Transformers: the Last Knight
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Transformers: the Last Knight
Transformers: The Last Knight
Transformers The Last Knight poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Bay
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based onTransformers
by Hasbro
Starring
Music bySteve Jablonsky
CinematographyJonathan Sela
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
Running time
149 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$217-260 million[3][4]
Box office$605.4 million[4]

Transformers: The Last Knight is a 2017 American science fiction action film based on the Transformers toy line. It is the fifth installment of the live-action Transformers film series and a sequel to 2014's Age of Extinction. Like its predecessors, the film is directed by Michael Bay and features Mark Wahlberg reprising his role from Age of Extinction, while Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, and Glenn Morshower reprise their roles from the first three films, as well as Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Jerrod Carmichael, Santiago Cabrera, and Anthony Hopkins all joining the cast. Returning Transformers include Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Wheelie, Megatron, and Barricade.

The film premiered at Odeon Leicester Square in London on June 18, 2017, and was theatrically released in the United States on June 21, 2017, by Paramount Pictures in 2D, 3D, IMAX and IMAX 3D. The film was universally panned by critics and is the worst-reviewed film of the Transformers series. Criticism focused on its length, story, direction, narrative, performances, script, cinematography, and constant format changes throughout, though the fight scenes, musical score, visuals, and voice acting received some praise. At the 38th Golden Raspberry Awards, it was nominated for ten awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Actor for Wahlberg.[5] The film became the franchise's first box-office bomb, grossing $605 million worldwide against a production budget between $217-260 million, with an estimated loss of over $100 million for both Paramount and Hasbro.[6][7]

Plot

In the year 484 AD, King Arthur and his knights fight a losing battle against the Saxons. Elsewhere, Merlin approaches the Knights of Iacon, a group of Transformers hiding on Earth, to help win the war. They hand him an alien staff, before transforming together into Dragonstorm and turn the tide of the battle, but warn Merlin to hide the staff, for someday in the future a great evil will come for it.

In the present, five years after the Hong Kong uprising,[N 1]Optimus Prime finally arrives on a heavily damaged Cybertron, and meets his alleged creator Quintessa. She, who originally sent Lockdown to bring him to her, blames Optimus for Cybertron's destruction and brainwashes him, renaming him Nemesis Prime. After which, she orders him to travel to Earth to help her get Merlin's staff, which can absorb Earth's energy to restore Cybertron. Earth is revealed to be Unicron, the ancient enemy of Cybertron, and whose horns are emerging across the planet.

On Earth, Transformers remain unwelcome among humanity, apart from in Cuba, and are hunted by the Transformers Reaction Force (TRF); a paramilitary force manufactured from the fallen Cemetery Wind. However, the U.S. military, particularly those who had formerly worked with the Transformers, such as Colonel William Lennox and General Morshower, are secretly against the new policy. Cade Yeager, an ally to the Autobots, helps hide refugee Transformers from the TRF in his remote junkyard. In the war-torn Chicago, Cade, Bumblebee, young scavenger Izabella and her Transformer companions Sqweeks and Canopy help a group of three young boys evade the TRF drones, but Canopy is killed by a fighter jet when the TRF mistake him for a Decepticon. Cade receives a mechanical talisman from a dying Autobot knight and has a brief standoff with the TRF and their leader, Santos, before being saved by Bumblebee, Lennox, and Hound. Cade returns to his junkyard with Izabella and Sqweeks, and also with the talisman. Both Megatron and the U.S. government become aware of the talisman's value and power, reluctantly joining forces to obtain it. The TRF release Mohawk, Dreadbot, Nitro Zeus, and Onslaught to aid in the mission.

The Decepticons and the TRF locate Cade's hideout with the help of a tracker previously planted on Bumblebee. Grimlock and the Dinobots ambush a TRF convoy. Cade, his assistant Jimmy, Izabella, and Sqweeks flee from the Decepticons and the TRF to an abandoned town where the Autobots ambush their enemies and defeat them while Cade, Jimmy, and Izabella battle a unit of TRF drones. Cogman, a small person sized transformer, appears and invites Cade to the United Kingdom to meet his employer, Sir Edmund Burton, who has connections to the Transformers. Burton also has another Transformer associate named Hot Rod who he orders to find Viviane Wembly, a University of Oxford professor, and bring her to him. On his way back, Hot Rod gains an alternate form after scanning a passing Lamborghini Centenario LP770-4 sports car.

