One thing you can say positive about Michael Bay as a director is the guy is persistent in the face of adversity concerning the Transformers franchise. When fans and critics complained that the story was weak in the 2007 series starter, he made the plot even dumber in films to follow. When some viewers deemed the Autobot Jazz as bordering the line of racial insensitivity, he gave us Skids and Mudflap in Revenge of the Fallen. Bay objectified Megan Fox and briefly Rosie Alice Huntington-Whiteley and got even creepier playing up his slow motion sexy shots of actress Nicola Peltz portraying the 17-year-old daughter of Mark Wahlberg's inventor Cade Yeager in Age of Extinction. This same steadfast awful approach is in full effect again in Transformers: The Last Knight, which is Bay's last big muddled hoorah in the director's chair for this franchise.
Once again these beloved Autobots and Decepticons are given the Bay treatment in the worst way possible for his last run at the helm in Transformers: The Last Knight. The audience is subjected to a silly story involving the Knights of the Roundtable, Merlin's staff and Cybertron crashing into Earth. Bay is known for rehashing scenes from previous Transformers films lazily inserting them into new installments, but this time he rehashes his own actors with Age of Extinction's Stanley Tucci playing Merlin this time around. Bay also has Liam Garrigan who played King Arthur on ABC's Once Upon a Time portraying who else, but King Arthur in Transformers: The Last Knight. The same amount of loud noises and spark filled explosions are back as well to go along with this incoherent mess that assumes the audience is too distracted by the shiny robots to notice the lackadaisical writing and casting.
Transformers: The Last Knight also plays like an episode of Michael Bay's favorite things. The director blatantly rips off other films including his version of a Transformers dragon that looks exactly like King Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise. A space ship rises out of the ocean which resembles the ending of The Abyss and at one point a young teen boy asks his friends if they want to go see a dead Transformer à la Stand By Me and Boyz in the Hood. Terrible dialogue, a plot with no direction and slapping cultural stereotypes on his robots have always been staples of Bay's work, but this concept of stealing ideas from other others movies is a new evolution for the director.
The Transformers franchise may have been past the point of saving in The Last Knight, yet there were glimpses of an entertaining film hiding out in the clutter. The idea of the Transformers as fugitives on the run could have been a darker and more serious take on the bots, but Bay goes all Bay inserting his brand of humor and stupid into the project. Has anyone ever told Michael Bay how bad the jokes are in Transformers? Anyone? Paramount? Spielberg? Oh who are we kidding, Steven is cashing all those checks from the international ticket sales from the last Transformers film. Bay is like the wild kid at the birthday party as Transformers director. Everyone just assumes he will wear himself out sooner or later, but he never does making a mess of everything. If this is truly the last outing for Bay as director of the franchise, he goes out the only way he knows how with a big brainless outing that will always have fans wondering what could have been if someone else was in charge.
Overall, I give Transformers: The Last Knight 0.5 out of 4 stars.
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