I believe our greediness is killing this Earth, and Transformers: The Last Knight affirms that belief. Michael Bay’s obsession with creating the perfect movie-as-music-video reaches its absolute nadir here. This is not a big summer popcorn flick; it’s the ultimate waste of time, money, resources and air. I’m not one to pull the “starving kids in Africa” heart-tug, but for the price of this garbage ($217 million), Paramount easily could’ve provided a livelihood to fund a small country for a time being. Instead, they blew stuff up real good.

    But you, dear reader, probably this wasn’t going to be a “good” film. You sat through the three-hours of casual racism and annoying characters that defined previous Transformers movies. No one goes to them expecting a good story, even though the first installment, which was ten years ago, provided one.  What’s new is how fundamentally incomprehensible the plot is, along with how technically horrible Bay’s directing job is here.

    The movie drops us right into the action, perhaps a little too quickly. A lengthy backdrop explaining the Transformers’ origin (again) occurs; this time it’s Anthony Hopkins explaining how the robots were allies of King Arthur. In-between a would-be stirring speech from his Highness encouraging his men to never give up, Merlin (Stanley Tucci, in a role completely different from the one he had in Transformers: Age of Extinction), gets drunk while riding his horse. That’s about as funny as you can imagine.

    Which is to say not funny at all. There’s a disturbing amount of moments like that in The Last Knight, and I can’t even hate them all. Bay’s attempts to poke fun at himself (critiquing racist jokes) and summer blockbuster excess land with a thud; seeing it fail over and over again is like watching a stand-up comic bomb on stage and refuse to leave. Bay thinks joking about how much his movies suck shields him from the criticism; it doesn’t  when you do the exact same thing you make fun of. After a while, I just felt sorry for these attempts at jokes. SAD!

    Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg, phoning it in) is on the run from the government, hiding out with the Transformers in a junk yard. Optimus Prime has been adrift in space, searching for his creator. Without their robot leader, none of the good guys know what to do. 

    But Megatron is still out there, even after being killed in every single previous movie, raising hell. He gets the government to release his friends, and they try to take over Earth. Meanwhile, Optimus lands on his old planet Cyberton and is turned evil by robot queen Quintessa, and goes back to Earth to destroy it. YAWN.

    That’s about all I could get out of the plot folks. Not because I’m stupid (I’d like to think I’m not), but because going into the finer details of it will drive me insane. Why is Wahlberg, a small human, now possessing a robot arm to help him fight Transformers? Why is the government hunting Bumblebee and Cade, but then spend the whole movie following them around without doing anything? How does new female lead Vivian (Laura Haddock) change clothes in a submarine, when she never brought a new pair? Who thought that Cade and Vivian, with their constant bickering, would make a good romantic couple? Why introduce a young, spunky newcomer (Isabela Moner), only to sideline her for the rest of the film? It was my birthday when I saw this, I didn’t want to ruin my mood by comprehending it.

    Bay has also introduced a new form of horrible technical filmmaking that I’ve never seen. He’ll shoot one part of a scene wide-screen, then literally the next shot is done in full screen. If you watch closely it will make you want to bang your head against the wall. It’s filmmaking epilepsy. Don’t even get me started on Bay’s editing, which now makes bigger jumps that a pole vaulter. Don’t even bother trying to follow it.

    I could tell this was the worst film of the year five minutes into it. It’s not just because the story is terrible or the tone of the movie is cheesy; that can be entertaining if done right. It’s all that plus one of the worst directing jobs I’ve ever seen. Bay’s id runs unchecked like a shopaholic with a credit card, running up the studio’s bill with enough explosions to make you feel like you’re personally being blown out of your theater seat.

    This needs to be the death of something. Whether it’s franchise films in general, over-long summer movies or Michael Bay’s career, I don’t know what. This is like when somebody that works in a restaurant forgets to wash their hands and starts a disease outbreak that kills someone. Except in this case, the sickness has run rampant through each Transformers sequel, making the formerly fresh action stale and killing everything we used to like about the first movie.

    But I know that rigor mortis is setting in on Optimus Prime and company; it might be time just to let them die. 

    Like I said earlier, I saw this garbage on my birthday with my girlfriend. She didn't want to see it, and I don’t know why I did. I never thought it’d happen, but somehow I got the worst movie of the year on a day of celebration. Then again, as Blink-182 once said, nobody likes you when you’re 23.

Published by Jagger Czajka