Transformers: The Last Knight NON-Review
June 13, 2017
(After the shortened opening, cut to the NC sitting there, with his head on his hand, as if pondering a predicament)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. I'm in a... little bit of a dilemma. You see, one of the first videos I ever did – arguably, the first video I ever did – was a review of Michael Bay's Transformers movie. It was... (shrugs) similar to another character's style.
(Cut to footage of the NC's review of Transformers – from a decade ago!)
NC: So it starts off like "That copter was taken down years ago." (mimics helicopter noises) And then they're like "Get out of the copter or we'll shoot!"
Chester: So Wiki-Wiki is going out with his British girlfriend, who may or may not be dating the schmuck from Enchanted.
(Cut back to the present-day NC)
NC: But as you can tell, I liked it. It was stupid, but it's a guilty pleasure. I can't help what I liked. But... (sighs) over the years, this tradition kind of started, where I would always review...
(Cut to footage of the NC's review of Transformers 3, where he does the same motions as in his first movie's review)
NC (vo): ...a Transformers movie whenever it came out, usually resulting...
(Cut to footage of the courthouse scene in the review, where the NC is sued by Chester)
NC (vo): ...in a crossover with said character.
NC: But here's the thing: as they kept going, the review style mattered less because I was running out of things to say. Mostly because the movies were running out of things to say. Every single time one of these damn films came out, they just did the same thing, over and over and over! And... And what am I supposed to say? (looks to his left) "Oh! That happened again!" (looks to his right) "That happened again!" There's no variety!
(Cut to footage of the NC's Transformers 4 review; Chester gets knocked out by the NC's bat)
NC (vo): As the reviews on the movies continued, I got more and more angry because I just didn't have much left.
(Cut to a shot of a Transformers: Age of Extinction)
NC (vo): What was I supposed to say to this lazily written, creatively empty franchise?
(Cut to an article about Michael Bay defending himself and the Transformers franchise against the haters of such, arguing they will still go see it regardless)
NC (vo): Michael Bay himself came out, saying you can complain about it all you want, but you'll still go see it.
NC: I don't wanna give money to that idea, the idea that someone can just keep putting out the exact same crap, but we're too conditioned to break away. Look, I have the great luxury – it is a luxury – of being one of the few critics who doesn't have to see movies every weekend. I only see movies I feel are worth talking about. Whether good or bad, they actually have some relevance, they can have some meaning, they can have something we can learn from.
(Cut to shots of the Transformers series)
NC (vo): But honestly, I feel like I've talked about all I can with this series. It's just constant repeat with little to nothing added. I want to push for more original and challenging material. I don't want to support this shit like he predicted I will!
NC: Hollywood's going on and on...
(Cut to a montage of shots of negative reviews of recent Hollywood movies, such as Baywatch and Batman v Superman in which Hollywood blames critics for movies not doing as well as hoped)
NC (vo): ...how their shitty reboots aren't making that much money, not because...
NC: ...they're shitty reboots, but because there's something wrong with us! No! (points at camera) There's something wrong with you! You keep doing the same thing over and over and we need new stuff!
NC (vo): But this series, for whatever reason, is never affected. They always make tons and tons of money. I don't want to review these movies anymore, because I don't think there's anything new left to review.
NC: But... (sighs) I also have a tradition. I always review this shit.
NC (vo): Even though, in my opinion, there's nothing new to review. It's just the first film, minus any surprises, like all the other sequels were.
NC: So, what to do? I am so convinced that this movie is gonna be the exact same goddamn formula that all the other movies have been, that I'm actually going to review it without seeing it.
NC (vo): It is so tired and repetitive, that I'm pretty sure I can predict the piece of crap movie I would've suffered through. That's how bad things have gotten. It might be off by a detail or two, but I'm sure I can still tell you what's going to happen.
NC: Now, you might be saying to yourself, and rightfully so, "That doesn't seem very fair. You can't judge a movie without actually seeing it." So, I guess... look at this less as a review and more as a... artistic experiment.
(An image of Optimus Prime is shown, as well as an image of a rat running in a maze)
NC (vo): An experiment to see if Hollywood can really be so unimaginative and lazy, and yet, we keep somehow still falling for it, seeing if the rats will ever stop running through the maze with no reward.
NC: And if you don't believe me, you think I'm lying, that I actually did see this movie and I'm just telling you what I saw, go ahead! It won't be the first time someone didn't believe somebody on the Internet. But I get the feeling that if we measure both our brain cells, mine are gonna be the exact same amount, and yours are gonna be less AFTER SEEING THIS DAMN MOVIE! And the funny thing is... I actually hope I'm wrong. I hope I am wrong about everything I'm about to say.
(An image of Michael Bay is shown)
NC (vo): I hope that somebody who worked on this film finally said, "Let's get some variety, something new, something they haven't seen before. Let's finally treat our audience like intelligent human beings."
NC: (confidently) But my guess is, THIS is what we're going to get...
(Throughout this "non-review", we are shown footage and images of Transformers: The Last Knight)
NC (vo): It's going to start off years and years ago in the past. You think, "Oh, this is what the movie's gonna be about: Transformers with knights and Nazis and catapults and flames!"
