If you read my article last month or you just know cool stuff, then you’re very aware that this summer marks a 10 year anniversary of sorts for the Michael Bay led Transformers film series and in one month we get his latest, and rumored last, effort with Transformers: The Last Knight. Here’s the latest trailer…
The franchise is passing the torch in a sense as newbies Art Marcum and Ken Nolan have been brought on to see this franchise forward and Michael Bay has passed the directors chair to Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings). While Bay hasn’t ruled out a return down the road, the franchise could use a facelift and Knight could be the guy to do it. In the meantime we’re looking at more of the same “Bayhem” with The Last Knight upping the bill to a series high $260 million in production costs.
Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel (among others) are back this time with newcomers Anthony Hopkins, Isabella Moner and Gemma Chan leading a story straight out of…well…previous Transformers movies…
“Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.”
Yeah, sounds familiar, but if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it; and when it comes to box office returns, this franchise shows no signs of being broke…no pun intended. One thing they do try to do each time is throw in some new Transformers for us to marvel at, and this time they’ve added some classics from our youth.
Everyone’s favorite “not Optimus Prime” Autobot Hot Rod is in the fray now except instead of a Dome Zero he’s a Lamborghini and has a French accent for some reason. Not to be outdone by Star Wars and cute little robots, Sqweeks is a transforming Vespa scooter who is Isabella Moner’s faithful companion.
On the Decepticon side, Megatron is back and in another nod to the 1984 film, his design this time around pays homage to his lieutenant Cyclonus by having horns on his helmet and transforming into a Cybertronian shuttle jet.
But the main baddie this time will have a familiar name to G1 fans, but with a twist. Quintessa this time around is the name of an actual being rather the name of the home planet of the Quintessons. In this movie, she’s playing the role of “mother” or “creator” of the Transformers and is controlling Optimus Prime either through manipulation or direct influence for nefarious reasons. We just don’t know exactly why yet.
There’s also mini-dinobots, a three headed dragon, a wyvern and even a submarine Transformer just for kicks….whew.
The title, “The Last Knight” is partially referencing the history that humanity and Transformers shared during medieval times when King Arthur was boss and Merlin provided overseer duties. Oxford professor of English Literature Edmond Burton (Hopkins), Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) and Bumblebee work together to try and save their world and try to uncover the secrets of why the Transformers keep coming back to Earth and their relationship with Arthur and Merlin. Along the way they meet Isabella Moner’s character “Izabella” (really?) and her companion robot Sqweeks. Her character is being described as…
“A street-smart tomboy who grew up an orphan and was raised in foster care. She counts a small Transformer as her only friend…”
Meanwhile, Optimus Prime has returned to his home planet, Cybertron, now a dead planet, in which he comes to find he was responsible for killing. He finds a way to bring the planet back to life, but in order to do so, he needs to find an artifact, which is on Earth (Excalibur?). This is where Quintessa enters the picture and turns Optimus Prime into her minion. This is a bit of a nod to the Dark Awakening storyline (1986), where the Quintessons reprogrammed Optimus Prime to do their bidding.
As mentioned, Bumblebee is left on earth to lead the charge against humanity and Decepticons with the remaining Autobots and friendly humans so expect his role to be a vital one as his spinoff is next (2018) so they’ll want to end things on a high note with him.
You can also expect lots of big explosive action sequences involving Earth’s military, lots of camp and bravado from Wahlberg, maniacal comedic relief from a returning John Turturro (Agent Simmons) and plenty of musical overtures, lens flares and sunsets…all from Bay’s bag of tricks.
So that’s basically it…in one month this movie will make lots and lots of money, purists will hate it and life will go on. Growing up playing with Transformer toys, reading Transformers comics and obsessively watching the movie infinite amounts of time, there’s a part of me that’s happy these are being made. I just wish somebody else had been at the helm and the films had a little more heart and soul.
Till next time…