Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen – Transformers: Age of Extinction) is gone, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg – Patriots Day, Lone Survivor) is in hiding, a wanted man, along with Bumblebee (Erik Aadahl – Godzilla).
The key to saving Earth lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth, and a link back to King Arthur (Liam Garrigan), Merlin (Stanley Tucci – Beauty and the Beast, Mr. Peabody and Sherman) and the Knights of the Round Table. Yes, there is a dragon, and it’s a Transformer, Knight Dragonstorm.
Flash-forward to present times, and we meet young Izabella (Isabela Moner), survivor of the Battle of Chicago, chased by a TRF Walker whilst saving a bunch of kids. As luck would have it, Cade is nearby, and in turn saves her.
So the story moves on, and Cade is taken to grand estate of Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins – Kidnapping Mr. Heineken, Thor: The Dark World), along with Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Guardians of the Galaxy), a professor in English literature. Here more of the story and past is revealed as we learn all about their links to the past, to the knights and the transformers.
There are a lot of characters, and a deep history, to keep track of, so one should keep one’s wits about them, as it gets yet more strange as Cybertron arrives, at the will of Quintessa (Gemma Chan – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit).
Michael Bay (13 Hours, Pain & Gain) redeems himself in this instalment of the franchise based on the children’s toy. But is it enough? This time round, it certainly feels better than Transformers: Age of Extinction. Certainly enhanced by the superior image quality presented in IMAX but the effects are still lead to one momentarily losing sight of who is good and who is bad in a fight, with all the twisting, turning and twirling of a fight between two huge machines.
Transformers: The Last Knight is fine for some escapism, if you don’t mind all the noise, sparkly effects, and a story that seems to be trying hard to keep the franchise alive for “just one more movie”. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. It’s a bunch of fighting machines, and a slightly over-the-top story. If you really want to see machines fight, see Power Rangers. It’s a lot funnier.
Transformers: The Last Knight opens 23 June 2017 in South African cinemas.