The latest Transformers movie, Transformers: The Last Knight, gets the dubious distinction of being the worst in the series.
That is some sort of major accomplishment. It's not the easiest thing in the world to look at this collective pile of movie manure and decipher which of the five is the worst. It's like going to a frat house the first week of a semester at Dickhead University and trying to pick out the dumbest, drunkest douche in the place. All of the qualifiers are terribly, criminally lame.
I'm giving Transformers: The Last Knight the award of franchise worst because it's just so clear how every participant in this enterprise, from director Michael Bay right on down to the production assistant who smeared glycerin on Mark Wahlberg's pecs, is jaded, tired and played out. Nobody really wants to be in this thing. The stink of "Who gives a shit... just pay me!" hits your nostrils with Wahlberg's first line delivery.
Yes, Wahlberg, who has the honor of essentially being Shia LaBeouf's stand-in for the series, returns for his second go round, and he looks embarrassed. He should be embarrassed. He's publicly declared that this is his last Transformers movie, with his performance and demeanor indicating he checked out the day cameras rolled on this mayhem. You just get the sense of a guy who is mocking the whole thing.
Also along for the ride, the formerly acclaimed Mr. Anthony Hopkins, acting all nutty like he did in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, with the big difference being that this is a Michael Bay film as opposed to a Coppola film. So, acting all nutty in a Michael Bay film gives off the impression that you have just given up and thrown any kind of reasonability to the wind with your line deliveries.
I can't pretend to tell you what happens in this flick. I know Optimus Prime was floating towards his home planet all frozen and shit, and he gets sucked into some sort of scheme to betray his race and all humans. His part is kind of like Vin Diesel's in the last Fast & Furious movie, that of the pawn in somebody else's evil scheme who probably won't go rogue for the entire film. The big difference here is that Optimus Prime doesn't get to mush his mouth all over Charlize Theron and, it goes without saying, Optimus Prime has a greater acting range than Vin Diesel.
The best part of this movie is when Hopkins inexplicably goes to Stonehenge to witness a robot battle then gets blown up, leading to the silliest death scene ever. Yep, I just issued a spoiler. Anthony Hopkins dies hilariously in this movie. I hope this spoiler pisses you off so much that you don't go to the movie. Be mad at me for the next 10 years, but I know I did you a favor.
Other folks who show up include John Turturro, whose, "I'm in a Transformers movie but it's OK because I've sold out in an unorthodox, hip sort of way!" shtick got tired four films ago, and the voices of John Goodman and Steve Buscemi. That's actually three quarters of a The Big Lebowski reunion. I'm surprised they didn't throw some money at Jeff Bridges to deliver a few lines. That would've been the most novel thing in the movie. Eh, they probably needed the cash for Mark Wahlberg's tanning and body hair removal bills.
Transformers: The Last Knight plays like a Worst-of Michael Bay sizzle reel. It's two and a half hours of things smashing into each other in fast-cut fashion, accompanied by bombastic music and lots of crane and slow-mo shots. In other words, it's exactly what we've come to expect at this point.
Picking a time to go see a Transformers movie is like picking a time to have dysentery. Protect yourself, and your innards, by choosing to do something better for your health, like punching yourself in the face until your eyes pop out and your nose falls off. ■