Bringing Cade, Viviane, and Bumblebee together, Burton explains that Transformers have been aiding mankind in war for centuries, their existence hidden by a secret society of famed historical figures, the Order of Witwiccans, of which he is the last living member. The talisman can lead to Merlin's staff, buried with him in a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden under the sea. However, only a direct descendant of Merlin can wield it due to the knights encoding his DNA into it. Viviane is revealed as the last of Merlin's bloodline. MI6, TRF and local authorities discover them, forcing them to flee. Following a series of clues while evading their pursuers, the group head to the Royal Navy Museum. There, Cade, Viviane, Bumblebee, and Cogman commandeer the museum submarine HMS Alliance, also a Transformer, to find the spacecraft. The TRF, working together with the US Navy SEALS, after a failed attempt to stop the Alliance, pursue them in DSV submarines.

Burton contacts Seymour Simmons, both learning that Earth is Unicron, and the staff will be used to drain the planet's life, via an access point hidden under Stonehenge. Locating the ship, Cade and Viviane discover Merlin's tomb and obtain the staff. Viviane activates it, causing the spacecraft to become airborne, awakening the Knights of Iacon. As the TRF and Navy SEALS, now under Lennox, try to take the staff from them, Nemesis Prime arrives, forcing the humans to surrender the staff. Bumblebee, Lennox, and Cade confront Nemesis who engages in battle with Bumblebee. Just as Nemesis is about to finish him off, the formerly-mute Bumblebee begins speaking in his own voice (rather than the radio), stirring Optimus' memories and freeing him from Quintessa's control. The Decepticons ambush Optimus and Cade and steal the staff from him. The Knights try to execute Optimus for his "betrayal," but Cade stops them when his talisman transforms into Excalibur. The Knights yield and join the humans and Autobots. Burton tries to stop Megatron from activating the staff at Stonehenge only to be mortally wounded, dying peacefully with Cogman at his side.

At the same time, Cybertron's remains collide with Earth to begin draining energy from it, devastating the planet and killing millions as well as destroying much of the Moon. The Autobots, Dragonstorm, and human military forces converge on Stonehenge and Cybertron, attacking the Decepticons and Quintessa's minions, who either flee or are killed while Quintessa is defeated by Optimus and Bumblebee. The worlds are then saved upon Viviane removing the staff and the Autobots leave Earth to rebuild what is left of Cybertron.

In a mid-credits scene, Quintessa, who has survived by using a space bridge to escape and is disguised as a human, approaches a group of scientists inspecting one of Unicron's horns, offering a way to destroy him.

Cast

Humans

  • Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager
    A single father and inventor who helped the Autobots during the events of Age of Extinction.
  • Josh Duhamel as Col. William Lennox
    A former NEST commander and U.S. Army Ranger who partnered with the Autobots prior to the events of Age of Extinction, and now a U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel and reluctant member of the Transformers Reaction Force (TRF).
  • Stanley Tucci as Wizard Merlin who helped the Guardian Knights.
  • Anthony Hopkins as Sir Edmund Burton
    12th Earl of Folgan, an astronomer and historian who knows about the history of the Transformers on Earth.[8][9][10]
  • Laura Haddock as Viviane Wembly
    A Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford and a polo player, who turns out to be a descendant of Merlin.[11][12][13] Minti Gorne portrays a younger Viviane.
  • Isabela Moner as Izabella
    A street-wise tomboy who was orphaned by the Battle of Chicago in Dark of the Moon and now lives in the city ruins with Sqweeks and Canopy, her only friends, until meeting Cade.[14][15]
  • Jerrod Carmichael as Jimmy
    A young man from South Dakota whom Cade hired through a want ad.[16]
  • Santiago Cabrera as Santos
    A former Delta Force operative and ruthless commander of the TRF, who seeks to eradicate every Transformer and their human allies regardless of faction. He also tries to capture or kill Cade Yeager as he knows he's working with the Autobots.[17][18][12][19]
  • John Turturro as Seymour Simmons
    A former government agent of sector seven and NEST turned successful writer who hides out in Cuba, and was allied with the Autobots prior to the events of Age of Extinction.
  • Glenn Morshower as General Morshower
    A former leader of NEST in Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon who now supervises TRF operations.
  • Liam Garrigan as King Arthur, the legendary knight who first fought with the Knights of Iacon.[20] Liam Garrigan previously portrayed a version of King Arthur in Once Upon a Time.

