The sound you’re hearing right now is the shrieking of Michael’s last Baygasm in the Trans5mers franchise with the release of Last Knight: Sadly Not The Last Movie In The Extended Universe. You’re also hearing yours truly, Felix Felicis (Celebrity Kale Consultant) and Hawk Ripjaw (Professional Dumpster Fire To The Stars) ugly crying into our cosmopolitans once again so that you, our booziest, most devotediest readers, won’t have to in a very special Felix-Ripjaw Debate Presents: Transformers: The Last Knight. This year we’ve mocked harder (Fifty Shades Darker) died inside faster (Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul) and came out the other side covered in questionable amounts of buttered popcorn and salty self-loathing (The Mummy).
She Said: I made the impulsive, nay, epic, mistake last weekend to live-tweet ALL FOUR OF THE TRANS4MERS MOVIES before going to see Last Knight (thread seen here) and you’d know all about that, Hawk, because “Misery” loves company.
He Said: Isn’t that what we named the office hamster?
She Said: Misery is the name of my vodka bottle.
He Said: That makes more sense.
She Said: The closest thing I can describe to the unique, brain-meltingly-rancid pain is being locked in a room with a tornado full of dicks just repeatedly slapping you in the face over and over and over and over and- well, you get the point.
He Said: I TOLD YOU THAT SLEEPOVER STORY IN CONFIDENCE, FELIX.
She Said: GET IT, POINT?!
He Said: You’re the devil.
She Said: Well, YOU’RE welcome for that pun. Regardless, the binge had two results. One, an epic tweet storm chronicling my descent into madness. And two, it put my last functioning brain cell on life support long enough for me to watch Trans5mers without going absolutely, irrevocably bonkers.
He Said: That’s also up for debate.
She Said: I’m honestly getting railroaded by seasonal allergies as I write this like Bill Cosby railroaded the justice system and my love of J-E-L-L-O so I’m not exactly coherent, but neither was the plot of Last Knight so tomato/torobot. We open on some thrilling narration trying to shoehorn Transformers into every era of history like I was trying to shoehorn my last scrap of dignity into a thimble when buying a ticket to Trans5mers this week. Something happens, something else happens, Mark Wahlberg gets chosen to be humanity’s Obi Wan Kenobi (have they SEEN 1996’s Fear?!? That’s not a great call, Earth. Hot science lady shows up to magic hands the robot lightsaber of doom and robot Medusa power trips Optimus Prime into douching out for a hot minute before Cade Yeagar saves Earth. For now. SAY THAT FIVES TIMES FAST. I dare you. I think I’ve covered all the basics because NOTHING IN THIS MOVIE MAKES ANY GODDAMN SENSE.
He Said: I got you. This latest installment begins in Medieval Times (the time period, not the restaurant), Bay-ified to within an inch of its life with massive explosions and ALSO GIANT ROBOTS. Merlin (Stanley Tucci again for some fucking reason) is given a staff which allows him to control a giant three-headed Transformers dragon. In the present day, the Earth is sort of a dystopian wasteland following four movies of Transformers action (but really only Chicago, because fuck Chicago. The rest of the world is fine). Cade Yeager lives in a junkyard where he houses some of the Transformers. His daughter isn’t in the movie for reasons so poorly explained I would put money on Nicola Peltz getting creeped out by how she was filmed in the last one. There’s also
British Megan Fox Vivian Wembly (Laura Haddock), Academy Award Winner SIR Anthony Hopkins and his C-3PO butler, Optimus Prime turning evil because….he…wants t-to…help save Cybertron by literally…r-ramming the planets into each other, and, uh, the revelation th-that Earth is also a Transformer, um, and another revelation that the major figures across history protected the secret of–of the Transformers…..annnnd. Ummm. Fuck. There’s allso a 14-yearl0old gril that builldsss robits and John Turtletorro is en Cuba fr sm reeeeeeezn. N Wembly th lastt sur5ing mbr of Witwicky and staff of Merrrrrrrrrrrrrrline somth–killme.exe–
She Said: I was in a special circle of hell this week reserved for people who love watching Below Deck, hate kale, and happened to binge-tweet all four Transformers movies at once.
He Said: I mean, how crowded could that circle actually BE.
She Said: It’s a really specific circle.
He Said: So just you and like two people from Idaho?
She Said: That sounds about right and it lowered my expectations for Last Knight to subterranean levels and something weird happened. I didn’t loathe it.
