The Evening Squeaks Report: First Impressions of the Last Knight

Transformers Last Knight Optimus Prime Movie ticket first impressions film

I just literally got back from watching Transformers: The Last Knight at the cinema, and wanted to capture my first impressions of the film before they fade into sweet oblivion.

Transformers: The Last Knight for me was tremendous fun, so many of the things that irritated me in the previous films were absent or toned down, and so many of the things that I liked were improved upon or added to.

This is the first film that feels like its having a proper go at making its own lore (hodge-podged and cherry picked from the various TF media) rather than just hinting at stuff and leaving you guessing as the previous films did.

Sometimes you go to a restaurant and enjoy a good smorgasbord, everything on the menu is fantastic and your mouth is alive with excitement. Last Knight hits more than it misses with its Lore, and its vast volumes of humor and gags. It’s a big buffet and best enjoyed by jumping in and just going with the madness.

The thing I loved the most is that the new female characters are not only interesting but have something to do. They are no longer there just there as eye candy and both new characters are integral to the plot and themes of the film.

The decision to pile in so many things into one film, cramming it with exposition etc could (and should) have backfired, but it works. It’s messy and sloppy in places, but overall it works and creates a larger cohesive fiction for the live action version of the Transformers, and jumping off point for any future films or spin offs. The movie-verse feels like it’s really come into it’s own for the first time.

The Transformers BAYHEM Movieverse is now one of the longest running forms of Transformers fiction, along with Rescue Bots and the IDW Transformers Comics, these three forms of fiction are the longest running in Transformers media.

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I was very fortunate that my Mrs shouted the two of us to the movie and that she had any interest in going at all, as she had not seen the previous films. We often go and see Marvel films together, or just about any film Bat-ffleck is involved with – but most Marvel films have some human element to them that makes them appealing to a wider audience.

In contrast past Transformers movies have had:

*explosions, robo-balls, lingering shots of ladies bits that go on just a bit *too long* to be entirely comfortable about,

*More biggerERerERer explosions, Robots yelling at each other while things explode, Human military dudes yelling at each and the robots about all the explosions, then getting jealous and making some explosions of their own,

…and at some point usually after about five hours, the credits roll and you stumble about trying to remember where your butt is as it has gone totally numb. Like not just ordinary numb, but Lord of the Rings Extended Editions NUMB.

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But the big fancy ADD trailer at the cinema recently for Transformers: Last Knight  (and the Spider-Man one *glee*) really grabbed our attention.

I thought to myself, Maybe THIS one won’t be complete shit?

Then I reasoned well fuck it, I’ll watch it at least for some of those amazing animations and robot on robot carnage.

I was pleasantly surprised at how laugh out loud funny Last Knight was, and that the story was interesting all the way from beginning to end. The new characters were my favourite of any of the Transformers films. And they kept Simmons in there, even if only for a little bit. Go Simmons! Rock those beach shorts.

Now, the reason this is called The Squeeks Report is that my Mrs’ nick name for over a year or so has been “Squeeks” (not related to Transformers) and as we both loved the movie (and TF Squeaks!) I’m handing this bit over to her to give her impressions:

 

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SQUEAKS ON SQUEAKS

I really liked the new Squeaks character, he was very cute and appealing to both kids and adults. The young girl was a good character, I cared about her right away, she seems to love the Transformers and wanted to help them every step of the way.

The British lady was a bit boring in contrast, I didn’t care about her one or another. The movie was so funny, Anythony Hopkins character had so many funny lines, and his robot butler Cogman was also hilarious.

One of my favourite scenes was when Marky Mark was in the elevator, Cogman accidentally pushes him out of it and then on his communicator [to Anthony Hopkins] he says that Wahlburgers jumped out for some reason, and now he appears to be flying. The scene was just hilarious, the whole cinema was laughing really loud, like really loud belly laughter.

Another scene I *enjoyed* was in the submarine, the little Knight medallion thing is crawling all over Mark, and he takes  his shirt off showing off amazingly hot abs, arms and chest. Oh my god, he was so ripped! The English lady gets a good perv, and the scene was sexy, but also pretty funny and silly at the same time, a real crowd pleaser.

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Speaking of sexy, the scene where the English lady and Wahlburg are hunting around upstairs for an artifact while making a lot of loud banging, crashing and yelling noises that the ladies (Mums) downstairs mistake for rough sex was gut bustingly hilarious. Most of the people in the cinema really lost it during that scene. It was so funny.

“It’s like Tarzan is upstairs” said one the British mums in reference to Wahlberg crashing around. The mums / middle aged ladies were really drooling over Mark in that scene, and it was brilliant. It’s safe to say we don’t miss Shia or his crazy antics.

 

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Back to Botfan John:

Yeah, so the Mrs wants more Marky Mark if there are more of those mainline ridiculous live action movies, in contrast I am glad there was no Megan Foxy or Rosie Legginton as those characters were so generic and boring and had nothing to do, the actresses were utterly wasted in the previous films.

And Anthony Hopkins out crazies (real life) Shia in ANY FIVE MINUTES of time he appears on screen in Last Knight. His character is just so pleasingly unexpected, unpredictable and gets some of the funniest lines in the film. He’s pretty much Grampa Simpson, except the twist is all his impossible super crazy rambling run on stories are actually true.

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There is a lot to like in Last Knight and fuck it………I just have to say it.

They’ve DONE IT. They’ve rocked the Kasbah, they’ve Fast Fived  this mother fucking franchise, Wahlberg is their Rock, they turned everything up to eleven, they made the film a more global James Bondy international thing, they have recognised the vast Chinese and global audience, they have young and old cast members that make it a truly all ages film (bit violent for really little ones, but some were there in the cinema), it was funny as fuck and it could have been a big mess but it fucking worked!

