Serving up a fresh round of over-the-top thrills, chills and spills while adding unanticipated dramatic brawn, Transformers: The Last Knight re-positions the franchise and moves it in several different directions.
If this instalment is a little less coherent than the previous four, it’s because of the conversion and transformation. But it is still very much a “Transformers” movie, which means mega-tons of excitement and a high-octane, roller-coaster-ride in which director Michael Bay repeatedly sends CGI robots airborne.
The action sequences are outrageously over-the-top, yet they’re delivered in a semi-tongue-in-cheek manner. And although the movie’s real star is the special effects, there are solid performances from a cast including Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and Stanley Tucci.
These are troubled times; humans are at war with the Transformers and, without leaders, chaos reigns. Autobot leader Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) has gone, having returned to Cybertron, where he discovers that to revive the dead planet he must find a powerful relic that has been hidden on Earth.
When Optimus announces, “I fight for my own kind now”, all seems lost for the world. But a brave few souls – including failed inventor Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), British eccentric Sir Edmund Burton (Hopkins), Autobots such as Bumblebee, and a polo-mallet-wielding Oxford Don named Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) – could save the day, as humanity fights back in spectacular fashion.
Does it matter that the movie opens with anachronisms, or that the plot is not plausible in the slightest, or even that the action is over-long? Not at all. It may be cumbersome, but it mostly works.
Ultimately, this breakneck-paced action movie gives fans exactly what they want: high-adrenaline and highly entertaining merriment.
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