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It’s time for ‘Transformers’ to hit the scrapyard

Andy Moser

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There are certain things in this world that are all too predictable. The sun will rise and set each day. Parking at UNF will be stressful. And Michael Bay will create a terrible Transformers movie.

The series’ fifth installment, The Last Knight, is easily one of the worst films to hit theaters this year and could double as a new form of torture. A scattered plot, an unnecessarily long running time, and a gag-worthy script contribute to this film’s downfall, as has been the case in Transformers films of the past.

Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a fugitive fighting to preserve what’s left of the Autobots, comes into contact with a sacred talisman that has been present since the Dark Ages and now holds the key to saving the world from destruction via collision with the Transformers’ home planet Cybertron. Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) has gone to discover the truth about his creators, who end up being the ones wanting to rid the galaxy of Earth and restore their own planet.

Yeager eventually meets up with professor Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) and wise know-it-all figure Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins), and they’re guided along their mission by a wannabe C-3PO by the name of Cogman (Jim Carter). An ancient powerful staff comes into play, and of course, Megatron (Frank Welker) is there to give the good guys a hard time. The feisty Decepticon always seems to be killed off only to return in some way, shape or form to stop Optimus and his crew.

What may be apparent to some viewers is that Optimus Prime (and many other Transformers for that matter) is left out of the vast majority of the film. It’s a good thing he needlessly announces his own name at least three times, because with the amount of time he’s left out of the plot, people may forget who he is. Where are the Transformers in Transformers?

The writing in this film is nothing short of an all-out barrage of repulsive one-liners that prompt one eye roll to the back of the head after another until the viewer wishes they’d just get stuck back there. Bumblebee’s ability to speak vanishes and reappears at will, but it’s unfortunate that one of his only lines in the entire series is an embarrassing “sting like a bee” pun.

At the hour mark, this pitiful attempt at comedy is already tiresome. Too bad there’s still an hour and a half to go.

On the brighter side, the film does showcase beautiful special and practical effects. But even those are rendered useless by an overly-long story that is downright anemic. It’ll put viewers to sleep faster than Melatonin ever could.

Then there’s the issue of the budget: Transformers: The Last Knight was made for an ungodly sum of $217 million. As a college student eating frozen dinners most of the week, it’s defeating to know that most fellow students will go their entire lives without seeing a tiny fraction of that number—meanwhile Hollywood execs will throw that outrageous amount of money at Michael Bay to make yet another pile of hot garbage.

The prior films have had their flaws, but this is a new low for Bay and the Transformers franchise. The Last Knight will go down as one of the biggest squanderings of financial resources and special effects of this decade.

It’s not worth a $10 movie ticket, and it’s not worth $1 at Redbox. For those who go see it in theaters, it could be the most expensive nap they will ever pay for.

The Last Knight is a lazy and lethargic mixture of obscure plot elements and cheap zingers that not even Anthony Hopkins can save. If the after-credit teaser truly signifies another installment, be sure to bring a pillow and blanket to its release. Or better yet, avoid it at all costs.

Sails: 0.5/5

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It’s time for ‘Transformers’ to hit the scrapyard