Transformers: The Last Knight Review
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In 2007, director Michael Bay took a popular cartoon series and toy line and turned it into a big, noisy, and remarkably lucrative summer blockbuster franchise. And with the fifth film in the Transformers series, Transformers: The Last Knight, he continues to expand an already overcrowded franchise with more robot history and folklore.

Transformers: The Last Knight finds humans battling against the Transformers, who continue to find their way to Earth. Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yaeger is one of the robots’ only allies, keeping them hidden and protected in a junk yard in the Badlands.

Meanwhile, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) returns to his dying home planet of Cybertron in search of answers. And in order to rescue Cybertron, he must return to Earth and search for an important artifact from the Transformers’ long and storied history on the planet.

With each new installment in the Transformers franchise, it seems to get bigger, crazier, and more needlessly complex, tacking on more characters, more plotlines, and more backstory. This time, Bay begins the story 1600 years ago, during the age of King Arthur, when Transformers helped idiotic trickster Merlin (Stanley Tucci) control an enormous robotic dragon that helped bring an end to a devastating war. And it just gets messier and more complicated from there.

Really, though, after a decade of Transformers movies, it’s hard to come up with new things to say about each new release—because they’re basically more of the same. After all, while the story may follow some kind of progression from one installment to the next, it’s so crazy and complex that it’s best not to try to make sense of it all. There’s simply no point. And, honestly, the story doesn’t really matter; Bay’s just in it for the sophomoric one-liners and the massive robot action.

Sadly, however, the film thinks it’s a whole lot funnier than it really is—and the massive robot action is so massive that it ends up feeling tedious and repetitive. Sure, explosions and robot battles can be pretty cool. But after a few too many unnecessary explosions and a handful of action sequences that seem to go on forever, it crosses the line from big and exciting to overdone and exhausting.

The only bright spot here is Wahlberg, who continues to have fun with the insanity of it all, gleefully stepping into some kind of goofy Saturday Night Live persona as he returns to battle. But he’s not nearly enough to make this robotic monstrosity worth two and a half hours of your time.

Transformers: The Last Knight is once again over the top and messy, overstuffed with corny jokes and action sequences. But, really, there’s nothing new here. So if you’re really in the mood for a Transformers movie, you can just as well save your money and rewatch one of the earlier installments instead.

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