He Said: But isn’t that basically like in ‘Princess Bride’ where Westley ingests small amounts of poison to become immune to it so he can drink the great big cup of poison when it’s placed in front of him?
She Said: Absolutely, and in addition to continuing my search for the six-fingered man, let me also be clear that I would scoop my own eyeballs out with a rusty spork before attempting anything like that again (but the Stockholm Syndrome held on long enough for me to watch the flaming dumpster fire of cinema that was Last Knight and actually utter the phrase “well, it was better than the last one” out loud. In public.)
He Said: There is no “better” in the Transformers franchise. Just different shades of shit.
She Said: The baby dinosaurs were kind of cute, the product placement (limited to one really obvious Bud Light scene) almost restrained, and the fact that they attempted to give the female leads their own motivations and skill sets (kind of) almost admirable.
He Said: … Okay, I’ll agree with you on the product placement. At least the context felt right.
She Said: The rest of it was about as painful as gargling acid meth in a room full of agitated badgers.
He Said: Agitated badgers… With chainsaws. And rectal thermometers.
She Said: There aren’t human words to describe the utter lack of anything resembling something that once gang-banged narrative logic in Last Knight but I’m gonna try.
He Said: Something got gang-banged in this movie, and I’m pretty sure it was the audience’s expectations.
She Said: I never thought I would say this but Interstellar had a more grounded plotline.
He Said: Folks, that actually means something because if there’s one thing that Interstallar doesn’t have very much of, it’s the ground.
She Said: And I still start screaming or typing in all caps when describing the fact THAT A BLACK HOLE AND THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ARE OVERCOME BY THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN THE UNIVERSE IF YOU GUESSED LOVE YOU’D BE RIGHT IT’S LOVE.
He Said: We talked about your problem with that word, right?
She Said: Sorry. But seriously. If your movie makes less sense than Interstellar you’ve got problems.
He Said: Last Knight’s got so many problems counting them all at once is literally a medical risk.
She Said: It’s the damnedest thing, every time I try to lay out this twisted bag of ass-snakes and make an argument as to specifically HOW Last Knight screws the pooch five ways from a narrative Sunday, I pretty much get a nosebleed and black out so I’ll just say trust me you won’t understand a goddamn thing.
He Said: I’m told I go into a seizure every time the TV spot plays during Shark Tank.
She Said: I honestly don’t think anyone involved with the writing of Last Knight took into account logic, or coherence, or long term memory, or- hahahaha just kidding this movie was written by cyborg cucumbers invading our planet with a mission to make us dumber (and easier to conquer) through the use of pop culture and I have to say at this point its Cyborg Cucumbers: 1/Humanity: 0.
He Said: They deserve way more points than that for what they’ve put us through.
He Said: Either I’m getting older and wiser-
He Said: –or these movies are caring less and less about having actual dialogue.
She Said: There wasn’t so much “intelligent dialogue” in Last Knight as there were incoherent flashbacks and Powerpoint secret society slideshows with Anthony Hopkins trying his damnedest to throw shreds of plausible-narration-pasta at the audience-wall to see if he could get SOMETHING, anything to stick (shoehorned in-between two worlds colliding). That is not a metaphor, I repeat, NOT A METAPHOR.
He Said: It’s as if Trans5mers knows that we want good characters, and actively decides to punish us for asking for such a thing.
She Said: Blink and you’ll miss Last Knight try and convince you Abraham Lincoln was a member of a secret society keeping news of their robot overlords under wraps for CENTURIES.
He Said: It’s over two hours, literally, of people just trading expository dialogue back and forth, including a solid
lifetime 20 minutes of Anthony Hopkins giving that TED Talk about Transformers.
She Said: I was born and I died during that Transformers TED Talk. My clone is writing this review in-between running errands for her new cyborg cucumber overlord.
He Said: For the same effect they could have just done a bunch of scrolling text and saved the money on Hopkins.
She Said: Never forget recent cinema has ALSO tried to convince us Abraham Lincoln was a vampire hunter.
She Said: I’m not comfortable doing the exact math on just how much of my life the Transformers franchise has stolen from me, but it’s north of double digits and those are hours I could’ve spent napping.
He Said: Maybe even triple digits depending on how you look at it.
She Said: Or learning how to breakdance.
He Said: This movie breaks DREAMS. Now you want to breakDANCE?
