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Transformers: The Last Knight (3D)


Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Josh Duhamel, Isabela Money, Stanley Tucci, John Torturro, Glenn Morshower, Gemma Chan, Santiago Cabrera, Maggie Steed, Phoebe Nicholls, Rebecca Front, Sara Stewart. Voices: Peter Cullen, Jim Carter, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Omar Sy, Frank Welker, Ken Watanabe

Director: Michael Bay

This fifth film in the money-making franchise is a mess of mashed metal mayhem. Incoherent and full of pointless 'bot action, the plot, to which Hopkins contributes class if not altogether a straight face, darkens the Transformers universe, and has something to do with a magic staff, given to the Arthurian wizard Merlin by an ancient Transformer, and now an obscure object of desire for the floating goddess Quintessa (Chan), who hypnotises the great Optimus Prime into helping her to obtain it and wipe out the Earth's population so that Transformers can take over (I think).

But evil Decepticon Megatron is also after the staff, while earthlings trying to save the day include 'bot-friendly junkyard dealer Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), an Oxford don (Haddock, just barely coping) and a spunky Latina teenager (Money), who has more personality than anyone else in the film.

'This is unbelievable,' gasps Haddock, who has obviously read the script. 'Yes, it is unbelievable,' returns Wahlberg.

A Jeeves-like (but more aggressive) robot butler (the familiar stentorian tones of Downton Abbey's Carter) affords a little comedy relief, but everything is so violent that even this has little impact, although all those high-tech effects do deserve a better movie.

At the end, Prime goes all Churchillian - 'We are going to steal Quintessa's staff. Let them know...that this was their finest hour'. Alas, the end presages yet another instalment. I may pass.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
152 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 21 Jun 2017