Remember when Transformers was just an innocent Saturday morning cartoon in the ’80s? (Or dare we say, children’s toy?) Those were the days.
Now, it’s become a mega-blockbuster movie franchise of questionable theatrical value, starring the likes of actors such as Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Mark Wahlberg, and most recently, Anthony Hopkins.
The first installment in 2007 wasn’t so bad—and the special effects were eye-catching. But follow-ups Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) sunk the franchise to new, laughable levels, and were they not multimillion-dollar Michael Bay productions, they likely would have been straight-to-DVD releases.
That brings us to the fifth installment, Transformers: The Last Knight, which has been absolutely pulverized in the press and garners a mere 16 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. RCL wanted to tease out some of the most biting excerpts from reviews of the new movie for your reading pleasure. Be prepared to cringe below.
Ian Freer, Empire:
“If you are playing Transformers Bingo, you can tick off military porn, tin-eared exposition, Josh Duhamel as Colonel Thingamy, one dimensional characters, painful banter (there are dialogue exchanges in Yeager’s junkyard that are given the screen time and respect of Dorothy Parker’s roundtable), John Turturro as Agent Whatsisname, sunsets, slow-mo every other shot and a bombastic score.”
Owen Gleiberman, Variety:
“The Transformers films, as befitting a series spun out of a Hasbro monster-truck toy system designed to connect with the inner worldview of nine-year-olds, started off, in 2007, as exceedingly wholesome. What a difference a decade of baroquely semi-coherent robot-fury overkill makes!”
Ariel Scotti, New York Daily News:
“Earth to Earth: Some Transformers are your friends—and not just deadly alien invaders. Five movies and 10 years later, characters in Michael Bay’s blockbuster franchise just don’t get that.”
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:
“Yes, that’s [a] zero stars [review]. Every time Michael Bay directs another Transformers abomination (this is the fifth), the movies die a little.”
Brian Truitt, USA Today:
“If Optimus Prime, Autobot leader and all-around mensch, really wanted to save humanity, he would have stopped director Michael Bay around four Transformers movies ago.”
Gav Murphy, IGN:
“A film primarily about good robots fighting naughty robots has no business being 2 hours and 28 minutes long. Worse, Transformers: The Last Knight is so convoluted and drawn-out that it feels like double that amount of time has passed.”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian:
“The prominent action-movie maestro Michael Bay has given us the fifth movie in the Transformers toy-retail film franchise. Or maybe it is the 45th. It is difficult to tell, just as it is difficult to remember precisely how many cars were involved in a motorway pile-up in which you have been injured. We’re talking about the same steroidal infantilism as the previous four films, the same epic of tinnitus-inducing pointlessness that audiences have come to love or hate or sullenly wait to be over. Like so many of Michael Bay’s movies, it is a machine for converting your brain matter into soup.”
Christopher Orr, The Atlantic:
“About Last Knight … Forgive me. I was thinking of a more innocent time, 30 years ago, when the most frightening image that mainstream cinema could conjure up was Demi Moore and Rob Lowe getting it on in the shower. Since those days, Hollywood has come up with so many more novel ways in which to disappoint and/or irritate us. And few have pushed the envelope as aggressively as Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise.”
And, finally, in an inspired effort to capture Bay’s oeuvre in his review, Bilge Ebiri, from the Village Voice:
“okhvk;OFIavomitousdischargeofplotpointsbeuuauuq3c2i;C HIfihiehfeshliketheresachosenonehereandanotherchosenoneJK ljjkfaejjeexkandmultiplesacredobjectsmlecjaje;lfja;eaejl;a33itm jafcandjesusatonepointtheyevenhavemarkwahlbergutterarthurcclarkes famousquoteabouthowanysufficientlyadvancedtechnologywillbe indistinguishablefrommagicohgodstopcnhfhplerafffkalkqh jsgfffrkitsalloverloadandoverkillandchaoszcsmwmezzeajcjeaa pflikeyourshoppingbagburstandsplatteredrobotsalloverthefloorlchdqh ;3dbutwelostthiswaralongtimeagokrcifhahaeifiajekjj,l ekjfwhatdoyoudowhenthesignalbecomesthenoisezclkhwa4 friaghskfbandyoucannolongertellthedifference.”
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