The Transformers film franchise is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year by releasing Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth entry in the series. While the robot in disguise's big screen adventures have never been winners in the critical reaction department, commercially they've been enormously successful, and thus the conflict between these versions of the Autobots and the Decepticons continues. Now that the public will soon be able to watch The Last Knight in theaters, the reviews for the movie are trickling in. For those of you who have been hoping that The Last Knight is a vast improvement over the previous four installments, the overall consensus is that you'll probably be disappointed.
Starting off, we have CinemaBlend's own Dirk Libbey, who didn't mince words declaring his feelings about Transformers: The Last Knight, called it "incomprehensible gibberish" and saying that once again, this series places emphasis on visuals over good storytelling. Libbey finished his review with this:
In the end, Transformers: The Last Knight is exactly the movie that you think it is. If you think it's a fun time to watch big screen magic and eat popcorn, it is that. If you think it's a cinematic mess without much point, you are also correct.
Moving on, we go to Owen Gleiberman from Variety, who said that Transformers: The Last Knight is only slightly better than some of the earlier movies because it's the most brutal entry yet. He later said:
Yet part of what's exhausting about the Transformers films is that hectic bland wholesomeness -- the empty energy that can give you a seizure of antic tedium. The Last Knight, by contrast, has the somewhat sexier flavor of impending dystopia, and it's actually, if this can be believed, even more over-the-top than the previous four films. For the first time, the messy hyperactive form and nihilistic crunched-metal content seem to reinforce each other.
Next is Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, who panned The Last Knight, but noted that bad reviews are unlikely to dissuade the hardcore Transformers fans from seeing the movie. In his words:
And while there's no shortage of large-scale set pieces, the storyline provides so many opportunities for attempts at droll humor, most of it involving Hopkins' dotty character, that the proceedings start to resemble drawing-room comedy. It's all an overstuffed mess, but that was true of the previous entries as well, and audiences obviously don't seem to mind.
The Wrap's Alonso Duralde was slightly kinder to Transformers: The Last Knight, criticizing the story, but also commending some of its action sequences. Duralde summarized:
For non-fans, there's no explaining how this series got to a fifth installment, but if you're one of those audiences that has eagerly forked over your cash four times before, Paramount and Hasbro thank you, and they've served up another hasenpfeffer of loud, disjointed confusion for you in Transformers: The Last Knight.
Gav Murphy from IGN took issue with the plot (seems to be a common complaint) and the inconsistency of the main characters' behavior. Murphy capped off his review saying:
A recycled plot told through an overly on-the-nose script, read by a confusing parade of characters, and muddled action scenes does nothing to justify its epic length.
Monster metal, mass destruction, Anthony Hopkins saying "dude." This is your brain on Michael Bay--a cortex scramble so amped on pyro and noise and brawling cyborgs it can only process what's happening on screen in onomatopoeia: Clang! Pew-pew! Kablooey! (Which, to be fair, does cover about 80 percent of the script.)
Finally, Ariel Scotti over at New York Daily News was kinder to the movie, noting it does have strengths in action and its humor.
One of this franchise's strengths is that it manages to balance high-stakes action and explosions with gusts of humor. The rescue of Earth and mankind comes with jokes and treats for all audiences to enjoy.
These are just some of the Transformers: The Last Knight reviews circulating, but it sounds like if you've enjoyed the other four Transformers movies, you'll get everything you want from this fifth installment. If you haven't been enjoying the series, you might want to spend your dollars on another movie, because The Last Knight is even more bombastic and loud than its predecessors.
Transformers: The Last Knight is kicking off theatrical screenings tonight. The franchise will continue with the Bumblebee spinoff on June 8, 2018, and Transformers 6 will be released on June 28, 2019.