[dramatic pause for masochists who hate the films but read to this point for some reason to click away to other sites….]

So.

Those stupid Bayhem movies…

They’ve turned me from doubter to believer.

Rather than dying a terrible terrible death, I want them to succeed and break more new territory.

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I also watched all the previous Transformers films in the week beforehand for the first time since they were released.

I enjoyed them more back to back, Last Knight even makes the other films make more sense in their Lore. I used to find them hard to follow, but now my criticisms are more things like excessive running time and minor nit picks like dumb dialogue and overly generic bland ethnic stereotypes.

I’ve gone from hardcore literally born in 1980 – “the decade of AWESOME” -Geewunner “Fuck those robo-bullshit Bayhem movies with a crooked broom” to genuinely enjoying them. I’ve also bought some of the new movie toys, which are all brilliant, well most of them are brilliant. Some of them are shit.

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So, Last Knight – it’s a films haters are gonna hate while sipping in their Hatorade and use as an excuse to foam at the mouth and spit vitriol in the direction of anyone silly enough to listen like they have been doing for the last ten years.

I don’t mind an intelligent film review – but nobody needs a critic to tell them how to enjoy or not to enjoy something. And the ones (fans or professionals) that disguise their caustic venom as a “review” are cowardly people I have no interest in engaging with on any level. They do a dis-service to the Transformers fandom and make us toy collectors and Transformers fans look like a pack of fifth generation inbred assholes. Thanks for that internet jerks!

I really loved the Last Knight. I expected it to be utter rubbish, but I’ve really turned a corner and can see even the older films with fresh new eyes. It’s a film that takes risks, and does interesting new things with the Transformers.

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SMUGGY McSMUGFACE

There is a certain *smugness* in the Transformers fandom about “hating” the live action films. Some of the comments I read online from fans are the exact same ones they were spouting ten years ago. Am I saying they are wrong, or their opinions don’t count?

No, I’d say they are lazy and maybe braindead and living in the past. Not for hating a film, but for saying the same nonsense ten years later, not allowing any new thoughts or ideas into that old calcified corpus callosum.

Of course everyone is entitled to their point of view – I often talk a load of wank myself -but I get the sense some fans are truly living in the past, they have latched on to one single version of a multimedia brand, and cry foul of every interpretation that dares to differ in any way, as if we should have one singular boring crusty stuck in time vision of what Transformers media can or should be. I love the 80’s show more than anyone I’ve ever met, but I also love the other shows (well most of them). I’m not stuck in the past.

And the thing is, those kinds of fans are more interested in being RIGHT, than in having fun, or enjoying new experiences in life. That kind of rotten attitude can really infect your thinking, and it creeps over into other areas of your life. The irony of people being inflexible and unchanging while obsessed with media about alien robots who transform and constantly adapt to new circumstance is not lost on me.

“If you can prove you’re right, you’re set in concrete. you cannot move with the times or with other people. Being right is also being boring. Your mind is closed.” – Paul Arden

Personally, I didn’t at first care for the aesthetic of the live action movies, the art style of Transformers Prime or the look of characters in Robots in Disguise (2015), or Transformers: Animated. But I’ve since come to appreciate the talent, the artistry and hard work that went into those products, and they’ve added more joy to my life learning to enjoy something I thought I would never like. I’ve also started collecting all three main toylines from those shows and find them to be so much fun.

IT’S… THE VIBE

When we are young we crave new experiences constantly.

As we age, our views and tastes tend to set like plastic in a mold. But if you want to remain young, at least in your own mind, which the science of neuroplasticity tells is really the key thing – you’ve got to be open to new experiences. So that is the attitude I had going in to Last Knight, and I was pleasantly surprised.

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Last Knight is a fun over the top balls to the wall action movie, it’s dopey and silly and has some odd dialog and cringe worthy moments like pretty much every other big dumb blockbuster movie.

But it’s also gut bustingly funny. it’s got some of the best technical and beautifully fluid animation in any medium, in any context, PERIOD.

The voice actors are wonderfully hammy and yeah it bugs me at times, but that is the style they have gone with – so I get it and play along.

Last Knight is melodramatic and over the top, but it’s a film where that Cullen Prime voice over chimes in and he might as well be reading a cereal box while he does the laundry at this point – it really doesn’t matter WHAT he is saying – because whatever he says in that overly rehearsed iconic voice – Peter Cullen’s voice as Prime is so authentically deep and moving – that it touches your heart when he announces once and for all that earth is their new home, even in the most crassly commercial of films.

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I loved the new R2-D2 rip off Sqeeks and I think he should be in his own solo kids film, or tag along with Bumblebee in his solo movie, those two characters are loved by younger kids and it would be a shame to waste their potential.

Cogman was a wonderfully absurd character, he and Anthony Hopkins character are a great comic double team  in the old Hollywood style.

I also loved all the the trailer bits of Knights and World War Two and middle ages and swords and dragons and all kinds of crazy shit that managed to come together into a cohesive whole. They sandwiched in a heap of new characters, the old characters we love have their part to play and it was just a tremendously fun day out at the cinema for me and the Mrs.

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THE FINAL WORD

There are some cool new characters, a giant dragon, more of those cranky Cybertronian Knights, some redecos of older characters in new forms, super cute baby dinobots who inexplicably have no toys??? Don’t kids like toys? Primary market? COME ON!

There is a sweet new look for Megatron and just so much creative cool stuff crammed into the film – and I never felt bored the whole time. The overly bloated running time was worth it for me.

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Transformers: The Last Knight.

It’s a film you’ll love. Or you’ll hate it. Or you’ll ignore it and never watch it.

Makes no difference to me at all.

Also, fuck those internet jerks.

Am I one of them?

Maybe.

But I’m trying to reform.

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