Caution: Spoilers Ahead!
I’ve just returned from my 2nd viewing of Transformers: The Last Knight and subsequent toy hunt. Took a second run to process.
Fortunately, I liked it. Especially the second time around. It’s not my favorite, but definitely up there, and a lot of fun in the theater.
However, there are some glaring missed opportunities in this flick. From a story perspective, they’re not just holes, they’re cannon (canon?) blasts. Let me go over a few, if for nothing more than my sanity.
Okay, seriously, last chance: spoilers ahead, dear reader. Go see it and come back later!
The Human Factor
Truthfully, the human cast has never been a fan favorite. They just get in the way of the robot fights, both physically and metaphorically. However, I was psyched to hear we were getting old cast members and new meeting up. (I’m a Lennox fan from way back.) But I feel as though this Lennox wasn’t the same Lennox. I think it was a writing issue, but I felt like the story wasn’t taking into account the NEST days, or the fact that these humans and bots fought side by side.
Also, I really wanted to see Joshua Joyce butt heads with Simmons. Didn’t get it. 😞
Halfway through this flick our heroes hop onboard an ancient submarine Transformer. Albeit a non-talking, non-transforming one. Where’s the wacky Julia Child voice? Or at least some transforming kibble? Or, in a perfect world, some eyes and teeth to give it a shark alt mode. Would’ve been a cool nod to the current RiD TV series. Just sayin’.
Cogman was easily the showstealer. Introduced as a Headmaster, he’s this cool old-timey butler-bot with a sociopathic streak. EW confirmed that he was a Headmaster, with this quote:
“For those who know what Headmasters are, he’s a headmaster,” Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner tells EW. “Those are robots who become the control mechanism, taking over another robot’s sentience.”
There’s even been reports that the Nitro toy’s head can be replaced by the Cogman head. So the toy has this functionality, the swapping head gimmick, but apparently the big screen version does not? I have to think this was an 11th hour cut. However, I kept waiting for Cogman to take control of TLK’s big bruiser, Nitro Zeus, in a Hulk-in-Avengers type finale scene. Also didn’t get it. 😞
Speaking of Nitro Zeus, he was one of a squad of ‘Cons handpicked by Megatron to do the TRF’s dirty work, in a scene straight out of Suicide Squad. The scene promised big personalities (and, in my case, a caper) only to have most of the team wiped out in one fell swoop.
Except Nitro Zeus. Who was saved for the end for some reason, hmmmm.
Megatron Should’ve Been the Hero
This one even surprised me, as I’m no Decepticon loyalist. But even if we forget that we have no idea where Megatron came from after his demise and resurrection as Galvatron in AoE, the logical next move was to make him the hero of this movie. With Prime the big baddie, make Megs the anti-hero recruited to take down Ops. Again, this idea was explored but barely executed. There are plenty of fans that want to see a Decepticon-centered flick, and writing geeks like me that love a good twist. We have 4 Autobot-centric movies, if ever it was the time to show Megatron’ s side, this was it.
Did I mention how weird it is to hear ME say this?
This is all weird to hear me say actually. I’ve been the biggest Bay-pologist for a decade, but I can’t hold back. I don’t fault Mr. Bayhem entirely, but between the editing and writing choices, a really great story came out just okay, leaving us to fill in the blanks with speculation, and maybe a fanfic. If I have time.
That’s all. Man, I feel better. Don’t let me sway you into avoiding this amazing cinematic experience. Just let this opinion open your mind. Or, better yet, a dialogue.