Additionally, Mitch Pileggi,[21]Tony Hale, and Gil Birmingham appear as a TRF group leader, a JPL engineer, and Chief Sherman, respectively. Former Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke also stars in the film as an unnamed TRF lieutenant working for Santos. Nicola Peltz has a vocal cameo as Tessa Yeager, Cade's daughter, who helped the Autobots during the events of Age of Extinction and is seen in a photograph in Cade's trailer,[22] while Shia LaBeouf is seen as Sam Witwicky, who allied with the Autobots in events prior to Age of Extinction, in a photograph spotted in Burton's mansion.[23]

Voices

Robot-speaking characters

  • Grimlock
    The leader of the Dinobots, who transforms into a mechanical horned, fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus.[12]
  • Slug
    The savage Dinobot destroyer who transforms into a mechanical spiked and bestial Triceratops.[48]
  • Mini-Dinobots
    The Mini versions of Grimlock, Slug, and Strafe.[49]
  • A Transformer who turns into the submarine HMS Alliance appears, though not seen in robot mode as it can't transform.
  • Trench
    An Autobot who resembles Constructicon Scrapper and transforms into an Cat 320 excavator.
  • Dreadbot
    A Decepticon thug who transforms into a rusty Volkswagen Type 2.[50][51]
  • Infernocons
    Quintessa's demon-like guardians who combine to form Infernocus.[27]
  • Unicron
    A giant planet-destroying Transformer appearing as Planet Earth and six of his mechanical horns are seen.

Production

Development

Michael Bay announced that the film would be his last Transformers film.

In March 2015, Deadline Hollywood reported that Paramount Pictures was in talks with Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) to pitch new ideas for the Transformers franchise's future installments. The studio intends to do what James Cameron and 20th Century Fox have been doing in planning three Avatar sequels, and what Disney has done to revive Star Wars, with sequels and spin-offs. Paramount wants to have their own cinematic universe for Transformers, similar to Marvel's/Disney's Marvel Cinematic Universe (which had been one of Paramount's previous film series), and DC Comics/Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe. Goldsman is the head of the future projects, and worked with franchise director Michael Bay, executive producer Steven Spielberg, and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura to organize a "writers' room" that incubates ideas for potential Transformers sequels, prequels and spin-offs. The writers' room members include Christina Hodson, Lindsey Beer, Ken Nolan, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Robert Kirkman, Zak Penn, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Jeff Pinkner, and Geneva Robertson-Dworet.[52] Kirkman left the room after just one day to undergo throat surgery.[53] In July 2015, Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner were announced as the fifth Transformers film's screenwriters.[54] However, on November 20, due to Goldsman's commitments creating a writers' room for G.I. Joe and Micronauts properties, Paramount began to negotiate with Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, as well as Ken Nolan, to write the film. Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet were also brought aboard for writing duties.[55]

I think I brought the concern to the movie studio and certainly to the writers. Perhaps...Transformers 5 and 6 movies will go back more to its roots. There was an occasion where one line [in Transformers: Age of Extinction] which Optimus Prime had, I did not want to say. It was my gut instinct and certainly my commitment to the character... not to say the line. But I was told to say. You can't fight the big boys. I think you all know what that line was.

