Transformers returns to our screens for its fifth instalment in the franchise, which is already itself an achievement. Michael Bay also returns as Director for this instalment and once again proves to us he knows how to bring the explosively chaotic action.
The plot is as follows, Humans and Transformers are at war. Transformers are being hunted down and eliminated. Optimus Prime left earth to go find his creator. Then suddenly Cybertron appears to be heading towards Earth with the intention of destroying it. The key to saving the world lies buried in secrets of the past, in the history of the Transformers and the reasons why they keep coming to earth. The world must be saved by an unlikely team consisting of Cade Yeager (Mark Walberg), a Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins), an Oxford professor (Laura Haddock) and of course Bumblebee and the remaining Autobots.
So as already mentioned it is great to have Mark Wahlberg returning for the second time bringing lots of charisma and humour to his character. But also returning for this movie is Josh Duhamel as Colonel William Lennox and John Turturro as Simmons. It’s great to see they decided to bring back characters from the previous films as it enriches the Transformers series. That’s one of the strong points of this film in particular as they decided to make a lot of references to previous films and tie it all together. Even with a slight mention to Shia LaBeouf (Sam Witwicky) who featured in the first three films. Don’t panic the fan favourite Transformers also return in this film such as Optimus Prime. Bumblebee, Grimlock, Barricade and even the ominous Megatron.
Now while it is great to see some familiar faces, I can’t help but talk about how brilliant some of the new additions to the team were. Isabela Moner who plays Izabella proves herself as a young girl who can defend herself and even fight off the robots without any need for assistance. Laura Haddock who plays Vivian Wembley is the most counter opposite to Cade which provides the film with a lot of humour, but she also becomes quite the hero as the film progresses. Now, this may come as quite a shock to a lot of you as it did for me, but Sir Anthony Hopkins is one of the greatest parts of this film. When I first heard of his casting, I couldn’t believe it. I told myself there is no possible way it was going to work but I was so wrong. He performs his role with such charm and charisma that every moment he appeared on screen was wonderful and that made his humorous moments work so elegantly. What makes his role even better, is that they partnered him up with Cogman. Cogman is the equivalent of a Transformer butler to Sir Anthony Hopkins and while at times Cogman seems like the stereotypical British butler such as Alfred Pennyworth, he has a lot of sociopathic tendencies which again provides the film with a lot of humorous moments.
As has been the case with the previous films the action kicks in from the very beginning and Michael Bay shows us he knows to create incredible action sequences throughout the film. They may seem over the top, but Transformers has to come to be known as just an entertaining film so why not let it be that way. It’s chaotic but in a fun and great way. For example, seeing Bumblebee getting shot apart and then piecing himself together is mind-blowing. It’s filmed using IMAX cameras and that’s why I believe if you can, you need to see it in an IMAX theatre to truly appreciate the action. Especially in some of the film’s most powerful moments including the fight between Optimus Prime and Bumblebee.
My only real problems with this film are that they tend to slip on the balance between showing the humans and showing off the Transformers. At times I feel like I’m watching a film that just happens to have giant robots in it rather than a film that is supposed to based on these giant robots. It would be tricky to do for several reasons but if they were to do a film that featured just Transformers, I think it could really work and be something special. They tease a lot of past relationships in this film and those hints suggest maybe one day we will see the war for Cybertron that created this everlasting feud between Optimus and Megatron.
I believe that if you have enjoyed the franchise up to this point, then there is no way you wouldn’t enjoy this film as well. Its blend of history, myths and legends help the film create an interesting take on the Transformer series and helps enrich the previous films in the series. But even if you haven’t been a huge fan, you should check it out just for seeing Sir Anthony Hopkins in a Transformer’s film.
Transformers: The Last Knight is released in the UK on Thursday the 22nd June