Yes, as you probably expected, Transformers 5 is just as bad as the other four. Two and a half hours of robot rojak, mashed together in one set piece after another.
Did I enjoy it? Some of it here and there. The opening King Arthur sequence was exciting. You know, I would have enjoyed watching the entire King Arthur/Transformers story alone.
And the bit about Bumblebee’s WWII past was fun. But as the story builds up towards the final act, it all falls apart. By the last 30 minutes, you are wondering, WHAT KIND OF STUPID STORY IS THIS?
Since I am on an all-caps rant mode, let me share some of my peeves. And before you read on, I warn you there are some spoilers.
1. What was up with the over-sexualization of the new tween character, Izabella (Isabela Moner)? Michael Bay had her running sexily in a sexy tank top and to top it off, threw in cringeworthy come-ons from one of the boys who meet her in the first act. I understand if Michael Bay chose to objectify the previous Transformers women like Megan Fox, Rosie Alice Huntington-Whiteley and Nicola Peltz but come on, Isabela Moner is FIFTEEN.
2. The humans are mostly useless in this movie. In the end, the Autobots have to win the day. Not even Mark Wahlberg, whom I like, is given a useful role in the plot. They give you false hope when he looks like he was going to be THE CHOSEN ONE, and you wait for him to transform into some more epic, maybe a superhero human Transformer hybrid. Nope. Doesn’t happen. He mostly ends up making sure Viviane (Laura Haddock) doesn’t fall down because they need her to hold the staff (her one job). Oh, and he gets to raise a sword to rally the mythical Knights of Cybertron. Big fat whoop.
3. The super-annoying pandering and product placements for the China market. Come on, the American agencies are using Xin.com? And there was also one angmoh character listening to a music service that wasn’t Apple Music or Spotify, but some Chinese music service.
Peeves Rant over.
What saved the day was Anthony Hopkins and his butler robot, C3P0. Ok, that’s not his name, it’s Cogman, a four-feet high smart-ass Transformer who shoots missiles out of his mouth. I enjoyed their repartee and Anthony Hopkins looked like he was really having fun as the keeper of Transformer lore and secrets. I wish they had done something more with Cogman, who is a Headmaster. Nope, he remains solo in this movie, and doesn’t combine with other Headmasters. So you can park your excitement at the possibility of a Headmasters debut.
I also enjoyed seeing Bumblebee kick ass in this installment. And the introduction of the bad guys when Megatron asks for his squad to be assembled was cool: Mohawk! Dreadbot! Onslaught! Nitro! Berserker! Somewhat like an assembly of his Suicide Squad.
Seems this is the last Michael Bay foray at the Transformers franchise. Maybe we will get someone better at telling a story for the next instalment, instead of stringing together one action sequence after another. I am so tired of all the epic camera angles already. Everything is so epic when he directs. Even short little robots and tweens.
Aiyah, you are still going to watch the movie despite the one-star reviews. So go ahead, watch it. Just go in with lowered expectations and you should get through the two and a half hours. We need the movie to get new toys anyway.