Transformers: The Last Knight (2017): A Compilation of 2017’s Worst Movies

Directed by: Michael Bay | Produced by: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce | Story by: Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan | Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel | Cinematography: Jonathan Sela | Production Company: di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro Studio | Distributed by Paramount Pictures | Official Website

3.7/10

When you heard the latest Transformers movie is out on the theater, what is the most thing you can expect? The cling-clang-boom-here-you-go Robots? The unnecessarily excessive explosives and cool vehicles trying to calm down army of angry alien robots? The somehow sexy, smart and talented woman who unexpectedly falls into a out-of-the-league man’s arm? The Mark Wahlberg’s abs, after the departure of the awkward Shia LeBeouf? Well, it’s all you can get from the fifth installment of Transformers live-action movie franchise, called Transformers: The Last Knight.

Open with the setting of British Dark Ages, where King Arthur and his Roundtable Knights fight their battles with the help of Merlin (the unrecognizable Stanley Tucci). Here, instead of using Magic like we used to know, Merlin is actually asking for help from the Guardian Robots, who trusted him with a staff that powerful enough to destroy a planet, while the 12 guardian robot forms a three-headed robodragon. From now, I exactly know this movie is leading to its self-destruction.

Over almost two millenia after, earth is being invaded by Alien ships, as told by one of Nasa’s physician, “They tried to make this earth a microwave, and we are the popcorn.” Failed inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is trying to hide his Autobots friends in a car junkyard alongside his assistant Jimmy (Jerrod Carmichael). Joined with them are Izabella (Isabela Moner), an orphan teenager who has a high interest in Robots, and her pet robo Sqweeks who tries so hard to look as cute as R2-D2 and BB8. One day when their hides has been revealed and they were chased by both Decepticons and the government, they are found by Cogman, a robobutler who tries to impersonate C3-PO, who works for Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). Sir Edmund Burton invites Yeager to England and he also invites Dr. Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock), a History Professor from Oxford University. 

Meanwhile, on Planet Cybertron, Optimus has met his creator, Quintessa (Gemma Chan). Instead of original Hasbro’s Cybertron gods Quintessons, it seems like Bay is trying to simplify all things so the Quintessons are replaced by single entity, Quintessa. Quintessa wants the staff to be returned, so she hypnotized Optimus to follow her instructions and get the staff back. On earth, Sir Edmund tells them that the alien invasion that happens lately is caused by Merlin staff, that only can be activated by Merlin’s direct descendant, Viviane. Optimus is back to earth as an enemy, as Yeager and Viviane try to find the staff that said to be buried with Merlin.

The movie feels in total disorder all around. It’s like they messed up with everything. The plot is a chaos, you can’t barely even know the connection with the previous installments, and the movie itself destroy its own timeline. There’s so many things that feel like they were forced to be there just to maintain the running time of no shorter than 150 minutes, and for me the movie looks like the compilation of 2017’s worst movies. You can recall the “Hello I’m King Arthur” moment from King Arthur and The Legend of The Sword and “Why are we in England again?” moment from The Mummy. The CGI looks cheesy, predictable and the final moment states that this movie is a total destruction. 

The characters looks like they only be there for the paychecks. Mark Wahlberg looks hopeless, clueless but somehow be able to pull out The Excalibur. Ha, you know this is a mess now. Laura Haddock tries her best to look smart as a Ph.D degree holder from Oxford but somehow finally falls into Wahlberg’s arms. Their trying to render C3-PO and R2-D2-look-alike characters is also failed, though Sqweeks is bearable and Cogman’s interaction with Anthony Hopkins is probably the best scenes of this movie, and one of the reason why I give this movie rating of 3.7. The other reason, is Anthony Hopkins himself. As an Emmy and Oscar winning actor, he doesn’t lose his charisma at all, and an actor with his caliber dominates the screen whenever he appears.

And the final reason why I still watch this movie is probably my crush over Optimus Prime. Haha. Oh and if you think that this franchise needs to be shut down immediately, you’re wrong. They’re going to make the sixth installment.

The Whole Truth (2016): A Bland Courtroom Thriller with Zellweger’s Stellar Performance

Directed by: Courney Hunt | Written by: Nicholas Kazan | Starring: Keanu Reeves, Reneè Zellweger, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jim Belushi, Gabriel Basso | Edited by: Kate Williams | Production Company Atlas Entertainment, Likely Story, Merced Media Partner, Palmstar Media | Distributed by: Lionsgate Premier

5.7/10

We are early introduced to our main character, Louisiana crime lawyer Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves), who is now defending his old friends’s son, 17 years-old Mike Lassiter (Gabriel Basso). Mike was accused of killing his own abusive father, Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi). Ramsay was assisted by the young Janelle Brady (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is also daughter of his old companion. Ramsay is so sure he could win the trial, and free Mike from his charge. His only obstacle is that Mike refused to talk to anyone, including Ramsay as his lawyer.

