Review – Transformers: The Last Knight

My Indo review from the weekend of Transformers: The Last Knight looks to have been toned down slightly by the subeditors. Here’s the unsubbed version to show the real extent of my feelings on this vile film.

***

Title: Transformers
Cert: 12A

TO THINK that Michael Bay’s Transformers films have a total box-office take near $4billion, despite being the movie equivalent of a bag of tangled-up Christmas lights, all soul-destroying untidiness and faulty circuitry.

Bay is nothing if not consistent with his fifth and supposedly final limp around the merch stand that is devoid of basic filmmaking criterion (a narrative course, engaging dialogue, characters that twig our empathy, etc). Hideous, bitty robots whirl about like scrapheap gyroscopes, walloping each other and reciting action-figure one-liners as the camera pans nauseatingly around them. While all this meaningless CGI gloop is smeared about the screen, stars Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock and Anthony Hopkins duck and dive. Haddock, to boot, is quickly poured into a tight dress solely so that Bay’s vile lense can leer at her. Garbage.

1/5

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Cowabungle

I was was a wholesale lover of the Eastman & Laird graphic novels when I was younger. This film is a million miles away from their sophistication. 

***

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
Out of the Shadows
Cert: 12A

UGLY, chaotic and operating at an intellectual level marginally higher than that of a well-used punch bag, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was critically panned when it belly-flopped into cinemas in 2014. Naturally, it went on to make half a billion dollars, lighting the way for this sequel which remains bafflingly faithful to the ethos of its predecessor.

Has director Dave Green (Earth To Echo) brought anything fresh to the softened, cartoon version of Eastman & Laird’s edgy and violent mid-eighties graphic novels? Not on your life. The swirling, bounding CGI, straight from the playbook of producer Michael Bay, is still as hard as ever to keep up with. It ends up, like Bay’s own big-screen transforming robots, being a major obstacle to enjoying the many action scenes.

Yes, this is a horrid-looking film that has all the charisma of an arcade game beat-em-up voiced by dim surfers. Human actors – Megan Fox (returning as gutsy and unashamedly eye-catching April O’Neil), Stephen Amell (as Casey Jones), Dublin wrestling star Sheamus – are squished into the background to make room for gloopy humanoid creatures that, while expressive on a basic animation level, are entirely uninvolving to behold.

Two hours in, and a slimy pink alien called Krang is observing the city-smashing protocol set out in Marvel Universe film finales. Billions of high-fives and “awesomes” clang about as the four snot-coloured pieces of computer coding jump around this insipid villain. By that time, however, you might have already hurried your children out of the auditorium for fear that actual brain cells were beginning to rot inside their underdeveloped craniums.

1/5

First published in the Sunday Independent