Archive for barricade

Transformers: The Last Knight

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 484 AD, King Arthur’s wizard Merlin forges an alliance with the Knights of Iacon, a group of twelve Transformers who have hidden on Earth. The knights give Merlin an alien staff, and combine into a dragon to help Arthur triumph over the Saxons.

In the present day, most of the governments on Earth have declared Transformers illegal, and the multinational Transformer Reaction Force (TRF) has been formed to eliminate the alien robots. Despite the absence of Optimus Prime (who left the planet to search for his creator), new Transformers continue to arrive regularly; the newest ship to arrive crash-lands in Chicago, where it is found by a group of children. When a TRF mecha confronts the kids, they are saved by Izabella, a survivor of the Battle of Chicago, and her Transformer companions Sqweeks and Canopy, but Canopy is killed by the TRF in the process. Bumblebee and Cade Yeager arrive and help them escape, but Yeager is unable to save the Transformer, Steelbane, in the ship. Before he dies, Steelbane attaches a metallic talisman to Yeager’s body—an act observed by Decepticon Barricade, who reports to his leader Megatron.

On the far reaches of the Solar System, Optimus Prime discovers that the Transformers’ home world, Cybertron, now disassembled into pieces, is heading directly for Earth. Optimus finds the being in control of Cybertron’s movement, a sorceress named Quintessa, who professes to be the maker he is searching for. The staff which the knights gave to Merlin was stolen from Quintessa, and using her powers, she places Optimus under her control, dubs him “Nemesis Prime,” and charges him with recovering it. Earth, she reveals, is actually Cybertron’s “ancient enemy” Unicron, and she intends to drain his life force so that Cybertron can be restored.

TRF member and former Autobot ally William Lennox brokers a deal between the TRF and Megatron, releasing from their custody a squad of Decepticons who will help Megatron recover the talisman from Yeager. The Decepticons hunt Yeager to his junkyard hideout in South Dakota, where he and many of the surviving Transformers are holed up. During the chaos of the ensuing battle, Yeager is approached by Cogman, the Transformer envoy of British Lord Sir Edmund Burton, who takes him and Bumblebee to England to meet his master. There, Yeager also meets Viviane Wembly, an Oxford professor, who Burton has had the Autobot Hot Rod kidnap. Burton explains that he is the last living member of the “Witwiccan” order, an ancient brotherhood dedicated to guarding the secret history of Transformers on Earth. He also reveals that Viviane is the last descendant of Merlin, and must find and use his staff to prevent the impending destruction of Earth by Cybertron.

Fleeing the TRF, Yeager and Wembly follow clues left by the latter’s father that lead them, Bumblebee, and Cogman to take the submarine HMS Alliance into the sea to find the Cybertronian Knights’ sunken ship, in which they discover the tomb of Merlin and the staff. Wembly activates the staff, and the ship rises to the surface; the TRF arrives to confront the group, but several knights awaken and attack them. The attack is cut short by the arrival of the mind-controlled Optimus, but fortunately, when the normally-mute Bumblebee is finally able to speak, the sound of his voice is enough to break Prime free of Quintessa’s control. A moment later, Megatron arrives to steal the staff; he too has been working for Quintessa all along. As Megatron flees with his prize, the knights attack Optimus for his betrayal, but Yeager, whose talisman becomes the sword Excalibur, stops the fight. Realizing he is the last knight, the knights yield to Yeager, who urges Optimus to protect the Earth once more.

Megatron delivers the staff to Quintessa, who begins draining the life force of Earth/Unicron via Stonehenge. When the military intervenes, Megatron shoots Burton, who dies with Cogman at his side. Using a ship procured by the Autobot Daytrader, the Autobots arrive to join the fight, landing on Cybertron and battling against the Decepticons and Quintessa’s Infernocons. Optimus and his Autobots, backed up by the knights in their dragon form, vanquish their many foes. Optimus defeats Megatron while Bumblebee appears to slay Quintessa. Wembly removes the staff, stopping Cybertron’s destruction of Earth, but leaving the two planets connected. Optimus declares that humans and Transformers must work together to rebuild their worlds, and sends a message calling any surviving Autobots to come home.

