Everybody by now knows what to expect from a Transformers film. It seemed to the world that Michael Bay’s film style was secretly hidden from the public eye, we got a taste of it in his earlier works including but not limited to Armageddon and The Rock. In 2007, the first Transformers brought his film style from out of the shadows and into the households of families. He has become a director who people love to hate, hate to love and to the majority of critics, love to really hate. I remembered this before seeing The Last Knight so I could pass a fair judgement, but left with just a judgement.
After Dark of the Moon, Michael Bay wanted to end the Transformers franchise then and there, but money got the better of him and after that his inability to respect the audience who wanted more grew until it was visible to everyone. You can see this is The Last Knight as the aspect ratio changes so much it becomes almost impossible to stay invested in the story, even the camera work is inconsistent with a couple of scenes filmed with such a small aperture you get these little black circles (the lens hood) in the corner of the frame. This results in us, the audience, constantly update ourselves to how much of the frame we can see, it’s like a mini mental workout. Not only that, through lighting, Transformers: The Last Knight has managed to make golden hour lighting look cheap. In typical Bay fashion, the lighting and exposure is turned all the way up which to be expected but the inconsistencies where one moment the lighting is heavy and the next soft happens throughout the film, especially during the finale.
The Last Knight’s lazy filmmaking is admittedly sad to see, something I never thought I’d be saying about Michael Bay as he seems to throw his directing talent aside for odd pieces of dialogue that have a go at being funny but fall flat. Speaking of which you know that Transformers was never about fan satisfaction as it even starts to have a go at laughing at its own mishaps. Michael Bay seems to think that being self-aware and highlighting the stupidity of film itself is enough to make an audience laugh and therefore is good comedy, but the humour has about as much charm as a bunch of rotting flowers.
The world of Transformers is so muddled up that the viewer can’t even be invested in the possibilities of this future world. In order to allow incredible CGI structures and machines, the world needs to establish the high levels of danger the world faces in order for such spacecrafts or machines to exist. America is at war with the transformer race where Autobots and Decepticons are hunted, however when the characters travel to the UK everything seems perfectly normal, you have people travelling around, you even get a scene of Vivian playing polo. We’re just expected to accept this very contradictory detail that raises a hell of a lot of questions about the film.
How can we not talk about the explosions, the action and why over the last 10 years, Transformers has repeatedly forgotten what makes a gripping action sequence. The fact I mentioned explosions before action should have told you everything. Michael Bay is very good as directing massive battles with people, not CGI robots, but we get so blindsided by the size of explosions it draws our attention away for the people partaking in said battle. If you watch the introduction to The Last Knight very carefully, the focus isn’t on the battle at all but on how to make the battle feel more epic. The explosions take centre screen whilst the medieval knights who are doing all the actual fighting are framed in the lower half of the screen.
Is there anything good you can say at all about The Last Knight, only one thing. You see, while some of the Michael Bay auteur elements remain, there is a great deal more that have been taken out of the film such as the obvious product placement and even racial stereotyping of characters has dumbed down due to the political correct nature of society today. The makers of this film have learned their lesson from what made Age of Extinction a big failure in terms of how well these films perform. But that it, that’s it’s only redeeming feature, the complete inability to satisfy viewers demands shoves The Last Knight into the money grinding machine of Hollywood as once again the American film industry can maintain profits by slapping a brand onto a film, that’s all Transformers is, just a giant brand that exploits people’s need for cheap entertainment.
I have no doubt that Michael Bay can become a very talented director, he’s proved it with his early work, but he now has the reputation of being “the director of those Transformers films” but ask yourself does he really care. The Transformers franchise is nearing a 4 billion box office figure overall, it’s not about director’s legacy anymore, it’s about making money and this will continue for a long time now as the film series has a reported fourteen completed stories for potential films, with the critical reception that The Last Knight has received, it’s some people’s idea of hell.
Final Result: 1/10 – Dreadful
Have you seen Transformers: The Last Knight? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: All Eyez on Me