Transformers: The Last Knight


Two days ago I went to see Transformers: The Last Knight. I’m still not sure that my brain has entirely recovered from the onslaught. So, here are a few of my scattered thoughts on the experience. Some could be seen as spoilerish, if… well, yes.

It was probably the best of the Transformers sequels. Make of that what you will.

Age of Extinction introduced the Dinobots. The Last Knight gives us baby Dinobots. This raises questions about reproduction.

An early sequence includes a Decepticon Suicide Squad. Member names include Mohawk, Dreadbot and Nitro Zeus.

Anthony Hopkins is given a role that consists of alternating between “tweedy, genteel Englishman” and “overexcited frat-boy” (the latter mode being, of course, the default for most of the male characters in this series). He is the most entertaining part of the whole film.

There’s a scene of people playing polo outside an English country house. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a Michael Bay-directed scene of people playing polo outside an English country house.

King Arthur had Transformers on his side. This seems to have been inspired by the cartoon episode where the Transformers go back in time to Camelot.

It turns out that a secret society containing various historical figures has been associating with Transformers over the centuries. Notable members include Winston Churchill (who recruited the Autobots as secret weapons), Nikola Tesla (who presumably reverse-engineered their technology for his inventions), William Shakespeare (who… erm… hired them to write his plays, I guess?) and Harriet Tubman (who… hmm, not sure there.)

We see a family tree showing the descendents of Merlin. Amongst them is Shia LaBeouf. We are then told that Laura Haddock is the last surviving descendant of Merlin on Earth. So, unless you want to indulge a fan theory about Shia LaBeouf being on Mars or something, it looks like he’s been quietly killed off between films. Just goes to show how disposable these things are.

Similarly, the film implies that Stephen Hawking is dead. Seems a bit rude.

Megatron gets trotted out to act as secondary antagonist. Again. And yes, the fact that he became Galvatron in the previous film is ignored.

Optimus Prime falls under mind control and is turned evil against his will. When he recovers, the Arthurian Transformers decide to execute him, and he submits. But then the execution is called off when Laura Haddock shows everyone that she’s got Merlin’s staff. Not sure I trust these guys with Earth’s protection – their judicial system seems pretty arbitrary.

On a visual level, the climactic sequence amongst the blown-apart fragments of Cybertron – which are slowly crashing into Earth – is pretty damn good.

The Autobots defeat the villainess by shooting her in the back. This continues the trend of the films’ heroes dispatching major villains in weirdly unsporting manners: see also Optimus Prime blasting the incapacitated Sentinel in Dark of the Moon, and Age of Extinction‘s somewhat mismatched fight between Prime and Kelsey Grammer.

I’m genuinely interested in the upcoming spin-off by Kubo and the Two Strings director Travis Knight.

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