During the trial, almost all witness’ testimonials support the allegation that Mike did kill his father, due to Boone’s abusive behavior towards Loretta (Reneè Zellweger), Boone’s widow and also Mike’s mother. Ramsay, along with Janelle, works their best to free Mike from the accusation. They see opportunity when the prosecutor finally calls Loretta to testify, and her disclosure of Boone’s abusive behavior finally starts to reveal. However, when Mike decides he wants to testify, which Ramsay has objection towards it, the whole story starts to build themselves.

Led by Law and Order: Special Victim Unit’s director Courney Hunt, who has a law degree, I was quite expecting for a John Grisham-esque storyline. That expectation was enlarged by the cast of Keanu Reeves, which I thought would bring back his Devil’s Advocate’s persona. Sadly, that expectation wasn’t really match the reality.  The movie feels boring, bland with no clear explanation to the whole truth as the title implies. Even the twist and the conclusion at the very end feel lame and yawning. 

Keanu Reeves plays like a wooden doll lawyer, nearly no expression, nor the passion. He looks like he had been nervous all the time, despite the fact that his persona dominates the whole trial whenever he stands to speak. Miss Mbatha-Raw looks dashing, but she got almost no chance to develop her character. She, at the end, just looks like a platonic companion to Reeves’ wooden and dominating character. The only good performance came from trio Jim Belushi, Reneè Zellweger and Gabriel Basso who successfully convince us that their family is troublesome. Reneè Zellweger herself did a stellar performance as a survivor of abusive marriage, as weak, vulnerable and as pathetic as she could.

The Mummy (2017): A Big Confusing Piece of A Puzzle

Go back to Ancient Egypt and meet Princess Ahmanet here.

So wherever you are, please don’t forget to search for something that have value in the market, no matter it is, or whether it will cost your life. Or make you cursed. Well, meet our “hero” Sergeant Nicholas Morton (Tom Cruise), who is despite being in Iraq for his mission, he also searches for historical artifacts that have value at the Black Market. Alongside his bestfriend Corporal Chris Vail (Jake Johnson), he unintentionally opens up the gate into a tomb for an exiled Ancient Egyptian Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who has been mummified alive and exiled to Mesopotamia after she killed her own father.

When archaeologist Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) thinks this is her life finding, she wants to take the sarcophagus back to the US. At the plane, she just realizes that it is maybe a mistake taking the sarcophagus back, since the plane then crashes after being attacked by crows (literally). However, since this is a Tom Cruise movie and he is also our “said to be The Chosen One”, then he is being brought to life without any scratch. Voila! Discovering he might be cursed by Ahmanet for releasing her from her prison, Nick suddenly wakes up in a group of archaeologist led by the mysterious Dr Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe). Despite explaning to Nick the reason why he is being resurrected from his death, Dr Jekyll shows his true other personality, whom you surely can guess, Mr. Hyde.

This is not the only strangeness we can find in this movie. I mean, there’s so many pieces of puzzle that needed to be arranged in order to make this movie understandable. Just trying to compare it with the previous The Mummy franchise in early 2000s starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, this movie is lost most of its adventurous nature. This movie is just like a story about someone who’s being cursed but successfully turns the curse into superpower that makes him a savior for this world. This movie also maybe just a beginning of the upcoming installments, but it is a confusing beginning. There’s so many questions left behind, like how can Dr Jekyll still live until now? What is his true role in this franchise, because to be honest, you should not just cast Russell Crowe for just standing and showing his other monstrous side that is not frightening at all?

I don’t wanna comment about Tom Cruise. His cast is like putting Ethan Hunt in the Mummy franchise. He’s just being Tom Cruise, a die-hard superhero that shows no special ability other than being handsome. Sofia Boutella should steal the screen, I suppose, her build and her performance is truly frightening, but the script is bad. So instead of being a scary queen of evil, she just looks like a desperate woman searching for a man to resurrect her God of Death, Set. Her power is dominantly CGI, and her final battle against Cruise is a big let down. Not to mention the disappointing Annabelle Wallis that I prefer she just died since she has no wittiness of Rachel Weisz on the previous franchise. 

I give this movie 6.8/10. All for Sofia Boutella’s beautiful eyes and Tom Cruise’s ripped body.