Transformers: The Last Knight has not transformed enough
Transformers is review-proof.
There will always be enough fanboys to give Michael Bay the power to churn out movie after movie.
Given that the last four films have raked in over US$3.8 billion (S$5.3 billion) worldwide, it is unlikely bad reviews will hinder Transformers: The Last Knight's success at the box office.
So what is on offer?
There is a brainier female lead in the form of Vivian (Laura Haddock). She is an Oxford history professor, so in the Bay universe that means she loves wearing skyscraper stilettos and tight-fitting clothes, or in Cade's (Mark Wahlberg) words, "stripper dress".
Haddock looks like a cross between Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
So what if she is a strong-minded intellectual? She still melts and goes ga-ga upon glancing at Wahlberg's chiselled abs.
Wahlberg does his usual macho "I must save the world" shtick, while Josh Duhamel returns to bark orders. (He wasn't in the fourth film. Hands up those who noticed.)
Then there is Anthony Hopkins to add some cred to the franchise.
Hopkins does seem to have fun fleshing out his part as an English lord who is entrusted with the secret to why Transformers keep returning to Earth. Surprisingly, it is not just down to box-office receipts.
While this real knight is refreshing to watch, Bay still can't get rid of stereotypes - being English means polo matches and living in castles.
What I can't really fault Bay for is the attention he gives to the Transformers. Every robot looks exceptional and there are so many of them - albeit in far too many mind-numbing action sequences.
They are definitely on the money, even if some of them are only on screen for less than 10 seconds.
It is being sympathetic to all of Bay's visual effects slaves (who probably didn't see sunlight for months) that this film gets the extra star - and I am being generous. 2/5
STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Josh Duhamel
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay
THE SKINNY: Once again, humanity is in danger from threats by the invading Transformers. Optimus Prime is MIA, and Megatron wants some mystical staff hidden on Earth to have dominion over everyone. So it is up to Cade (Wahlberg) again - along with sassy Oxford Prof Vivian (Haddock) - to save the world.