NC: But it's not. It's more of the same: just Transformers fighting in...
NC (vo): ...modern day in the city and/or desert. All the stuff with the knights and Nazis that they're showing all over the trailers, that's only gonna be in the first few minutes, with probably a little flashback to it in the middle.
NC: Because... (scoffs) you don't wanna see Transformers fighting with knights, even though it's called The Last Knight! Oh, wait, yes, you do, but you're not gonna get it!
NC (vo): Because you need American McAmerican, played by Mark Wahlberg from the last movie. Because he's the new main character, we'll have some sort of introduction with him getting used to the Transformers in his everyday life, leading to comedy that's not funny, but it's big, so your testicles will be like, "Yeah! That's funny 'cause it's big!"
(The clips are focusing on the comic relief character from the fourth movie, Wheelie)
NC (vo): But don't worry, you'll also get small, annoying comedic moments with obnoxious comedy relief. You pray to Christ they're not gonna be in a lot of the film, but they probably are, making dumb sex jokes to the first-graders that shouldn't be watching this movie, but clearly, this is the exact audience the film is made for.
NC: Speaking of which, we gotta set up our supporting cast, which is usually kids.
(The clips of Isabela Moner as Izabella are shown)
NC (vo): Whether high school, college, or even younger, we need a good-looking kid who for some reason is an outcast, even though they could probably get by on their looks alone. If it's a boy, (shot of Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky) he'll be awkward and funny; if it's a girl, (shot of Megan Fox as Mikaela Banes) she'll be a badass tech.
NC: We need the geek, or geeks.
NC (vo): One of them will probably die, because we only need one saying unfunny, awkward dialogue.
NC: And, of course, we need the hot chick who's also a brain, and they'll demonstrate this by giving her glasses.
(The clip of Laura Haddock as Vivian Wembley is followed)
NC (vo): She's supposed to be smarter than everyone else...
(Cut to a shot of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Carly Spencer)
NC (vo): ...but clearly, she spent more time trying to get her makeup right than her computer-savvy dialogue.
NC: We need, of course, returning supporting cast, either...
(Cut to shots of...)
NC (vo): ...Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Stanley Tucci...
NC: ...or if they're really desperate, (shots of all three appear) all of them! (beat) Maybe even a (shot of Sam Witwicky appears again) Shia cameo if they're beyond desperate.
(Cut to a clip of Sir Edmund Burton, played by Anthony Hopkins)
NC (vo): You need the celebrity suit. This is a person that looks really important to the story, but they're not; they're just there to read exposition.
(Cut to a montage of shots of celebrity suits in the movie series, played by Jon Voight, Frances McDormand, Kelsey Grammer and John Malkovich)
NC (vo): They get a big dignified star to make you think there's a lot of weight to this role, but usually, they do something really stupid that you're supposed to think is funny, because... it's that dignified star looking like a two-year-old, but it's not funny, it's just... that dignified star looking like a two-year-old. And that dignified star does it without question, because...
NC: ...eh, my dumb grandkids like these movies.
NC (vo): Oh, and the suit is covering up something, because the person in a suit is always a big part of a government cover-up that somehow nobody ever figures out, despite there apparently being millions of times the Transformers have pretty much created our history! Hell, even some of the city fights in the other films were somehow covered up!
NC: As if even the government would be stupid enough to tell us not to trust our own eyes and ears– Actually, that's not too far-fetched.
(The posters for all the five movies featuring Optimus Prime in the foreground are shown)
NC (vo): Optimus Prime, who's always the biggest one on the poster, once again won't be the main lead, it will again be the human characters, even though the movie's not called "Humans". He'll be out of commission a good chunk of the movie, either hiding or looking for something. If he's in space, he's probably looking for someone or something from his homeworld, because... (the poster for Superman Returns is shown) shitty sci-fi loves to do that in bad sequels. But some evil force comes along that's after some power energy thing. Yeah, there's always some power energy thing. It's very vague in how it works, but whoever has it can do some big damage. The big threat won't be Megatron, though, because we love having the Transformers' biggest villain in most of these movies with...out having him in most of the movie. He'll still be a nuisance, but only second banana to the big bad alien villain.
NC: Is the big bad alien villain (gestures wildly) a slimy creature, an orb of light, or some sort of evil creature that's on par with (the concept art for the movie Alien is shown on the right) H.R. Giger's designs?
(Images of Megatron, Sentinel Prime and Lockdown, the previous movies' main villains, are shown alongside the clip of Unicron as the NC speaks)
NC (vo): No! It's just another human-looking machine that's riding a giant ship or metal device that's gonna blow up everything. Oh, and it has to do something on the moon. Because... for some reason, Michael Bay is really obsessed with the moon.
NC: (stammering, as a shot of the moon is shown on the right) I-I-I mean, it's fine, but... it's the moon! It's just the moon!
NC (vo): With every passing movie, they want to make Optimus Prime more and more badass, so they make him meaner and meaner, so this time around, they'll probably go all the way and make you think he's a bad guy.