She Said: It wouldn’t even be a big deal if (not unlike The Last Witch Hunter or Jupiter Ascending or Gods of Egypt) Last Knight had been both terrible AND entertaining instead of just so boring I could hear my last functioning brain cell committing ritual seppuku in a theater on opening weekend that had three, count ’em, THREE PEOPLE (including myself) waiting to witness the further exploits of Optimus Lame and Co.
She Said: If there had been a speck, nay, a GRANULE of purpose propelling this bloated behemoth across an almost three hour finish line I didn’t see it.
He Said: If there was even the tiniest nanoscopic MOLECULE of purpose, we might’ve actually ENJOYED the movie. That is, if the purpose was anything other than making enough money to put a fleet of strippers though college.
She Said: Trying to retcon/backdoor launch an extended universe/new Transformers franchise using the Frankensteined corpse of the last is like trying to weave a needle of logic through a hailstorm of larger, louder, completely useless needles.
He Said: Ugh… heat-seeking, USED needles. Filled with ebola. And essence of Taylor Swift.
She Said: For fuck’s sake, Paramount, just do what Fox does every decade with Fantastic Four (in an effort to stop the rights from reverting back to Marvel) and reboot it from scratch and save me the extra hour and a half trying to fit a new franchise into the skin suit of the old one. You know, kind of like how Optimus Prime wore his dead friend during the finale of Revenge of the Fallen.
He Said: We talk about skin suits, like, way too much.
He Said: If you know me, you know I take poor continuity like a glove-slap-across-the-face-as-a-challenge-to-a-duel.
She Said: You get slapped in the face a lot, then.
He Said: While the X-Men movies kind of just do whatever the fuck they want and throw up their hands and say “time travel!” to excuse their lack of flow, the Transformers movies do whatever the fuck they want and say fuck you for asking questions, sit down and let Lil’ Mike show you his movie.
She Said: I’m pretty sure they let Lil’ Mike strap you to the chair Clockwork Orange-style.
He Said: Cybertron coming to Earth was the plot of ‘Dark of the Moon’, but everyone seems to have forgotten about that.
He Said: Bumblebee can suddenly and inexplicably reassemble himself after being blown apart.
She Said: ‘Bee is perhaps the fuckiest of “fuck you”s Michael Bay has ever put onscreen. Like his changing abilities and allegiances (OH DON’T THINK I FORGOT HE WAS SAM’S BFF FOR LIKE THREE MOVIES AND THEN NOPED OUTTA THERE) and apparent time-traveling amnesia.
He Said: Some go to great lengths to get out of a toxic relationship. Like most supporting characters in Shia LeBouf movies.
She Said: Like “hahahaha oh yeah I was on earth for a hot minute during like World War I-or WWII I honestly can’t remember- but then I came back with Optimus and we don’t talk about my previous shenanigans oh hey Anthony Hopkins, ‘sup?”.
He Said: Oh, and you know all those posters with Optimus Prime and those trailers with Evil Optimus?
She Said: …y- yes?
He Said: Bet you’d like a movie about that, right?
She Said: I mean, not as much as Channing Tatum’s unauthorized sex tape, but sure.
He Said: Well, as long as you buy your ticket, wait about two hours and then go in, you’ll get to see nearly all of him.
She Said: ALL OF CHANNING TATUM?!
She Said: Transformers: Last Knight is what happens when you put Anthony Hopkins, Bud Light and a psychotic alien demi-goddess in a blender and hit “meh”.
He Said: These movies are slowly TRANSFORMING me into a broken shell of a human being, and that’s saying something a mere five months after ’50 Shades Darker’ when I had thought the healing had begun. It’s at once more chaotic, more boring, overstuffed and more meaningless than the ones that came before it.
Last Call: Not quite a post-credit scene but there’s a blip (after Optimus Prime goes all philosophical and shit) meant to set up the next film in the *shudders* wild west of a post-Michael Bay Trans5mers franchise.
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Cade acts like a jackass.
Take a Sip: for every action by, or “revelation” from the Witwiccans.
Take a Drink: whenever you check your watch to see how much longer this shitshow is going to take. Take Two: if you have to ask someone else.
Do a Shot: every time someone says something that shouldn’t be said in a movie about a children’s toy.
Take a Sip: for every Transforming sound. Buy a replacement liver first.
Shotgun Your Beer: for Bumblebee’s real voice.