Continuing to move against the grain, director Michael Bay’s critically loathed Transformers film series pushes on to its fifth instalment, with former cast members Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and a few familiar, if somewhat altered, robotic faces, all set to return. The movies have become a gold rush for Bay and Paramount Pictures, who’ve seen ever-increasing returns with each new outing; their last 2014 effort, Transformers: Age of Extinction, raked in over $1.1 billion worldwide. This led the studio into a period spent developing a Transformers shared universe, which will get started following the events of the upcoming Transformers: The Last Knight.
As much as fans have voiced their dislike of, particularly the last three, Transformers titles, the films’ trailers are usually masterfully crafted. With the most recent, Age of Extinction, the marketing was incredible, but in the end we were left bitterly disappointed, once again, upon finding out that the studio had just crammed all the good stuff into its promotional material for the movie. Nevertheless, what is attractive to average movie-goers the world over is the filmmakers’ CGI work, which, ever since the first film was released in 2007, has been heralded as the gold standard in cinema today.
While many weren’t thrilled with Wahlberg’s performance in the last film, it seems that Bay has jimmied his character into The Last Knight as best he possibly can. Cade “I’m an inventor” Yaeger replaced Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) as franchise lead in Age of Extinction, and with him came his, definitely underage, daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) who, for reasons that will be explained, will not be making an appearance in the upcoming film. What may please you to hear is that, as mentioned above, Transformers veterans Josh Duhamel (Captain Lennox) and Tyrese Gibson (Master Sergeant Epps) are back on the scene, and with that the hope for bay must be that these two can bromantically rekindle the likability they had in the first trilogy. Lennox and Epps also provided a sense of pacing; in the first three films there was a clear separation of beginning, middle and end, with the movies’ openings providing an introduction to the characters and their current personal situations, to the films’ second act which would be about strategy and how they’re gonna stop the bad guy (usually Megatron of course), and the finale would see them all fired up, and a bit flustered, in the middle of battle. There was some logical structure underneath it all, albeit slightly rusty.
So, with the new trailer I think it’s safe to say most of us are getting pulled into the net again, what with seeing the direction that’s being taken with the franchise moving forward. While we know from previous episodes that the Transformers seem to have been interacting with the human world for a long time, The Last Knight will see the films start to delve into the history in more detail, from this age to that age, this mythology to that mythology, and so on. The footage is more about the visuals and giving us a talking point to get the buzz going, rather than telling us anything about the story, which is of course the norm for a teaser trailer. In showcasing the look of the movie this trailer totally succeeds as you’d expect it too.
The footage shows us Knights, Nazis, Hot Rod, Unicron (?), the new Megatron look, and a whole list of ‘cool’, ‘new’ things that will give fans much to talk about and piece together. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the teaser is seeing Optimus Prime almost demonically (perhaps that’s a clue) attacking Bumblebee: that right there is how you market a Transformers trailer. The new designs for the autobots and decepticons have clearly been modelled around the movie’s title and so have a somewhat medieval look to them, which is pretty refreshing.
The public’s reception to this trailer in its first few hours has been exactly what Paramount will have been hoping for, and what it indicates to the studio is that we all love Transformers movies just the way they are.
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Transformers: The Last Knight Rolls Into Cinemas June 23rd, 2017.