I couldn’t help but notice that Transformers: The Last Knight shares a few similiarites to the animated series Robots in Disguise. With the team in both universes seen hiding in a junkyard, I was amused at the parallels.
Only morbid curiousity motivates me to continue watching the live-action version of Transformers. The Last Knight offers opportunities to explore the world in new ways. To watch vehicles morph into bipedal form gets the kid in me giddy in delight. But as anyone who love the original animated material and toy lines will tell you, they will not be seeing this film because it’s not their Transformers anymore. I know folks vehement in their disdain of this cinematic (i.e. Michael Bay) treatment. Despite my longing to simply loathe it because of the people involved or how terrible the ideas get executed, I have to observe how far gone this universe is.
At the same time, as an enthusiast of King Arthur‘s literary and historical legacy, I wanted to see if this film has any redeeming factors. Pairing the Transformers with this legend has been done before (“A Decepticon in King Arthur’s Court”), and I hoped part of this movie will see this warrior’s messianic return to save the day. Instead of mighty robots, a human (or ancestor of) can certainly turn the tide.
Could there be a decent story in Michael Bay’s 5th Transformers movie outing? The Last Knight has a new television trailer, and it shows Optimus Prime behaving badly. The tagline of “Rethink your Heroes” suggests he’s been corrupted. He’s purple eyed and looking scary.
Including the previous trailer, there’s very little information to explain Prime’s transition. The last movie had him rocketing into outer space to search for the Creators, while carrying the Seed. While I doubt he’s going to ram that down their throat upon finding them, I suspect he did discover their whereabouts and because he was one to their many — they overpowered and reprogrammed him. He’s been left for scrap, floating helplessly in space. As the full length trailer suggests with the vortex (conical) shaped spaceship, could that be the Quintessons vessel? There’s not enough detail to say, although I am hoping these creators will be featured in this fifth outing.
With a movie title like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, I figured part of the story is going to be about these heroes in the half shell coming out of the darkness they are hiding in and entering into the public eye. They have been fighting New York crime at night and while they leave the thieves all tied up for the police to take away, they do not necessarily leave their calling card around, like Spider-Man. Plenty of subtexts are offered in what they represent to the city and never getting the recognition they deserve, but the story does not go deep enough in that territory. The movie provides more fan-service moments to the masses in a hyper-violent kind of way. In a different spectrum, the obligatory scene with April O’Neil (Megan Fox) in a short skirt gets included too.
A lot of the set pieces have a feel of having been done before. From A-Team (2010) to Transformers (2007-present), I really had to wonder why having Bumblebee appear mattered at all? The obvious answer is because Michael Bay is producing and David Green’s name as the director is just a nod. I liked his movie Earth to Echo; it had a charm to it. His name is sadly overshadowed by Bay’s style. Any movie this producer touches is more about flash and bang for your buck. In that regard, this movie succeeds with plenty of explosive action, stupid hijinks and a plot riddled with holes that I can stick a rhino’s horn into. One is not enough to fill the many problems in this movie. While I love Donatello’s aptitude for tech, there are times I wonder where he gets the parts to build some of his toys, I get the feeling he raids Tony Stark‘s garbage pile for all those discarded tech he has! (side note: yes, please give me a TMNT / Avengers crossover movie)
Michael Bay is one of the hardest working directors and in an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone at his Miami home, Bay found free time to discuss his as of yet untitled Transformers 5 project and his latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Between his producing duties and directorial work, Bay usually has a half-dozen projects going at once. Right now, in addition to 13 Hours, he’s doing post-production on the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which he’s producing and which is due in 2016, and pre-production for the next Transformers, which he’s directing for summer 2017. “I’m doing Transformers … 5, is it?” Bay says, temporarily losing track. He shakes his head. “I’ve taken on a lot of work.”
After Bay demonstrates to Stone journalist Josh Eells how he prefers to do colour timing, Santa Monica’s Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) appears on a computer monitor,
Ninja Turtles has the feel of being better off as a direct to video release than a blockbuster to end the summer with.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are comic book heroes who had a lot of soul back when it first saw print. When creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird spent time working on their property, interest in their heroes in the half shell was high. The cartoon that evolved from it had a lot of spunk for kids to love, but it was its own beast since its light-hearted humour helped make the turtles pop culture icons. But for the original comics that was darker in tone, fatigue, creative differences and the need to move on by one of the artists caused the two to part ways.
Laird eventually sold the franchise rights to Nickelodeon, and what has evolved from it has become contentions between those who loved either the original comic book, one of the many cartoon series, role-playing games or live action films. The series changed from its gritty world to that of adventure and campy humour.
The current computer animated series successfully blends the two together. But with a film to reboot the theatrical series by producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman, the latter pairing is the prerequisite choice. Their method of madness is to reinvigorate this Ninja Turtles with high-octane action in only a style Bay can emphasize — let’s slow down the fast-moving sequences with hang time moments, include a villain who belongs more in a Transformers movie and toss all logic aside.