 -- Peter Cullen on a question from a fan on the future of the franchise from Sac-Anime 2015[56]

After Transformers: Age of Extinction, Bay had decided not to direct any future Transformers films. But in early January 2016, in an interview with Rolling Stone, he stated that he would return to direct the fifth film, and that it would be his last Transformers film.[57]Paramount Pictures spent $80 million on production in Michigan, in return for $21 million in state incentives, under agreements entered into before the state legislature eliminated the film office incentive program in July 2015.[58] In April 2016, Paramount hired cinematographer Jonathan Sela.[59][60] On May 17, Bay revealed the official title of the film to be The Last Knight on his Instagram account, where he also posted a production video showing a close-up of Optimus Prime's face with purple eyes instead of blue, and his face mostly discolored.[61] The official Twitter account showed a 19-second short video in morse code that translates to "I'm coming for you May 31".[62] On May 31, it was revealed that Megatron would return in the sequel.[25]

Casting

In December 2014, Mark Wahlberg confirmed that he would return in the sequel.[63] In February 2016, there were casting calls for new lead and supporting roles in Los Angeles and London, and Peter Cullen was announced as returning to voice Optimus Prime.[64] Approximately 850 cast and crew were hired, 450 of whom were Michigan residents, equating to 228 full-time positions.[65] Additionally, 700 extras were hired from among Detroit residents, as part of Paramount's incentive deal with the state.[66] On April 13, TheWrap reported that Isabela Moner was in talks to star as Izabella.[14] The site also reported that Bay was eyeing Jean Dujardin, Stephen Merchant, and Jerrod Carmichael for supporting roles.[67][68] On May 17, 2016, it was confirmed that Josh Duhamel would reprise his role in the film, and Jerrod Carmichael was cast.[69][16] In June 2016, Anthony Hopkins, Mitch Pileggi, Santiago Cabrera, and Laura Haddock joined the cast, and Tyrese Gibson stated that he will return as Robert Epps.[70][71][21][11][8] In August 2016, Liam Garrigan was confirmed to play King Arthur, a different version from his role as the same character on the television series Once Upon a Time.[20] On September 4, 2016, Stanley Tucci confirmed his return.[72] On October 14, 2016, Bay announced that John Turturro would reprise his role as Seymour Simmons from the first three films, and that John Goodman would return to voice Hound.[73] A month before the film's release, Bay revealed that the character Cogman would be voiced by Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter, at the request of co-writer Matt Holloway, who is a fan of the series.[30] On June 9, 2017, Reno Wilson confirmed he would have a voice role in the film.[74] On June 16, 2017, Gibson revealed that despite closing a deal for the film, he was unable to appear as Epps due to scheduling conflicts with The Fate of the Furious.[75]

Filming

Alnwick Castle in Alnwick, Northumberland, one of the many locations used in the film

Principal photography began on May 25, 2016, in Havana, Cuba, with a few scenes shot by a "small team".[76][77][78] Filming continued on June 6, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona, and on June 19, 2016, in Detroit, Michigan, under the working title E75,[64][65][79] with additional filming taking place in Chicago, Illinois.[80] In Detroit, filming took place in the Michigan Motion Pictures Studio, Packard Plant, Michigan Central Station, Cafe D'Mongo's Speakeasy, and MGM Grand Detroit.[81] Production moved to Europe on August 21, and filming commenced on August 22 in Scotland and Wales. In England, filming took place in North Yorkshire, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, London, Gosport and Stonehenge. Between August and October, filming occurred in Northern Ireland, and Preikestolen, Trolltunga and Atlanterhavsveien in Norway.[82][83] The Trinity Library Oxford scene was filmed in the Old Library, Trinity College Dublin.[84]