NC: Because when a series runs out of steam, (the poster for The Fate of the Furious is shown on the left) that's a twist they always think we fall for!
NC (vo): They'll even have some big fight with his best friend [Bumblebee], and he does the unthinkable by beating the shit out of him or even nearly killing him. They're gonna try to make it look like the friend is dead, but he's not; it's another fakeout like when Optimus died because they didn't have the balls that a Saturday morning cartoon had! So does this mean Optimus Prime is now a full-on villain, destroying years of hero worship in the ultimate franchise gamble?
NC: (smiling) Yes. Yes, it is! And (picture of...) Mickey Mouse is officially gonna become a terrorist. (the smile abruptly fades, as he becomes furious again) Of course that doesn't happen!!
NC (vo): He's either brainwashed or controlled by the villain, but they'll figure out a way to make him think straight and he'll be good once more. But after we have several scenes of asking if humanity's worth it...
NC: Because, you know, it was so deep the other four times we did it. Surely, this time, you won't forget!
(Several action scenes are shown)
NC (vo): This will result in a lot of slo-mo, a lot of explosions you won't even flinch at anymore because you've gotten so used to 'em, a situation where a hot guy flexes his muscles, a situation where a hot woman does something sexy, something so outdatedly unfunny that will offend on either a racial, sexual or even just kindergarten level, and all that action you think is going to be amazing and will throw a lot of money into, you're not gonna be able to really enjoy, because...
NC: (smiles again) ...you know, that Michael Bay, he's an artist! So he has to...
NC (vo): ...shoot the action sequences from different angles than what you're used to.
NC: (still smiling) The problem is, he's not a very good artist!
NC (vo): So it's either an angle that's so close you can't make out most of the action, so cluttered you can't make out most of the action, or edited so fast you can't make out most of the action. Even if you see it in 3D with most of the slo-mo, yeah, that great shard is really gonna look different from the rest of the great shards!
NC: But it's okay, because you'll have (holds up two fingers) two... (looks up in thought briefly, then holds up three fingers) maybe even three legitimately...
NC (vo): ...cool action moments that are only a few seconds long, but you can actually see them, so you'll choose to find it cool.
NC: You've waited almost three hours of the exact same shit you've seen over and over, but that (holds up two fingers) two minutes of actual good action somehow you'll justify in your head was completely worth it!
NC (vo): In the end, the main human characters will learn something about letting go, yet somehow being closer. Optimus Prime will make the same big speech that's trying to sound deep but it's really just a long-winded way of saying, "We rock." The bad guy will be destroyed, but some villainous element, usually Megatron, will escape for a sequel.
(The tagline for the fifth movie is shown on its poster: "For one world to live, the other must die")
NC (vo): And even though every story, every setup, every bit of advertising is trying to make it look like this is going to be the last one...
NC: ...it's... (pounds the table with two fists in anger) NEVER the last one!!
NC (vo): The Last Knight is not the last film. The Age of Extinction has nothing becoming extinct. The Revenge of the Fallen doesn't really last; there's always, always more.
NC: And if you keep thinking over and over that this is gonna be the last one, I... (as he rubs his chin, Michael Bay's IMDb page is shown, zooming on the announced Transformers 7 in 2019) Yeah, there's gonna be more! So, what do you think? Was I close? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe this is the one that's gonna break the mold.
NC (vo): Maybe this'll be the one that takes it in a brand new direction, with twists and turns that are legitimately surprising.
NC: But, as the famous business model goes, "If it's broken, but makes a lot of money, why fix it?"
NC (vo): My guess is, this is the same movie they've shown us four times already. And here's the thing: if you like this, fine. You can't help what you like. Hell, I enjoyed the first one despite it being so stupid.
NC: But with so many films repeating the same thing over and over...
(The poster of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is shown)
NC (vo): ...and those films not doing as well as the studios want...
NC: ...remember, you have the right to demand better.
NC (vo): You have a right to say, "If I'm gonna see something I'm already familiar with, I can at least demand to see something new with it."
NC: You can be fine with the same old crap, but you can demand smarter and more exciting crap.
NC (vo): We all have that fast food (image of the McDonald's logo is shown) McDonald's garbage that we eat, but even McDonald's puts out a new sandwich every once in a while. You don't have to eat (image of a cheeseburger is shown) a shitty cheeseburger over and over and over. You can demand (image of a container of McDonald's Big Mac Special Sauce) a new sauce, (image of a McNuggets Sharebox) a new meal, even (image of the Burger King logo) a new restaurant!
NC: (image of the Rodeo Burger from BK is shown in the corner) The Rodeo Burger is still amazing!
(Footage of Transformers: The Last Knight is shown once more)
NC (vo): This is just a different take on a fascinatingly repetitive series, and I don't see myself doing it often or... really ever again. I'm a reviewer. I want to talk about what I see as opposed to what I don't see. This is just something different, like I said, an artistic experiment, something I don't think we'll ever see the Transformers movies trying anytime soon.
NC: But the one thing I want you to take away from this, whether I'm right about most of this stuff or not, is that if you're not going to demand something good, you can at least demand something new. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it... whether you've seen it or not.
(He gets up and leaves. The credits roll)