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Movie Review

Earth seems to be a super-magnet for the robots of the universe.

Autobot leader Optimus Prime may be seeking enlightenment somewhere in deep space. And the Decepticon bad-bot Megatron, well, who knows where he's skulking about. But no matter: A huge number of other robots have come crashing down on our planet's surface lately. And Earth's human authorities are having a hard time keeping track of them all.

Turns out, though, that there's reason for all that Earth-bound robo-traffic. It has to do with the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.

Never heard of it? Well, that's 'cause it's hidden.

You see, that secret story involves a long line of English lords who have kept the secrets … secret. There was even a group of Transformer Knights, now residing on the ocean floor, who once joined up with King Arthur way back when. And there's a pretty Oxford professor, Vivian Wembley, descended from Merlin the magician, who unknowingly has access to an incredibly powerful artifact that could reshape the universe.

All of those strangely interconnected historical threads are also tied to—get this—a middle-aged junkyard owner named Cade Yeager. Cade possesses a certain robotic talisman that makes him none other than a knight of the Transformer order. (Even though he's human and not a Transformer. Details, details.) And it's up to him to save the Earth from an ancient robot goddess who's determined to destroy the Earth.

(Pant, pant.)

OK, if you're thinking that none of that makes much sense … well, don't look at me. I'm not an English lord.

Now, let's just go watch stuff blow up.

Positive Elements

Although the fifth Transformers flick is mostly a random, ongoing cacophony of destruction, there are moments of bravery and heroism. One character declares that "without personal sacrifice, there can be no victory." Someone else suggests that we all can be heroes if we have the fortitude to step forward in a crisis.

Accordingly, a number of people put their lives on the line to save others. For instance, both Cade and Vivian run headlong into almost certain death to save mankind. Cade's daughter, meanwhile, speaks of her love for her dad.

Spiritual Content

Though Merlin is called a magician, it's clear that his "magic" is actually futuristic alien technology. Elsewhere, a robotic entity called Quintessa claims to be the Transformer "god" that created Optimus Prime. An earthly "apocalypse" is tied into Quintessa's Earth-destroying plans.

Sexual Content

Vivian wears formfitting dresses that are often low-cut and cleavage-baring as well. She and Cade also wear tight t-shirts. Cade, for his part, lifts his shirt to reveal his chiseled midriff. The two of them kiss.

Vivian's aunts talk about setting her up with someone and explore the option of that potential love interest being a woman. After meeting, Vivian and Cade rifle loudly through her father's study. With all the ensuing thumping and grunting, the listening aunts think the couple is having sex.

A snarky robot looks at a picture of a slick vehicle and comments on all the "junk in the trunk" the car is carrying.

Violent Content

Swirling, blasting, detonating, transforming death and destruction are this pic's modus operandi. The devastation starts in the film's opening moments and only takes brief pauses in the 150 minutes that follow.

We watch ancient knights being run through by swords; crushed and set afire by huge fireball projectiles; trampled under charging horses; thrown about by a gigantic robotic dragon. Nazis get blasted by cannons and riddled with automatic gunfire. Men and their vehicles tumble end over end and are sent hurtling into to each other. Military trucks and aircraft riddle groups of civilians and a small town with high-caliber gunfire. Robots shoot and throw men around in slow motion. Robot combatants rip and hack off enemies' heads and limbs. Car chases involving powerful supercars cause significant city destruction.

On a larger scale, scores of robot entities ignite massive detonations that destroy buildings and landscapes. Massive structures crash to Earth, killing crowds below. Nearly city-sized constructs demolish major metropolitan areas and carve up sections of the moon. And amid all those high-powered blasts and explosions, it's said that a particular weapon is overheating the Earth's core and causing it to grow perilously close to popping like an "overheated bag of Jiffy Pop."

Crude or Profane Language

Two f-words and about 35 s-words are joined by many uses of "b--ch," "h-ll," "d--n" and "a--." God's name is misused four or five times. Other crudities such as "mofo," "d-ckhead" and the British vulgarity "bugger" are spit out by the robots, also. Someone uses a crude hand gesture.

Drug and Alcohol Content

In ancient days, Merlin is depicted as a booze-swilling drunkard and con man. He guzzles from a bottle on several occassions. Back in our time, Cade drinks a bottle of beer. The English lord Sir Edmund Burton smokes a pipe, and Cade wonders if he's smoking something other than tobacco.

Other Negative Elements

Kids defy authority several times. Government officials make deceptive choices in an attempt to obtain a powerful weapon. A researcher talks of a dissolvable paper made of goat scrotum.

Conclusion

The Michael Bay-directed Transformer films have always been high-strung affairs. They're famous (or infamous, perhaps) for tons of frenetic action and enough big-budget CGI to nearly warrant a seizure warning on the front end.

Transformers: The Last Knight somehow kicks that formula up another notch. This pic veers from warring scenes on a battlefield in the Middle Ages, to warring scenes in Nazi Germany, to warring scenes in a futuristic quarantined alien zone, to warring scenes in a sprawling junkyard, to warring scenes in London, to warring scenes at the bottom of the ocean, to warring scenes at Stonehenge, to warring scenes in outer space.

Yep, that's a whole lotta warring.

Explosions abound, as do dead humans, ripped robos, and scores of characters all over the world. Oh, and there's an abundance of human characters and robotic ones spewing a lot of foul language for a PG-13 film.

What there is very little of, however, is any kind of story that makes sense. If past films in the franchise were barely coherent, this one pulls out all the stops and feels like little more than a disjointed rapid-fire image-spew—pumped up by an IV line of Red Bull.

The predictable result? Two-and-a-half hours of bots reshaping themselves into vehicles and slashing, bashing constructs. But, frankly, Michael Bay's latest Transformer movie never transforms itself into anything worth watching.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager; Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton; Josh Duhamel as Colonel William Lennox; Laura Haddock as Vivian Wembley; Isabela Moner as Izabella; Jerrod Carmichael as Jimmy

Director

Michael Bay ( )

Distributor

Paramount Pictures

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

June 21, 2017

On Video

September 26, 2017

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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