help the fact it took six editors to edit this movie.
- Speaking of said editing, the movie also has numerous frame-rate drops.
- And speaking of the aspect ratios changing, this movie was released only a month before Dunkirk, which did it infinitely better than this movie.
- The action sequences are so bland, lazy, poorly messed up and a step back from the previous installments and are very disorienting to watch.
- False advertising: The trailers, posters, TV spots and promotion renders made it look like Optimus Prime was going to be the main antagonist of the film with the most notable example is him killing the Infernocons and him "fighting" the dragon-Knight since he has purple eyes. But he doesn't get the important role in the movie, before the third act. The trailer also suggests that Izabella is a major character, but she only has about one minute of screentime.
- Speaking of which, the whole movie made it so extremely obvious that Optimus Prime is the evil Autobot right from the first time we see him on screen.
- The poster also depicts Cade with a sword. However, the sword only appears during the final 40 or so minutes.
- Just like A Good Day to Die Hard, the cinematography is completely lazy and terrible as makes it feel more like a direct-to-video and/or made for a TV movie.
- So much unneeded padding, slow pacing and pointless filler that makes it boring to watch, and because of this, there wasn't any character development for anyone.
- The film focuses more on establishing sequels than focusing on its own story.
- Speaking of trying to establish sequels, the ending is completely abysmal and nothing more than shameless clichéd sequel-baiting which did not happen due to under-performing at the box office, as this film killed the main Transformers film series as it confirms that Bumblebee (2018) and the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023) will not connect to these films.
- The TRF (Transformers Reaction Force) serve little to no actual purpose until the final act (to quote CinemaSins' Everything Wrong With Transformers: The Last Knight "The TRF in this movie display omnipotence and ineptitude in equal portions.").
- A TRF drone actually tried to wrestle Cade (this actually happened).
- Bad release date: It was released a few months after Wonder Woman and a few weeks before Despicable Me 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming, which are far better movies than this and would do better at the box office, causing this movie to flop.
- Optimus Prime's portrayal in this movie is still as problematic as in the previous sequels as he's still overly murderous.
- Great voice acting from the Autobots, thanks to the cast reprising their roles.
- Speaking of voice acting, Frank Welker, finally gets to reprise the role of Megatron (As he voiced him in the G1 series and Transformers: Prime).
- The CGI is still very cool, just like the previous films.
- Cade Yeager, despite his performance by Mark Wahlberg being poor and hammy, is still a tolerable protagonist.
- Unlike Transformers: Age of Extinction, the filmmakers managed to tone down the product placement and slow-motion sequences.
- Although short, Optimus Prime's fight with Bumblebee is epic.
- There are some funny moments, such as the scene where Crosshairs calls Cogman a "C-3PO rip off", and Cogman replying to him by breaking one of his fingers, and when Bumblebee accidentally gets a female Siri voice.
- "You need a bigger door!"
- While not quite as memorable, the soundtrack is still pretty good by Steve Jablonsky with outside assistance by Klayton (Celldweller).
- Despite looking like a KSI Boss with Shockwave's head, Nitro Zeus became a fan favorite Decepticon.
- Shane and Tess, who were both heavily disliked characters from the previous movie, are nowhere to be seen. Better yet, it was implied that they have broken up by Cade, who was concerned about what kind of guys she might run into at her college. This pleases a lot of fans, especially due to how the fandom reacted about Shane carrying a piece of paper in his wallet to justify himself dating a 17-years-old girl.
- Outside of explosion effects, the visuals are still well done.
Transformers: The Last Knight was critically panned by critics, audiences, and fans alike with criticism focused on its excessive runtime, story, direction, narrative, pacing, performances, lack of character development, script, cinematography, and constant format changes throughout and is considered the worst-reviewed film of the Transformers series as well as one of the worst films of 2017, though the fight scenes, musical score, visuals, and some of the acting received some praise. It was the lowest-rated Transformers film with only a 16% approval rating in Rotten Tomatoes and an average 3.24/10 rating from audiences. The site critic consensus reads, "Cacophonous, thinly plotted, and boasting state-of-the-art special effects, The Last Knight is pretty much what you'd expect from the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 27 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the same score as the second film, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave a 75% overall positive score and a 55% "definite recommend".
Chris Stuckmann gave this movie rating of C-.
Angry Joe gave a 2/10, but they gave to a 4/10, the reason was because this film is kind of good and entertaining, even this movie is bad, that stated "It's so bad, but it's good".
YouTuber Lukimus Prime hates this movie and regards it as the worst Transformers movie of all time, giving it 4/10 in his trash talk review for the movie.
Transformers: The Last Knight was a box office bomb, (unless you count the 1986 animated film The Transformers: The Movie, making TLK the second Transformers movie to bomb), grossing $605.4 million, against a production budget of $217 million with an estimated loss of over $100 million for both Paramount and Hasbro, due to overshadowed competition from Despicable Me 3, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Dunkirk with the latter making the less in worldwide earnings when comparing the five films but Transformers: The Last Knight had the least total in North America.
Due to the failure of the movie, its sequels were cancelled and the franchise was rebooted with Bumblebee.
- During the release of Ambulance, Michael Bay has revealed that he regretted making this film.
- The theatrical version of the end credits for this movie is short, while in the digital releases, they are longer.
- Before the film was released, there were rumors that the film's runtime was 182 minutes, however, Michael Bay denied the claims, stating that it's shorter than the last three movies by a lot.