In early September 2016, filming took place in Alnwick Castle in Alnwick Northumberland in England, including car chase scenes.[85] Production continued at St Aidan's Church, Seahouses, where Walhberg spent an hour inside the church and reportedly donated £200. Rev Father Des McGiven said: "I didn't even know he was in church until he left. One of my parishioners, Danielle Love, recognized him and explained who he was. It's great that we had him in for the service, and we appreciate his generosity towards our church." Car chases were also filmed at the Monument area of Newcastle upon Tyne, where Josh Duhamel was filming, while Wahlberg and Sir Anthony Hopkins continued at Alnwick, Seahouses and the Bamburgh Region of Northumberland.[86] In late September 2016, filming was spotted in Gosport, Hampshire at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum. On October 5, 2016 filming was spotted at St Bartholomew-the-Great, London. London filming wrapped on October 27, 2016.[87] Principal photography wrapped on December 4, 2016.[88]

Scenes were shot in at least four different aspect ratios, including 1.90:1 (IMAX), 2.00:1 (Univisium), 2.28:1, & 2.39:1 (Panavision). This has been stated by the movie's director of photography, Jonathan Sela, to be due to a large number of different types of cameras on set, including the Red 6K Weapon Dragon, the Alexa IMAX 3-D rig and the IMAX 3-D Phantom 65.

Effects

As with previous Transformers installments, Industrial Light & Magic served as the main visual effects company for Transformers: The Last Knight. In early 2016, the company showed Bay an underwater rendering of a crash-landed alien spaceship and a new dump-truck Transformer with a cloak.[57]

Music

On September 27, it was confirmed that Steve Jablonsky would return to write the score, having composed the music for the first four films. The score was released digitally on the film's original release date, Friday June 23, 2017, and a limited-edition two-disc CD set of 3,000 units will be released by La-La Land Records on July 25, 2017. Unlike the previous films' scores, which contained anywhere from fourteen to twenty-three tracks, the film's soundtrack contains thirty-four tracks, amounting to over two hours of music.

On the score, Jablonsky said, "I met with Michael before he started shooting 'Transformers: The Last Knight.' He showed me some amazing concept art and explained how the story connects the history of Transformers all the way back to the times of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I loved the idea because it gave me the opportunity to explore new musical ideas. The storyline allowed me to write melodies that are a bit more 'classical' than I've written for the other Transformers films, which was a lot of fun for me. Another important aspect of the story revolves around massive skyscraper-sized 'horns from hell' that start emerging from the Earth. They look like gigantic animal horns, but no one knows what they are or why they have appeared. I wanted to create an unsettling sense of mystery and tension with the music." The film also featured the song "Torches" by X Ambassadors.[89]

Hatebreed also contributed to the soundtrack with their hit single "Seven Enemies" which was released the same day Transformers: The Last Knight hit theatres and is featured in the end credits. Stone Sour contributed to the soundtrack with their 2006 hit "Hell & Consequences". Killswitch Engage also contributed to the soundtrack with their 2016 song "Hate by Design", as well as their 2006 hit "This is Absolution." Shinedown also contributed to the soundtrack with their 2013 hit "Adrenaline." Metallica contributed to the soundtrack with their 2016 hit "Spit Out the Bone". Slipknot also contributed to the soundtrack with their 2014 hit "The Devil in I", Flotsam and Jetsam (band) contributed to the soundtrack with their hit "Dreams of Death" off their 1988 album "No Place for Disgrace." Limp Bizkit contributed to the soundtrack with their 2003 hit "Eat You Alive." Slayer contributed to the soundtrack with their songs, "Payback" which is featured in the end credits & "Disciple" off of their 2001 album, "God Hates Us All", Five Finger Death Punch contributed to the soundtrack with their hit songs, "Got your Six" and "100 ways to Hate", Halestorm contributed to the soundtrack with their 2015 hit "Mayhem". Seether contributed to the soundtrack with their 2004 hit "Out of my Way". Hollywood Undead contributed to the soundtrack with their 2008 hit "Undead." Pantera contributed to the soundtrack with their 1994 and 1996 songs, "5 Minutes Alone" and "Suicide Note Pt. 2." Primer 55 contributed to the soundtrack with their 2000 hit 'The Big F*** You' which is off their 2000 album Introduction to Mayhem, Flaw (band) contributed to the soundtrack with their 2001 hit Payback, and Get Up Again, & Sevendust also contributed to the soundtrack with their 2011 hit "Last Breath" (song) off their 2010 album Cold Day Memory.

