"Transformers: The Last Knight" Doesn't Totally Suck, OK

People love making fun of Transformers films. Sure, Transformers movies will never sweep Best Picture, Best Original Score, the works. So what?

They aren’t anything put out by the atrocious career path taken by Nancy Meyers, and almost serve as community service returning moviegoers to normalcy upon watching her romcoms and the people making copies of them. For more on how those movies have doomed American cinema, please read my lengthy and very angry review of Home Again.

I half watched Transformers: The Dark Knight on Hulu this week as I worked on a cartoon I’m wrapping up transitional scenes on. In bed, my diet soda and children’s box of cereal nearby, I endured another Transformers story many made fun of last year, and of the many doing so, I reminded you those some people love their Adam Sandler movies and copy-of-a-copy-of-a-copy romcoms. We all have our guilty pleasures; for me, I wouldn’t call The Last Knight a guilty pleasure so much as I might describe it as “mildly entertaining, super cool CGI visual-driven, pretty colored stuff.” Transformers films incorrectly get thrown into the action genre. I don’t know what you call them. The Last Knight does a “good enough for me” attempt at a kids’ film.

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Transformers is a super silly semi-action series made for little kids, immature teens, and people who refuse to grow up. I’m in the final category. I appreciate a good Oscar drama. Two in a row on a movie night? No, something a little less depressing next.

The Last Knight’s running time is a little tooooooooo long for a plot this thin about robots unfolding into trucks and cars. Were this 90-100 minutes, perfect. Transformers might find itself building a larger fanbase with a compact storyline.

If I may complain for a minute, and complaining about stuff is what I do really like an art, no a downright hobby, because I’m from Illinois and have lived on/off in NYC, totally experienced here with complaining about things until my folks rip out all their hair, until those sandwich shop people give me the pickles they always “forget” in my order, oh ha-ha-haaaaaa, arguing my way into better grades at college…

Transformers movies assume all theatergoers are males of assorted ages. As if girls don’t play with cars and trucks, or weird fold out toys. As someone who used to borrow toy Transformers from a boy in my classroom, I noticed how much the female characters in these movies are set up to wear way too much spidery mascara and not so much do stuff. Including if the doing stuff is running away from alien toy robot things scaring half the world into CGI fear, any doing stuff matters. The closest The Last Knight comes to being inclusive of people who may have been like my six year old self is the homeless girl who feels her only family members ever were the Transformers. We hardly get to see her storyline; when we do, it’s muddled into a quick delivery not touching upon the homelessness or anything about her.

Were Transformers more involved, and yes, I get it’s action-y, but immature action-y-lite movies needs stories at all times driving them to be good, we would feel for the people or the Transformers. I feel for neither. I wish I could sit down and redo all these Transformers movies, or the scripts at the very least, with a group of people who’ve actually at one time in their lives, been youth playing with the actual Transformers toys. I nowadays would never pick up a Transformer and play with it for a while. At six, absolutely, and I can promise you, when the guy who owned these Transformers invited myself and others to play with them, or he lent them to me so I could invite this one girl and some boys over to play, none of our stories we “wrote” as kids playing were ever like the movies here.

Thinking on why people love making fun of Transformers, my guess is, they don’t get marketed to adults nor children, so who is the audience? Besides nerdy CGI fans who watch it as inspo for their filmmaking CGI/FX/animation in general like I do. People other than parents sick of taking their kids to see these because every other film in the summer is R rated. Who are we making Transformers for?

Why don’t we know anything more about the people running away from fire? Why aren’t there more kids involved, so this could make for a real youth film? Hey, it worked for Harry Potter.

Why don’t we know more about the Transformers? In seeing Optimus Prime’s return, we see a tiny glimpse of what’s up with him. Why not more info?

Since the story is pretty rolled out thin by this CGI rolling pin until it becomes diet Weight Watchers bread, why not make this movie shorter so we can pack it full of story and major CGI coolness? Less is more!

My heart says, “For all the people who hate on these movies, they have major weaknesses. Tell me you don’t think these CGI robot dragons are amazing.”

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Look at this movie and tell me, throughout a thin story that could be made better, the special effects aren’t beautiful. You can’t. Which is why I always watch these movies. I love seeing action-lite adventure movies. Including when they’re halfway there. The Last Knight has half a soul to it. Good enough for me, and possibly, maybe, in the future, we’ll have a Transformers so good, it shuts up the most cynical people. You’re never too old nor dead inside to enjoy crazy robot dragons, Merlin, alien robots, and stuff that makes no sense in a child-like story.