Michael Bay’s epic franchise is back and bigger than ever. This is now the fifth instalment of the franchise which makes it that much harder to bring a fresh story and perspective into the universe. This film unfortunately does not manage it.
The film starts in the time of King Arthur who is battling the saxons. Merlin is shown not to be a magician but a drunk old man. However, he stumbles upon twelve transformers who give him a staff. The transformers merge into a dragon and help Arthur defeat the Saxons.
Fast forward to present day and transformers are deemed illegal by the World apart from Cuba and hunted by the Transformer Reaction Force. Despite Optimus Prime leaving Earth, more transformers keep arriving. In the ruins of Chicago a group of children happen upon Izabella and her companion transformers Canopy and Sqweeks.
Canopy is killed by the TRF but Bumblebee and Cade (Mark Wahlberg) help them escape but are unable to save an ancient transformer who attaches a talisman to Cade which is spotted by Decepticon who relays the information to Megatron.
Prime discovers Cybertron destroyed and heading to Earth. He is brainwashed by a transformer named Quintessa who wants to take back the staff from the start of the movie as it was stole from her. Prime turns into Nemesis Prime and is persuaded to help her destroy Earth to restore Cybertron.
The TRF make a deal with Megatron to find Cade. This results in a battle at a junkyard and abandoned town. During the battle Cade and bumblebee are met by a transformer who represents Sir Edmund Burton. Simultaneously an autobot named Hot Rod kidnaps Proffessor Wembley (Laura Haddock) as she is revealed to be the last descendant of Merlin and can therefore wield his staff.
Cade, Wembley and bumblebee travel to a sunken transformer ship whilst hunted by the TRF and deceptions . The ship is activated and a massive battle begins. The attack is cut short by Optimus returning as Decimus Prime and he begins to attack until Bumblebee finally speaks with his voice breaking Quimtessa’s control. Megatron now with the staff arrives at Stonehenge and there he and Quintessa begins Cybertrons process of sucking the life from Earth. As Optimus, Cade and the TRF arrive Burton is killed and a massive battle begins. Bumblebee manages to slay Quintessa and Wembley removes the staff. Cybertron and Earth remain connected but at peace.
Mid credits scene shows Quintessa has survived and is in the form of a human and offers people a way to destroy Unicron.
This film is not ground breaking and is an average action film. If you are a fan of transformers you will love the film but new viewers or critics of previous films won’t be won over. As with all Michael Bay films the cinematography and action sequences are amazing. The quality of the CGI battles is incredible and really gives this film a wow factor. Mark Wahlberg once again carrys the film despite the poor story and development.
The transformers are the main attraction but apart from Megatron, Prime and Bumblebee the characters are dull and despite the best efforts to get some laughs, the humour falls flat and verges on irritating.
The Transformers universe seems tired in this film and although an enjoyable action film it is trying to appease to too many different demographics and fails to really strike a chord with any of them.
This is extremely disappointing, as if done right a Transformers film could be a must see for everyone with the ability to appeal to anyone and everyone.
I would give the film 2.5 out of five stars. The film is rescued by the incredible action sequences and cinematography but fails to deliver a truly spectacular film. Too much time is wasted and the attempts at humour feel forced and disappointing.
Future of the franchise
The franchise is in dire need of a sabbatical of a few years. It feels that everything that could be done has been and any new films will just be a repeat of previous films. If the franchise is given a break and comes back with a new team and direction I feel this will inject some life into the franchise before further bad films completely kill it off. However, with the ending of the film and another sequel set to shoot soon I truly fear for the longevity of the franchise.