In a mid-credits scene, scientists inspect one of the horns of Unicron, which is extending out of the desert. Quintessa, who has survived and is disguised as a human, arrives and offers them a way to destroy Unicron.

REVIEW:

Can you believe it has been 10 yrs since the first Transformers was released? 5 years later, this franchise is still going, though there is some debate about whether it should or not. With this 5th film, Transformers: The Last Knight, the trailers promise something darker and more character driven. Did they tell the truth? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English Lord, and an Oxford Professor.

What did I like?

Continuity. In the first few films, outside of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron, Starscream and a couple of others, we had a new lineup of Transformers in every picture. Starting with the last picture, Transformers: Age of Extinction, we seem to be keeping with a steady lineup, only bringing in one or two others…at least on the Autobot side. The Decepticons were all new, except for a returning Barricade, who was last seen running away from the climactic battle in the first film.

Tone. The trailers and all the talk leading up to this film led us to believe that this was going to be the darkest, most serious film in the franchise. In the opening scenes, it seems as if that were going to be the case until we meet Merlin. This iteration of history’s greatest wizard sets the tone for the whole film, a tone filled with comedic action, rather than dark drama. Personally, I prefer it this way. For goodness sakes, this is a film about giant robots that transform into cars and jets. Why on Earth would we want it to be serious?

Welcome back. Barricade isn’t the only returnee. Josh Duhamel makes his return, after last being seen in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. His character seems a bit more battle hardened and conflicted this time out, as he is having to work with the TRF, a group that exists to eradicate all the Transformers. The military seems to still be on their side but working with them out of necessity. Tyrese Gibson was also set to return, but there was a schedule conflict with filming The Fate of the Furious.

What didn’t I like?

History lesson. There seems to be a trend lately of putting fantasy characters into historical events. Wonder Woman showed us that she was in World War I, X- Men Origins: Wolverine (as well as The Wolverine) placed Logan in every war in history. Now, it appears as if the Transformers, who we saw arrive in 2007, have been here since the Middle Ages, if not before (according to this film…we won’t go into the convoluted history of the previous films). My question is why? There was no need to put them there, other than to make it convenient for the plot. I mean, seriously, what did they have to do with Frederick Douglass?!?

Human element. I know I said this about the first film, and maybe some of the others, but there is just too much emphasis placed on the humans in a movie called TRANSFORMERS!!! This is no more apparent than in the amount of time spent trying to develop our new female characters, one of which I suspect was chosen based solely on her resemblance to Megan Fox. Also, the final battle should have been an epic confrontation of clashing, twisted metal, but instead, we get humans jumping out of airplanes and trying to get a date. One more thing, when “Nemesis” Prime comes and Bumblebee takes him on, there is no reason for Mark Wahlberg to get involved in the battle. Seriously, what can a human do against one as powerful as Optimus Prime?

Who are you? The only new Autobot introduced is Hot Rod who, though he’s living in England, somehow has a French accent. He has this cool ability to stop time, but we never really get to know him outside of that. He’s not the only one we don’t get to become acquainted with. Megatron has a crew that he asks to be released in exchange for helping the TRF (no clue how it is that these guys are in “jail” and Megatron is just running free). These guys aren’t given anything to do and most are killed in the next 10 minutes! So, instead of giving us a cool new Autobot to get to know and some interesting Decepticons, this time is spent with the schizophrenic C3PO rip-off, Cogman. There is some comedy there, but not worth the trade off. Actually, he reminds me of Alan Tudyk’s character from a previous film, I forgot which one, Dutch.

Final verdict on Transformers: The Last Knight? It makes a valiant attempt to keep this franchise relevant, but truth be told, other than die-hard Transformers fans, no in the US is clamoring for these films. Most people seems to hate them for whatever reason. Personally, I think a new director would do wonders for this franchise. Props to Michael Bay for bringing them to big screen a decade ago, something never thought possible, but now it is time for someone else to take over, preferably a fan of the original cartoon. With that said, this is actually probably the 2nd or 3rd best film in the franchise in my book. Do I recommend it? Yes, I do, but I wouldn’t get in a rush to see it. The theater I was in this afternoon was mostly empty, so I’m sure there will be plenty of seats for you.

