Transformers: The Last Knight is once again directed by Michael Bay and stars Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock. With transformers and humans at war and Optimus Prime gone, Cade (Wahlberg) - with the help of others - must delve deeper into the history of mankind in order to protect earth from world devourer Cybertron.
At one point Bay may have wanted to create a genuinely entertaining spectacle, however Transformers has become hollywood's biggest cash cow, and Bay is clearly determined to milk it till it's dry. The original was certainly no instant hit, but saw plenty of room for a fun popcorn romp. And the franchise has indeed gathered a large fan base over time. Sequel by sequel the films have becoming increasingly less stimulating and down right sloppy. Five films in, Michael Bay has delivered, quite possibly, the poorest entry into the robotic saga.
Over the ten years of live action robots in disguise, there are some fresh ideas added to the series and the historical aspect of T5 can be rewarding. However the main problem lies with Bay's reckless command over the films, resulting in a two and a half hour mishmash driven by an overkill of special effects. Bay must finally learn: main stream audiences have grown to enjoy more than just dumb action and are partial to a more telling adventure, think (Civil War and latest Bond entires).
The Last Knight is a movie based around its stellar action scenes, a style of filming no director in the industry should choose to follow. It picks up small subplots and mesh them all into one in-cohesive storyline, resulting a clunky free for all. Most worryingly, whatever direction the film chooses to take each outcome is as predictable as the other. No surprises, No twists, just overly complicated structure.
Undeniably Wahlberg plays better as the film's lead than Shia LeBeouf ever did. However is still too weak to carry the bulk of the film alone and is purposefully used as the basic hero fill in. Haddock also serves as a much better female lead than the sexified Megan Fox and offers more of the films more imaginative moments. Although it really is saying something when a 'knock-off C3PO' is the most compelling character of the entire cast. Sure the robots are fine, and bumble bee will definitely keep you somewhat buzzing.
In the end Transformers: The Last Knight's impressive action will satisfy some however lacks the fun the previous films in the series had. If you wish to see an unfiltered Sir Anthony Hopkins scream at his co-stars and jarring camera work, all wrapped up in a wafer thin plot, you'll probably find some enjoyment in this clunky mess. Hopefully The Last Knight is the last outing for the autobots.
Following further consideration this review has been updated to fit what I truly think went WRONG with The Mummy (2017)
The Mummy is directed by Alex Kurtzman and launches Universal's Dark Universe. Tom Cruise starts as tomb raider Nick Morton, who after awakening the gorgeously evil Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) from her ancient crypt, unleashes a new kind of evil that defies human comprehension.
As you delve deeper into the Egyptian world, the bandages unveil a rather lacklustre adventure. As the film opens, great pains are taken to set up what is quite a complicated, clever and above average premise. The key element that differentiates this remake from its various predecessors is the style and vibe that Kurtzman finds between the once terrifying 30's horror, and the campy humour of Brendan Fraser's Mummy. However a surprisingly creepy tone throughout is spoiled by some monstrous mummy goons which can't fail to remind you of Michael Jackson's iconic 'Thriller' dance.
The best way to describe The Mummy is as movie of moments. It isn't all smooth sailing for Universal with what arrives as a somewhat clunky start for the Dark Universe - with few treasures worth digging for. Undeniably some of the best choreographed action sequences in a long time - that well trailed opening plane crash scene isn't worth your time or money to sit through this stogy experience. Other moments like the central London sandstorm and the discovery of Ahmanet's crypt are all the high point of the movie. Kurtzman blends humour into this intentionally monstrous flick. Neither the jokes land or compliment to story in the way he wishes them to - most certainly not a tomb tickling time.
The main problem with this Cruise driven adventure isn't the birth of the classic monster universe, but that there isn't enough of it. The inclusion of 1930's classic monsters into the contemporary world is set up quite nicely and will definitely catch the eye of many. Oddly enough, this could have been the opportunity for the secretive 'Prodigium' and a mysterious Russell Crowe to hijack the movie completely. Sadly far too little is teased or referenced from any forthcoming monster outing leaving us a quite unsatisfied. Is this Universal's curious tactic to hook the average cinema goer?
What can be quite glaring in this dark caper is how un-formulaic the story is. Whilst is holds a near perfect runtime The Mummy can be disjointed with scenes abruptly jolting into each other. It's a simple matter of story structure and how the film should flow. Its lead Cruise is also largely underplayed, he isn't given the emotional range he should, but let's just hope they are keeping him under wraps for the next instalment.
