Thursday, January 25, 2018

Last Knight First Right

There are a couple of franchises that seem determined to only release films when I am off the continent.

Considering how infrequently I travel, this is an amazing achievement.

Transformers: The Last Knight came out last summer while I was in Peru, causing me to miss another one of these in the theater.  That’s a shame as after five tries, they finally got the humor right in this one.

For a change, the comic relief moments did not feel like painfully forced sections that needed to be endured before returning to the awesomeness of giant robots beating the crap out of each other.

Granted, this is not a high mark of intellectual film making, but by the fifth go around, people need to stop expecting that.

Michael Bay is excellent at a few things:

         1)     Showing over the top explosion filled spectacle
         2)     Treating the locations and individuals respectfully enough to gain access to military hardware, and government locations that no one else has filmed (for example- Stonehenge, or the actual front door of 10 Downing street, with the real guards,)
         3)     Providing an enjoyable set so that high caliber actors show up in these over the top explosion filled spectacles.

Number three was highlighted by Sir Anthony Hopkins, amplifying his “loopy old guy” portrayal reminiscent of his Van Helsing to levels of goofiness never before seen.  The greatest comedy moments in the film come from a combination of him, and Jim Carter playing a psychopathic, robotic version of his Mr. Carson role.

Personal note- appropriately, every time I looked up Mr. Carter, I found myself thinking, “Haven't we met before, monsiuer?

Ignoring most of previous continuity for awesomeness sake, Last Knight gives us evidence of Transformers existing throughout time, including some thoroughly insane moments during World War II and the age of Camelot.

Hey, the cartoon put a Decepticon in King Arthur’s court, why not have Excalibur be a Cybertronian artifact?

Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are back as Optimus Prime and Megatron.  Bumblebee is still the point of contact for the universe.
John Goodman as Hound and the rest of the cool Autobots are back from the last film.  There’s a bunch of new, crazy psycho Decepticons, plus the long awaited return of Barricade! 
There’s even the Bayverse version of the techno organic creators, the Quintesons in this planet smashing adventure.

And, Hot Rod shows up with a time stopping gun that defies the laws of physics even in this wacky universe, speaking with an outrageous French accent for no reason!

On the human side, there are some old faces from across the franchise,
including the triumphant return of Josh Dunhamel as Lennox, plus some new and fun faces. Mark Wahlberg works well as the anchor again, and Laura Haddock brings acting skill, comic timing and emotional range, along with kinda looking like a British Megan Fox.  Bay keeps them in focus as needed, and Izabella and Sqweeks gives a return to the “Kid and their robot” dynamic that worked in the first film. 

But it’s really about the giant robots beating the crap out of each other, as it should be!

There’s giant combiners on each side, minus any embarrassing wrecking ball anatomy jokes this time.

We get the giant horned Infernocus, whose comeuppance is one of Optimus’s greatest moments.

And on the other side, the Cybertronian Knights of Iacon who inspired the Knights of the Round Table, and merge into what is basically Robot Ghidorah!

Because- Woo!

The Dinobots get to make an impressive stand mid film, but are absent from the planet crashing finale.

Because they can’t fly?  That works.

And the baby Dinobots add fun, mirth and mayhem to a few scenes because…

Honestly, who cares at this point?

Did I mention giant robots beating the crap out of each other?


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