Controversy

Blenheim Palace, where Britain's former wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was born, was draped in huge Nazi flags.

On September 21, 2016, shooting for a particular scene took place in Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire in England, the home of Sir Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during World War II. The mansion was dressed as a Nazi swastika-draped headquarters for Adolf Hitler for filming. Tony Hayes of the UK Veterans Association stated that surviving World War II ex-servicemen and women would be "appalled".[90] Churchill's grandson and British Parliament member Sir Nicholas Soames dismissed the controversy entirely, stating, "They've no idea what my grandfather would have thought!"[91] Churchill was buried less than a mile away, at St Martin's Church, Bladon.[92]

Release

Transformers: The Last Knight was released on June 21, 2017, after being moved up from its original June 23 release date.[93][94][95] The teaser trailer of the film was released on December 5, 2016, and was later attached to Rogue One.[96] in RealD 3D, IMAX 3D, and 4DX.

Marketing

The first teaser trailer aired on Monday, December 5, during ESPN's Monday Night Football, and was released online shortly thereafter. With 24 hours of its release, the trailer garnered a record-breaking 93.6 million views from social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, making it the third-highest-viewed trailer of 2016, falling behind Disney's Beauty and the Beast remake (127.6 million views) and Universal's Fifty Shades Darker (114 million views in 24 hours), but surpassing Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 trailer, which scored 81 million views in its first 24 hours online.[97] Following the trailer's release, the film trended on all major social media sites, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. It was Weibo's No. 1 trending topic in China, where the preview was viewed 16 million times it is the first day of release.[98] Television spots for the film started airing ahead of the Super Bowl spot on February 3, 2017. An extended TV spot for the Super Bowl aired during Super Bowl LI, on February 5, 2017.[99] On March 11, 2017, a new TV spot and clip were shown at Nickelodeon's 2017 Kids' Choice Awards. A new trailer aired with the release of Beauty and the Beast on March 17, 2017, while the third trailer was released on April 13, 2017.[100] Another clip was shown at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards on May 7, 2017, which is presented by Mark Wahlberg. The international trailer was released on May 17, 2017, and a smaller trailer was released shortly after, on June 4, 2017. After that, various TV spots were released.

Home media

Transformers: The Last Knight was released on Digital HD on September 12, 2017, and on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 4K, Blu-ray 3D and DVD on September 26, 2017, in North America.[101][102] It was also released in a collection with the four previous films.

Reception

Box office

Transformers: The Last Knight grossed $130.1 million in the United States and Canada and $475.3 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $605.4 million, against a production budget of $217 million.[4] The film reportedly lost Paramount over $100 million and was deemed a commercial failure.[6][103]

United States and Canada

In North America, The Last Knight was originally projected to gross $70-75 million from 4,069 theaters over its first five days, which would have been the lowest debut of the franchise.[104] However, after the film grossed a franchise-low $15.7 million on its first day (including $5.5 million from Tuesday night previews), opening estimates were lowered to $60-65 million. On Thursday, it grossed $8.1 million, potentially dropping the five-day debut to under $60 million.[105] It ended up having an opening weekend of $44.7 million, the lowest debut of the franchise by $25 million (and lowest since the first film's $70.5 million). The film's five-day gross of $68.5 million was also lower than every three-day opening of the previous four films.[106] The film grossed $16.9 million in its second weekend, dropping 62.2% and finishing third at the box office,[107] and $6.4 million in its third, dropping an identical 62.2% and finishing 5th.[108]

