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Transformers: The Last Knight  : Spectacularly Empty
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Friday, June 30, 2017
Michael Bay
Isabela Moner, Jerrod Carmichael, Liam Garrigan, Martin McCreadie, John Turturro

In the 5th outing of the franchise, director Michael Bay steps out, all guns blazing, to make the most of the $217 million budget at his disposal. But after nearly two-and-a-half hours of transformers clashing, the one proverb that ran through my head was about empty vessels making the most noise.If I’ve to sum up the storyline of this overlong film in one line, it’s save the world time once again, ho hum.


Good guy Optimus Prime, has gone bad and set course to destroy Earth. It’s the only way his own beloved world Cybertron can be restored to its former glory. There’s a magical staff somewhere on earth, he must find it and bring it to wicked Quintessa who’ll save Cybertron.


Down here on earth, inventor Cade lives under-the-radar wherethegood transformers lie in his junkyard disguised as swank cars. He’s got a magical talisman gifted to him by a dying transformer. But he’s human and Hollywood is high on family. So there’s a flesh-n-blood daughter he has a long distance relationship with and Isabelle, a 14-year-old orphan kinda becomes family too.


However, Michael Bay is so busy hurtling himself through characters and places that emotional touches remain hurried strokes without substance.


In Britain, sophisticated single woman and Oxford professor Vivian has her mom and her kitty party friends go, ‘Vivian, isn’t there a man in your life? Why on earth would we want to discuss your work?’ When she brings Cade from Texas into the house for a mission, the women perk up and that’s rather cute.


Quirky Sir Edmund Burton played by Anthony Hopkins is the man who brings Cade and Vivian together for the task they were born for. It turns out Vivian is the last descendant of magician Merlin, the only earthly connection to the staff and Cade’s the last knight. Inevitably, the initial coldness between American Cade and British Vivian leads to a spark which too, doesn’t get the screen time to grow.Perhaps that’s being saved for the next instalment.


There are one-liners and little moments that do provide amusement amidst the chaos. Like Sir Burton telling Cogman his butler, “If you had a neck, I’d strangle you.” But one-liners and special effects do not make an engrossing movie.


After an overextended series of clashes, Michael Bay says goodbye with a door left open to keep the franchise going for another save-the-earth mission. But watching Mark Wahlberg and Laura Haddock getting together in the next edition and the return of Optimus will be something to look forward to.  


For a film that leaves you feeling you’ve just spent Diwali night with a bagful of damp firecrackers, Transformers: The Last Knight gets a 2.5* rating. 


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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