In case you didn’t hear, Transformers 5 had the worst opening weekend in the franchise yet, but also debuted with $265 million. We’ll talk about it in a separate post to follow.
The movie begins with a prologue, and the prologue is insane. It’s the Dark Ages and King Arthur is getting his ass kicked by the Saxons and is waiting for Merlin to show up with a promised magic trick to save them. But Merlin, it turns out, is a drunk charlatan. (He is played by Stanley Tucci, who was in the last Transformers movie, too. I’m always glad to see Stanley Tucci but why does he keep making these movies?) Drunk Merlin begs a Transformer, crash-landed on Earth, to help King Arthur win his battle. The Transformer agrees, and a Transformer dragon with three heads appears and wins the fight for Arthur. Amazingly, this isn’t the entirety of the new Transformers movie. It should have been—drunk Merlin and a three-headed robot dragon is WAY BETTER than anything else that happens in Transformers: Robots Humping Garbage. We could’ve had it all.
I am excited to announce that Anthony Hopkins has reached the point of his career where he will be in any-f*cking-thing you pay him to be in, and he is in the new Transformers movie. He is there primarily to explain sh*t and provide voice over, which he does with the lackluster enthusiasm of a man cashing in. He plays Edmund Burton, an English lord who lives in a great big castle because I think Michael Bay thinks every Englishman lives in a great big castle. Bay only deals in stereotypes, so Burton 1) lives in a great big castle, 2) wears a jaunty scarf, 3) smokes a pipe, 4) is part of an arcane conspiracy that involves Stonehenge. He is part of the Witwiccans—a hilariously overcomplicated nod to Shia Laboeuf’s character, Sam Witwicky—a group of special people who protect the “secret history of the Transformers on Earth”. This is the door to the Transformers Cinematic Universe and I think we’re all dead and this is hell.
MEANWHILE, Gear McTeague (Mark Wahlberg) runs into some kids while trying to rescue an old Transformer. He’s like, “Kids, you gawta get outta heah!” And the kids are like, “We’re the literal dumbest humans ever conceived, please kill us, we’re too stupid to live.” Most of the dumb wiener kids disappear after this one scene, but one sticks around: Izabella (Isabela Moner). Izabella is the STUPIDEST MOVIE KID—literally she turns up unnecessarily in a climactic moment only to announce that her presence in that scene is stupid—and yet Gear McTeague basically adopts her after one night because she likes vroom vroom cars and giant space robots, too. He’s all, “Yawr family now, Izzy, yawr one-ah us!” And Izzy is like, “I just chopped my hand off with this blender.”
The only people that exist in Michael Bay’s world are fools, sluts, and The Hero, so everyone who isn’t Gear McTeague is a fool (or a slut). This includes Tony Hale—get paid, I guess?—as a NASA scientist whose physics and other NERD SH*T is totally useless in the face of the super-advanced Transformer technology which is basically magic, Gear McTeague keeps saying that. Also, The Lady (Laura Haddock) is a double-doctorate from Oxford but none of her accrued knowledge matters, what matters is that one time her dad made her a pop-up book. There is a joke about “finer education” and America’s issue with intellectualism, but I don’t know what point Bay is trying to make because despite including several highly educated characters, it’s Gear McTeague and his blind faith in a talking truck that wins the day.
Bay can shoot the sh*t out of action—the King Arthur part is, admittedly, pretty cool—but once again Transformers fighting looks like a goddamn garbage tornado. And once the carnage starts in the third act, it’s just your typical landmark-destroying nonsense that populates all these movies. There are videos of garbage trucks on fire with more drama and tension than the entire third act of Trans5mers. It’s just insensate noise and Gear McTeague shouting at everyone: “Tawmmy we gotta go back fah Ahptimus!” and “I didn’t give up, YOU GAVE UP!” and “Shut up yah fahckin’ nerds and take me over theah!”
I haven’t even started on the robot butler—voiced by Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter in what is undoubtedly the cleverest reference in this movie—the submarine part (?), whatever the f*ck John Turturro was doing (??), the Transformer goddess (???), or the Dinobot babies (????). (Can the Dinobots breed? What the f*ck is the robot dinosaur screwing to produce offspring? A garbage disposal?) And somehow this one manages to be even worse than the last one despite being almost twenty minutes shorter—it still feels like it’s nine hundred years long, though. In conclusion: Transformers: Ceaseless Noise is f*cking terrible.