Outside North America

Internationally, The Last Knight opened in its first 42 international territories alongside its United States debut, including major markets China, the UK, Russia, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Korea, and Hong Kong, and was projected to have an opening of $167-200 million.[109][110] Due to its predecessor's success in China, expectations were high for the film in the country. Box office observers and trackers believed the film would open to $80-100 million,[110] and end its run there with anywhere between $290[111] to $400 million.[112] The film ended up having a global debut of $265.3 million ($196.2 million from other territories), including $123.4 million from China, representing 63% of the film's international opening. In the film's second week in China, it fell 76% and had a running cumulative total of $147.6 million.[106] The film's largest markets outside North America were: China ($228.8 million), South Korea ($19.2 million), Russia ($15.9 million), Germany ($15.4 million), Mexico ($15.3 million), U.K. ($12.2 million), Brazil ($13.7 million), Indonesia ($11.7 million), Japan ($15.7 million) and France ($11 million). In India, the film was given an adult certificate[better source needed] and, hence, it was not successful at the box office ($4.9 million) as compared to Age of Extinction ($10.2 million) and other Transformers films (3.01 million TF1, 2.80 million ROTF, 6.88 million DOTM).[113]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 15% based on 250 reviews, with an average rating of 3.19/10, giving it the lowest rating of the six films in the Transformers series. The site's critical consensus reads, "Cacophonous, thinly plotted, and boasting state-of-the-art special effects, The Last Knight is pretty much what you'd expect from the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise."[114] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 27 out of 100, based on 47 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[115] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the same score as the second film,[105] while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave a 75% overall positive score and a 55% "definite recommend".[106]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film a zero-star review (as he did to the previous films), saying "Every time Michael Bay directs another Transformers abomination (this is the fifth), the movies die a little. This one makes the summer's other blockbuster misfires look like masterpieces."[116] Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave the film a negative review, criticizing its running time and incoherent plot, writing: "I have no proof Transformers: The Last Knight will kill your brain cells, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it does and I'd proceed with caution just in case. But I can say with absolute certainty that after watching, your head will hurt."[117] Emily Yoshida of Vulture.com gave the film a negative review but wrote: "I feel slightly worried about how little I hated it." Yoshida thought it was marginally better than the previous film: "The Last Knight remains barely coherent. But it's more fun than "Age of Extinction," though both movies are so drunk on money and effects they accidentally go weird." Yoshida grudgingly praised the "visual and sonic imagination" shown by the filmmakers.[118]Alonso Duralde of TheWrap was also critical of the film's sloppiness, saying, "...fear not, fans of the franchise: if you're here for the director's trademark chaos editing (where fights go from points A to D to Q), comedy scenes rendered tragic (and vice versa), and general full-volume confusion, you'll get all those things in abundance."[119] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it 1 out of 5, complained about the long runtime, and suggested the film was "competing with Marvel movies for spectacle" but without the "wit and fun".[120]Christopher Orr of The Atlantic criticized the film for attempting to connect the Transformers to Stonehenge and World War II, and called it the worst retelling of Arthurian legend of the year, even worse than Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.[121] Rebecca Farley of Refinery29 and Dana Schwartz of Marie Claire were critical of the underdeveloped female characters. Farley noted the marketing made Moner appear to have a prominent role in the film, when she does not. Farley also labeled Haddock's character the film's "textbook Strong Woman" cliché. Schwartz criticizes Wahlberg's character for referring to Moner's as "Little J. Lo" because of her Latina heritage, and Haddock being portrayed as the "British Megan Fox". Schwartz also criticized the film for the frequent aspect ratio changes, and the runtime being too long.[122][123]Ian Freer of Empire magazine rated the film 2 out of 5 stars. Freer said that like the previous films it "is bogged down in backstory, lacks a real feel for its characters and still can't find a way to make its robot-on-robot action exhilarating... It is amazing how a series with so much nostalgic goodwill, technical finesse and behind the scenes talent have led so often to experiences that are so joyless."[124]

Variety's Owen Gleiberman gave the film a mixed review stating, "The fifth time may not quite be the charm, but the latest entry in Michael Bay's crunched-metal robot-war mega-series is badder, and therefore better."[125] Richard Brody of The New Yorker acknowledged the film's flaws but noted there was almost something impressive about them, saying: "The absolute tastelessness of Bay's images, their stultifying service to platitudes and to merchandise, doesn't at all diminish their wildly imaginative power."[126]

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph wrote "If you're not staggered by the technique on display here - the stuff that sets Bay's work miles above the Fast & Furiouses, X-Men: Apocalypses and Tom Cruise-chasing Mummies of this world - you're not paying attention" and called it "a cinematic experience of earth-shattering preposterousness".[127] Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Bay's visual sensibility has, if anything, matured, to the point of demanding and earning your exasperated surrender."[128] Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out New York gave it 3 out of 5, calling it "Clangorous and nonsensical" but "Regardless of our opinions, we all know what a Michael Bay film is. This one's his most Baysome."[129]

Accolades

The film was nominated for ten Razzie Awards, but all lost to The Emoji Movie, The Mummy, Daddy's Home 2, Fifty Shades Darker, and Baywatch.

