Review ‘Transformers-The Last Knight’ : not a complete write-off

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This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, foreground, in a scene from, ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

Long and noisy, the movie is not a complete write-off thanks to some sly humour

Yes, Transformers: The Last Knight with a run time of 149 (gasp) minutes is long. Being a Michael Bay film it is noisy – things blow up with metronomic regularity. What, however, saves the film are the giggles and extraordinary visuals. Cars that turn into people are fun, dinosaurs robots are even more fun and the little Vespa bot is so twee.

All who thought the fourth instalment of the franchise based on Hasbro’s toy line, Age of Extinction (2014), signalled the last of the series have been proved wrong with The Last Knight. Though there is last in the title and Bay and Wahlberg have confirmed they will not be returning to the franchise, there is going to be a Bumblebee spin off in 2018 and a sixth movie in 2019.
Transformers: The Last Knight

Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Anthony Hopkins, Stanley Tucci
Story line: Merlin’s staff is all that stands between the earth and total annihilation

The movie begins in 484 AD with King Arthur fighting the Saxons and Merlin arriving at the last minute to save the world with a cool dragon and cooler alien technology. Then it is the present day and transformers are illegal but still landing on earth. Optimus Prime has gone in search of his maker. An evil sorceress is out to destroy the earth. An Oxford professor has daddy issues. An earl knows several secrets. Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) looks grubby and confused as he saves the world and gets a kiss.

While you expect Stanley Tucci (Merlin) and John Turturro as a former government agent chilling in Cuba to be funny, Anthony Hopkins is revelation. He takes a break from liver, fava beans and chianti to have enormous fun with his role as twinkly-eyed astronomer and historian, Sir Edmund Burton, who knows all about the Transformers on earth. He is also such a skilled actor that he can talk of the order of the Witwiccans with a straight face. Sam Witwicky makes a goofy appearance as a photograph.

The ladies — the professor (Laura Haddock), the sorceress/princess (Gemma Chan) and cute orphan (Isabela Moner) don’t have much to do, not even eye candy.

If we were autobots, we could turn into vehicles of our choice—the flashy could turn into Lamborghinis and Porche while the public spirited could turn into a bus or an SUV. Our registration numbers could be our IDs doing away with passports, voter IDs PAN cards and Aadhar. Just saying.