Verdict: A spectacular treasure hunt as two worlds collide.
There are stories that transcend the barriers of time. Shakespearean plays have been reprised and adapted multiple times, and yet the audience will queue up to watch every one of them. Another story that seems to find its way into movies and novels every now and then is the Arthurian legend. The stories of King Arthur and Excalibur, his knights, and his trusted magician Merlin are certainly a favorite. Since the third movie in the Transformers franchise, writers have been experimenting with actual human history and creating a Transformer plot around it. It worked superbly with Dark of the Moon, as the conspiracy surrounding the Moon landings always grabs attention. After dealing with Dinobots in Age of Extinction, the writers are now adapting the Arthurian legend in Transformers: The Last Knight.
The movie opens in 484 AD, in the midst of a battle. Both sides are fighting valiantly, but one clearly has the upper hand. The heroes refuse to retreat, as they wait for the greatest magician – Merlin (Stanley Tucci). It is evident that this is the battle for the honor of Camelot. Alas, Merlin is no magician. His mates, who are from a different planet, give him a staff that helps King Arthur emerge victorious in the battle, and also conjures a three-headed dragon.
Back in present day Chicago, four kids make their way into a restricted area where an alien ship has landed. Kind of like the kids from Stranger Things, they are apprehended by the Transformer Reaction Force, whose job is to hunt down the Transformers. The kids are helped by Izabella (Isabela Moner), who has found family among these aliens. As the TRF goes on full offense, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and Bumblebee (with some new cool tricks) save the kids and check in on the new arrival who did not survive the journey to Earth. Before breathing his last, the alien gives Cade a talisman that chooses him as the 'last knight'.
While this is happening in Chicago, an Earl (Anthony Hopkins) in England sees a sign that he has been waiting for all his life. Meanwhile, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) meets his creator and she sends him on the task to retrieve the staff so that they can save Cybertron. As all the characters unite, they discover that Merlin's hidden staff is the answer to all the problems and the only savior to the impending doom.
It is great that the movie starts off where the last one ended, as it explains Optimus Prime's absence for the majority of the movie. Fans disappointed with the plot of the last few movies have something to look forward to in this one. The writers have chosen to include everything from the previous installments, including the characters, adding a few more to make sure there is not a dull moment in the movie. The Autobots and Decepticons are joined by tiny Dinobots, which are harmless but add to the cuteness factor. We also have a C-3PO-like character called Cogman, who is the butler of Sir Edmund Burton. Cogman is incidentally voiced by Jim Carter, who was the formidable butler in the Downton Abbey series. There is also a character called Sqweeks, who reminds you of BB-8.
Non-humans aside, it is Sir Anthony Hopkins who steals the show in his limited role. The banter between him and Cogman are certainly the highlight of the movie. Mark Wahlberg has reprised his role from the last movie and breezes through this one too. Laura Haddock as Viviane plays a vital role, but there isn't much of her or Isabella Moner in the movie.
Michael Bay movies are known to be visually appealing. The fight sequences with constant explosions do make for an enjoyable watch. This movie has been shot on an Imax 3D camera, which adds to the entertainment. There is a sequence where the two planets collide, and it is a sight to behold.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
The latest movie in the Transformers franchise explores more fights between old allies – like the humans and Autobots – and also the heart-breaking fight between Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. If you were a fan of the franchise, this movie might help you regain your loyalty. For those who have not watched the previous versions, this film works as a stand-alone movie too. Also, Bumblebee gets his voice back for a few minutes. Surely, you wouldn't want to miss that.