The world of the Transformers is on the verge of collapse and as far as their concerned, they’re taking everyone — including the human race — with them. How can the two races survive when their leader Optimus Prime has been turned into an instrument of destruction in The Last Knight!
Whether you’ve been a fan of director Michael Bay’s Transformers film franchise or not, one thing is for certain, it was the only toy-turned-big-screen star to survive the boom of the new millennium. Hasbro, the toy manufacturer that holds the claim on the property, also attempted to get several of its other brands to crossover, but Transformers was the only one that stuck. A decade, and five films later, audiences are still filling multiplexes to catch their favorite alien robots duke it out!
More than Meet the Eye
Perhaps the success of the Transformers can be easily equated to the nostalgia factor of the brand. Based on the toy line from the 80s that gave rise to the equally popular animated adventures, the enhanced mythology that has been built around this property has far-reaching resonance with its audience. The idea was always very cutting edge; the origins of these technological marvels, robots from a far off planet called Cybertron engaged in a civil war that lands them millions of miles away from home, and forced to hide in plain sight on Earth.
The evil Decepticons, conquerors by nature, are now determined to rape the planet Earth of its raw resources in an effort to return to their home planet and defeat their enemies, the Autobots, a heroic group of rebels lead by Optimus Prime. The human race finds itself caught in the middle of these two titans as the battle escalates, and the power struggle between the two forces threatens to upend all the good that could come from these newfound allies. When Michael Bay launched the franchise in 2007 with Transformers the film was an instant hit!
Fate of The Last Knight
With the recent trend among movie studios now to dilute franchise fatigue by simply “rebooting” the same brand every other year or so, dusting off some of the old and retooling casts and elaborating on the “origin story” formula, when Paramount Pictures decided that Transformers needed some refreshing, they asked Bay to “move things in a slightly different direction”. The last film Age of Extinction did away with most of the previous three films core group of characters, and recast a proven action hero Mark Wahlberg as the lead human.
His everyman mechanic/inventor Cade Yeager was a step-up from the millennially marketed hero that was keeping the driver’s seat warm. The robots, of course, are the real stars of the film, but Wahlberg brought a new kind of legitimacy to the franchise and was able to kickstart the franchise’s “Generation 2” act which pushed the mythology of the Transformers further than the previous installments. Though the intention all along to build on the world of the alien robots and their connection with the human race was something that Bay profited from putting forward.
Now with the fifth film Transformers: The Last Knight there are suggestions that this will be the last one, at least in this series, and perhaps this may be true especially since its director capitalized from including story points from across the previous films to tightly wrap things up, but also leave a very important plot point hanging just in reach for the inevitable follow-up. What sets this episode apart from its predecessors is how much more richly developed the story is; the narrative is so much more inviting regardless of whether audiences were connected to the previous four films’ narrative or not.
The Transformers are all mostly fugitives being hunted down by humans who want them off the planet and gone, especially after the events that ravaged Chicago (see Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and have gone into hiding along with Cade, but there appears to be an object moving towards the earth and threatening it with annihilation! The humans strike up a bargain with the evil Decepticons, when they learn that Cade is in possession of an amulet that prophecies the arrival of the “last knight”.
It all leads to the inevitable final battle with the humans caught in the middle and Optimus Prime’s alliances in question!
And although everything may feel as if it was tightly wrapped up and delivered to an end, there is that particularly significant plot point mentioned earlier. Among all the Transformers, perhaps the most dangerous has proven the planet-sized devourer called Unicron first introduced in the 1985 animated full-length feature Transformers: The Movie. That creature we learn lies dormant and embedded within our very planet, and it is threatening to awakening soon! So what will that mean for the Earth itself? We’ll have to wait and see!
See the trailer here:
Transformer: The Last Knight directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel and Laura Haddock is now showing in theaters everywhere and is distributed by Paramount Pictures.