Updated June 24, 2017
Posted June 24, 2017
Optimus Prime in “Transformers: The Last Knight.” (Courtesy photo | Paramount Pictures/Bay Films)
By John Serba | [email protected]
Madness. Pure madness. “Transformers: The Last Knight” appears to have been conceptualized and composed while in the heated throes of delusional mania, sweat pouring off the faces and down the backs and into a greasy puddle at the feet of its five screenwriters, six editors, 11 art directors, 14 producers, 18 assistant directors and 400 thousand million visual effects artists, all of whom surely felt the whips of director-king Michael Bay as he bellowed his orders: “LOUDER! HARDER! FASTER! MORE! MORE! MORE!”
And yet, it’s a stupefyingly boring movie, its gonzo intentions eclipsed by its relentless cynicism. “The Last Knight” is the fifth of the giant-robot films under Bay’s lordship, and it reportedly will be his last, although the franchise will rumble on without its notoriously tone-deaf dictator. Hooray for us?
Bay’s creative step forward is shooting the film entirely with IMAX cameras, but it doesn’t matter. You can’t admire its technical achievements, because it’s so aggressively edited – when characters aren’t stomping all over each other during endless fights, they’re stepping all over each other’s dialogue, like a lobotomized Robert Altman production. The film is such a disjointed affair, it plays as if its six (I’ll emphasize again: six!) editors never spoke to each other.
Mark Wahlberg in “Transformers: The Last Knight.” (Courtesy photo | Paramount Pictures/Bay Films)
Having endured the hurricane-force obnoxiousness of all five films, I am no longer surprised or appalled by their visual and narrative incoherence. They are at the very least consistent, and my praise stops there, because these movies surely aspire to achieve the very least.