Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight

Following the release and success of Age of Extinction, an effort has been made to turn the Transformers Live-Action Film Series into a Cinematic Universe as a way to cash-in on the recent trend to emulate the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This includes releasing a new Transformers film every year, or at least for the next three years, starting with the fifth installment, subtitled The Last Knight. In my anticipation to see this movie after enjoying the previous installment, I was able to view an early screening at AMC in 3D IMAX, in what was called the Optimus Prime Time event, in which attendees to the screening also received a free T-shirt and lanyard commemorating the event. While the movie certainly has flaws, I still enjoyed the movie, which I see as a good sign for the new direction of the Transformers Live-Action Film Series going forward.

In medieval England, the Knights of the Round Table are struggling in an epic battle, prompting the wizard Merlin (Stanley Tucci) to summon the aid of the Knights of Iacon, whose existence he had previously kept secret. In the present day, the world has fallen into chaos in the wake of Optimus Prime’s departure at the end of Age of Extinction, with Transformers being hunted down by a new group called the TRF. Meanwhile, on Cybertron, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) has met his maker, Quintessa (Gemma Chan), who subsequently brainwashes him, now under the name Nemesis Prime, into carrying out her plan to restore Cybertron at the cost of Earth.

The plot of the movie is generally easy to follow, although I will admit that the plethora of new characters introduced may muddy things for some people, as it now gives them more things to keep track of. That said, the movie seems to have embraced going in a sillier direction where it does not take itself so seriously, which I think will help the new Cinematic Universe in the long run. Though there is plenty of humor and well-spaced action scenes, a lot of the humor comes from an increase in cursing and rude gestures, however these things are not new to this continuity. On the subject of continuity, there are plenty of call-backs not only to previous installments in the Live-Action Film Series, but also to a number of things previously established in the Transformers mythos.

The visual effects are spectacular as always, especially in 3D, with each robot designed in a way to help them stand out, such as bright colors and more streamlined designs. There are, however, still a good amount of moving mechanical parts to provide some solid eye candy for those looking for it. The acting is also good, with some voice actors providing multiple roles in a way that still sound unique from each other. A couple stand-outs include Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime (as always) and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmond Burton, the latter of which provides a good source of humor and helps tie the story to its medieval theme.

Transformers: The Last Knight is an excellent installment in the Transformers Live-Action Film Series and a great celebration of the series' 10th anniversary. The story manages to make great use of its medieval theme, though, while not a complicated plot, there’s evidently at least a couple of retcons to try and make it work and the huge number of new characters can make some viewers not follow the fight scenes as easily. Still, this movie proves to be a step in the right direction for the new Cinematic Universe and is easily a must-see for both Transformers fans and fans of the Live-Action Film Series in particular.

No comments:

Post a Comment