Award Category Subject Result
Golden Raspberry Awards[5] Worst Picture Nominated
Worst Director Michael Bay Nominated
Worst Screenplay Nominated
Worst Actor Mark Wahlberg Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Josh Duhamel Nominated
Anthony Hopkins Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Laura Haddock Nominated
Worst Screen Combo Any combination of two humans, two robots or two explosions Nominated
Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel Nominated
The Razzie Nominee So Rotten You Loved It Nominated

Future

Bumblebee

A spin-off titled Bumblebee, starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, was released on December 21, 2018 to a successful critical and financial reception.

In an interview with Slash Film on December 10, 2018, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura announced that there will continue to be further films in the series following the release of Bumblebee, acknowledging that the franchise will make some changes in their tone and style.[130]

Possible sequel

The Last Knight was originally developed as the first installment from a writers room style brain trust that was established to map out the future of the Transformers films over the next several years. In March 2015, Paramount hired Academy Award winner film writer Akiva Goldsman to bring together a group of writers and pitch ideas for future Transformers films with the intention of expanding the franchise into a cinematic universe. At least 12 films had been planned for the cinematic universe with Goldsman overseeing development of a multi-part sequel storyline along with prequels and spin-off films that were to follow. In May 2015, Deadline reported[] that Robert Kirkman, Zak Penn, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, Jeff Pinkner, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari, Christina Hodson, Lindsey Beer, Ken Nolan, Geneva Robertson-Dworet, and Steven DeKnight were hired to write future installments for the series with Barrer and Ferrari writing a film that would explore the origins of Cybertron, with the working title Transformers One.[]

Before the release of The Last Knight, Michael Bay said it would be his last film in the franchise but expressed interest in remaining as a producer should they wish to continue the series with another director. Bay confirmed in April 2017 that out of the writers room, at least 14 stories had been completed for potential future Transformers films. Following The Last Knight's' negative reception and disappointing box office performance, the future of the series was uncertain. By August 2017, Akiva Goldsman revealed he was no longer leading the writers room, and had left the franchise.[131][132]

On February 16, 2018, Senior designer of the brand John Warder confirmed Hasbro's plans for the sequel had been postponed and on May 23, Paramount removed the sequel from their release schedule.[133]

In a March 2019 interview, while promoting Bumblebee in Japan, Di Bonaventura claimed that sequels to both the solo film and The Last Knight were in development. He said "One is the latest in the main family series following Transformers: The Last Knight and the other is a sequel to Bumblebee".[134][135] In April 2019, Di Bonaventura confirmed that a direct sequel to The Last Knight was not in development.[136]

In May 2020, it was reported that Paramount scheduled a release date of June 24, 2022 for the next live-action Transformers film,[137] though it has not been announced whether or not it is a continuation of The Last Knight.

Spin-offs

By January 2020, it was announced that both a follow up to Bumblebee, and an adaptation of Transformers: Beast Wars were in development; written separately by Joby Harold and James Vanderbilt, respectively.[138][139] In April 2020, Josh Cooley was hired to direct the animated prequel film through Hasbro's Entertainment One with Paramount Animation. Barrer and Ferrari are writing a new draft of their "Transformers One" script, with Cooley. The story will take place entirely on Cybertron, and will explore the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron, "separate and apart" from what has been portrayed in the live action films. Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian are expected to be the producers.[140]

Notes

  1. ^ As depicted in the 2014 film Transformers: Age of Extinction.

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External links


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