• Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

I don’t know exactly when I lost the plot of Transformers: The Last Knight, but I think it was probably around the time a drunken Merlin – yes, this Merlin, of the Knights of the Round Table, showed up in the ruins of an ancient spaceship and began enlisting the help of a giant alien robot.

Merlin is somewhat mysteriously played by Stanley tucci, which appeared in the previous franchise installment – 2014 The Transformers: Age of Extinction – but as a completely different character (the Joshua Joyce, Intriguing CTO). The wizard engages in a bit of a comedic monologue, until the robot hands him a staff, which apparently allows him to control a three-headed dragon robot. The dragon emerges from a cave and flies over the British hill – it’s really pretty – finally joining an ancient battle, already underway, to help the Knights of the Round Table defeat the Saxon army. There are lots of fireballs and punitive explosions and subwoofer rumbles that seemed designed to test the strength of your kneecaps.

This all takes place in roughly the first five minutes of the movie, and the rest of the movie makes about as much sense as the opening. Later there is a baby fire-breathing robot dinosaur and a larger dinobot companion (left over from Age of extinction) who must be scolded, like a rogue puppy, for eating junk food. Steve Buscemi pass to exchange a few jokes; it’s a robot, of course. The regular deductible too Jean Turturro, wearing silly shorts watching the Transformers sunbathing in Cuba, because, well, why not?

There is also a comic robot butler that helps Anthony hopkins, who turns out to be the last keeper of King Arthur legend. And somewhere in the middle of the movie, Hopkins delivers a 15-minute monologue in which he reveals that Bumblebee, one of the franchise’s key Transformer characters, was actually a legendary WWII hero. There is an evil Cybertronian bot witch named Quintessa who can control other bots. Unrelated (I think), there is also a series of mechanical horns that were planted around the Earth before the continents parted. In a way, Stonehenge is involved.

After the opening streak, I never really regained my sense of narrative balance, but still had a great time, in part because I knew what to expect from the start. The last knight makes no sense, but neither does any of the others Transformers movie theater. The franchise is a giant mashup riddled with explosions of wacky fireworks, dazzling special effects and merchandising opportunities. It’s nonsense, sure, but it’s meticulously crafted and delicious nonsense that fits perfectly with its roots in a robotic toy line and the extravagant sensibilities of director Michael Bay – and that’s part of. His charm.

The Transformers the films aptly capture the imaginative state of mind of a child

“The magic exists. He was found a long time ago – inside a crashed alien ship, ”the disembodied voice of Anthony Hopkins says as Merlin stumbles upon his robotic interlocutor, as if that explains something.

But the explanations are not what is in order in The last knight. Indeed, the moments when the film tries to explain itself, to provide context or clues of intrigue, are among the most inconsistent. For example, Hopkins’ aforementioned extended monologue is meant to explain the film’s intricate mytho-historical backstory, which dictates that the Knights of the Round Table were real, but also that they all relied on help from – you l ‘ve guessed – wielding a giant robot sword.

Plus, the whole thing is punctuated by a host of pseudo-comic distractions and interruptions, including the appearance of an organ playing a butler, as if to ensure viewers can’t focus or concentrate too much. long time. I understood the essential, which is essentially, In fact, the Transformers were a crucial part of the Knights of the Round Table.. But I doubt I could explain much more.

Having said that, I’m not sure it would make a difference if I could. Like most of Bay’s other car and robot franchises, Tthe last knight plunges in and out of history and legend, myth and nonsense, cynicism and stupidity. It is not just impossible to follow; it appears to be intentionally designed to repel logical thinking. It is a machine made to deaden thought.

Even more than its predecessors, the film is a maelstrom of spectacle and sensation, a melee of special effects that has somehow escaped the gravitational pull of traditional storytelling in favor of something more immediate and abstract, a sort of caffeinated nonsense. cinema, designed for fun while spraying. At best – or at least at most brutally effective – the Transformers the films induce a form of audiovisual euphoria which seems to bewitch the viewer, which makes the conventions of plot and narration unnecessary. The Transformers the movies are about something deeper, something primordial, deep inside your mechanized lizard brain, the place where the three-headed robot dragons live.