Maybe it's best The Mummy stays buried under the sand. Cruise gives it his all (and enjoys it) but this one isn't written with the best minds at play. It has just too little action, thrills or spooks to pass as a worthwhile adventure - I wouldn't get excited for The Dark Universe just yet.
I am going to give The Mummy:
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in this first ever female led and directed superhero picture. Here we see Diana, Princess of the Amazons, who after a pilot crashes on her home island Themyscira, learns of the mortal world and takes up the challenge of protecting mankind from the war to end all wars.
In a dark and dismal time for the DCEU afters flops like B v. S and Suicide Squad fans were tired of being disappointed. Then came Gadot who's Lasso of Truth not only whips new hope into the universe but heralds one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.
Gadot's decade defining performance has made the character her own and is certainly THE Wonder Woman to us all. A true sense of power and courage - the heroines trademark qualities - shine throughout the film. The Israeli actress is the key element in making this a true masterpiece. Here we see the right side of Feminism and how powerful the work between both male and female can be. An important work for young girls, Wonder Woman conveys beautiful visuals, stellar story telling and the most influential character building possibly since Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley.
Director Jenkins must be celebrated as one of few female directors in the industry. Taking inspiration from Captain America: The First Avenger, Jenkins focuses on Diana's unexpected exploration of her own her emotions. Small but incredibly significant moments are put under the magnifying glass to show Diana new experiences and feelings in her new and un-familar environment
Wonder Woman has proved that Gadot is certainly capable of single handedly saving the DCEU. Physically stunning as the amazonian princess and beautifully charismatic, Gadot presents her best performance yet. Jenkins does the nifty job in carefully placing the action to complement the story of the developing character instead of bombarding us with constant clashes and explosions, each move is choreographed so wonderfully to suit the character
In the end Wonder Woman sees a phenomenal entry to its ever expanding collection. Gadot triumphantly steals the show and wins over our hearts in this genre defining performance, whilst Pine's charming performance aids Gadot without over shadowing her. A well layered and structured plot, a thrilling score and breath taking scenes that will continue to empower and inspire the future of the genre
I am going to give Wonder Woman:
Baywatch is directed Seth Gordon and is the second TV to film adaptation this year, of yet another cheesy, early naughties program. In this modern reboot we see a perky life guard/beach safety enthusiast Dwayne Johnson ( or the Hasselhoff's fill in) lock horns with Baywatch trainee Matt Brody (Zac Efron) in an attempt to uncover the sinister drug scandal taking place right within the heart of the bay.
Now most sane people, aside the rare Baywatch fanatic, would laugh in hysterics to be told an iconic show best known for big boobs and red spandex is being adapted into a feature film. Yet, here we are in 2017...Baywatch: The Movie. As you would expect, it's dumb, it's extremely silly and in some ways it's terrible, but Baywatch knows it and embraces it.
Baywatch plays as a perfect if not better homage to the intentionally silly series. Straight from the opening as Johnson bursts out of water with the words Baywatch exploding onto the screen behind him whilst dolphins do tricks next to him. The tone is pretty much set. Throughout, lifeguarding is portrayed very convincingly as an integral profession- and somehow works really well. This of course is aided by the fabulously well rounded team of ripped bods that truly makes this film as enjoyable as it is. There is a real sense of enthusiasm across the entire group, since everyone seems to be having a good time, we as an audience can't not have a good time. Dwayne and Efron may also go down as the most comical double act in recent cinema history.
Aside the odd few jokes that fall face first into the sand, the abundance of pop culture references restrain the film from riding the wave of the original series and offer something a little more distinctive. Some of the best gags even poke fun at Efron's earlier career as a high school musical member. However Gordon comes away from cruel, nymphomaniac bosses and believe it or not, finds the right balance between crude and rude.
One of the most enjoyable aspects to Baywatch is its tireless effort to be a bad film. From its horrendous CGI to its trashy one liners, there is so much to love about the pure stupidity of it all. Gordon somehow creates a respectful yet offensive homage to the original series, that not only makes fun of itself but all other films in that genre.
In the end Baywatch packs a surprisingly energetic punch, with a team so strong they could hold an entire seaside trilogy and a simple plot that manages to stay with you, there is something so stimulating and different about it. All toped off with a grand finale and a 'Yipee ki ye mofo' one liner, Baywatch is not only the pinnacle guilty pleasure movie but the pinnacle summer movie as well.
I am going to give Baywatch:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.