This suits a franchise which, after all, is based on a children’s cartoon designed primarily to sell a line of toys to pre-teen boys. For better or for worse, Bay has crafted a series of films that reproduce the mindset of an 8-year-old playing alone in his bedroom, giving free rein to his imagination to invent the most elaborate adventure. he can think of. The films are both deeply focused and easily distracted. They’re built around fun comedic relief and senseless violent conflict, as well as straightforward character relationships in which recognizable adult characteristics or responsibilities are entirely absent.

They possess deep mythological stories, some of which are interwoven with real-world events, but they rarely make sense when considered for even a moment. They can be obnoxious and creatively scatological – if you’ve ever wished to see a giant robot car “urinate” on John Turturro, Michael Bay supports you – but for the most part, they are rather naive, and even innocent in their view of the world.

the Bay Transformers films do not only appeal to a childish sensibility; they capture it, channel it, inhabit it. These are insanely complex $ 200 million studio blockbusters that seem to come directly from the sweet fantasies of a particularly inspired child.

Michael Bay knows what he’s doing; there is clearly a method for Transformers movie madness

The Transformers movies have become more abstract over the years, less tied to the mechanics of character and causation. And in the process, they made their manager’s intentions even clearer.

The first movie, 2007 Transformers, is the most consistent – and arguably the best – of the group. It’s a relatively conventional YA story about a young boy who gets a car that turns into a robot. But in the decade since its release, the franchise has grown increasingly weird and abstract.

The first sequel, 2009 Transformers: Revenge, revolves around a MacGuffin called the Matrix of Leadership and a machine that detonates the suns, which requires the Matrix to work. It also involves the implantation of secret cosmological signals in Shia Labeoufbrain of, which can only be translated by John Turturro. In fact, it sounds simpler than it is. But if it is already difficult to sum up the plot of the film, try to Explain it is almost impossible. Do not believe me ? Read this old FAQ, which tries to break down what’s really going on in the movie and why – and ends up painfully showing just how disjointed it is.

The other suites are no longer convincing. The third film in the franchise, the 2011s Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon, tie it up Films about transformers on the moon landing, and includes a scene in which the evil Decepticons plan an attack as basking casually around monuments on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

And giving an interview on the fourth film, Age of extinction, screenwriter Ehren Kruger describe as “quasi-experimental” and said that as a writer, “you begin to come to terms with the idea that logical sense does not have to be the ultimate goal. This film ends with an absolutely crazy sequence in which massive magnet sucks up all metal vehicles in Hong Kong, then Optimus Prime wields a sword and rides a dinosaur robot:

But the Transformers The erratic storytelling of the films is not the result of Bay not knowing what he is doing. His absurd narratives and hyperactive editing are consistent stylistic choices. His little films – in particular, the satirically satirical film of criminal bodybuilders Pain and gain­ tend to be more narratively consistent. And he was ready to toy with its own image as a filmmaker who puts “awesomeness” – usually in the form of explosions that increase in both size and scope – above all else.

The special attention that Bay gives to these brand elements is evident in The last knight; on several occasions the film comes across as more than a little self-aware, accumulating frenzied explosions and special effects confrontations and extravagances, deflating its own importance while building it up. He never quite comes down to self-parody, but he winks and nudges you, letting you know he knows exactly what he’s doing, even in the midst of the chaos.

It feels like Bay is in control somehow, orchestrating it all for your viewing pleasure, genuinely wants to entertain you, and is willing to work to do it. . You haven’t really decided to see a Transformers movie for the plot, isn’t it? Bay Movies are expensive (but sure) bets you haven’t made. And these are bets that have always paid off. The first four films have earned over $ 3.5 billion combined at the global box office.

The Transformers the franchise’s organizing smell amid chaos is also part of the secret to its charm: Michael Bay knows his movies are silly and ridiculous and wacky nonsense – and he wants you to know that he knows that, too.

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