4 out of 5 stars

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Transformers

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2008 by Mystery Man

 

More than meets the eye!

PLOT:

The film opens with Optimus Prime, heroic leader of the benevolent Autobots, describing in a voice-over the destruction of the Transformers’ home world, Cybertron. It was destroyed by the evil Decepticon leader Megatron in his quest to obtain the All Spark. The Autobots want to find the All Spark so they can use it to rebuild Cybertron and end the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons, while the Decepticons want to use it to defeat the Autobots and conquer the universe. Megatron found the All Spark on Earth, but crash-landed in the Arctic Circle and was frozen in the ice. Captain Archibald Witwicky and his crew of explorers stumbled upon Megatron’s body in 1897. Captain Witwicky accidentally activated Megatron’s navigational system and his eye glasses were imprinted with the coordinates of the All Spark’s location. Sector 7, a secret United States government organization founded by Herbert Hoover, discovered the All Spark in the Colorado River and built the Hoover Dam around it to mask its energy emissions. The still-frozen Megatron was moved into this facility and was used to advance human technology through reverse engineering.

In the present day, the rest of the Decepticons—Blackout, Scorponok, Frenzy, Barricade, Starscream, Devastator and Bonecrusher—have landed on Earth and assumed the disguise of Earth vehicles (except Scorponok, who hides within Blackout). Blackout and Scorponok attack the U.S. SOCCENT FWD military base in Qatar and try to hack into the U.S. military network to find the location of Megatron and the All Spark. Their mission is thwarted when the base staff severs the network cable connections. While Blackout destroys the rest of the base, Scorponok chases a small group of survivors who have photographic evidence of the robots, but he is eventually repelled. During this battle, the military discovers the only effective weapons against the Transformers’ armor are high-heat sabot rounds.

After Blackout’s failure, Frenzy infiltrates Air Force One to again hack into the military network, planting a virus. He finds the map imprinted on Captain Witwicky’s glasses, whose descendant Sam Witwicky, intends to sell on eBay. Frenzy and Barricade begin tracking Sam’s location. Autobot scout Bumblebee is also on Earth, disguised as a 1976 Chevrolet Camaro, and is bought by Sam while shopping for his first car. Bumblebee helps him woo his crush, Mikaela Banes. Bumblebee leaves at night to transmit a homing signal to the rest of the Autobots and Sam sees him in robot mode. Barricade confronts Sam and demands Archibald’s spectacles, but Bumblebee rescues him and Mikaela. They leave to rendezvous with the rest of the Autobots—Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide, and Ratchet—who have landed on Earth and taken the forms of Earth vehicles as well. Sam, Mikaela, and the Autobots return to Sam’s home and obtain the glasses; however, agents from Sector 7 arrive and capture Sam, Mikaela and Bumblebee.

Frenzy, now disguised as Mikaela’s cellphone, secretly accompanies the group to Hoover Dam and releases Megatron from his frozen state. Locating the All Spark, Frenzy sends an alert to the other Decepticons. Sam convinces the Sector 7 agents to release Bumblebee so that he can deliver the All Spark to Optimus Prime. Frenzy’s virus has shut down government communications, but a group of humans manage to establish a signal to the Air Force in order to support the Autobot-human convoy, who have gone to nearby Mission City to hide the All Spark. The Decepticons attack and Bonecrusher, Frenzy, Jazz, Devastator and Blackout are all killed during the ensuing battle. Sam, who is ordered to get the All Spark to a rendezvous point for it to be taken to a safe location, instead chooses to ram it into Megatron’s chest, destroying it and killing Megatron. Optimus takes a fragment of the All Spark from Megatron’s corpse, but realizes that with its destruction, their home world Cybertron cannot be restored. Consequently, Optimus sends a signal to other surviving Autobots in the universe, directing them to their new home, Earth. The government orders the closure of Sector 7 and has the five Decepticons killed in the Mission City battle dumped into the Laurentian Abyss. Starscream, who fled the battle, escapes into space.

REVIEW:

Any boy who grew up in the 80s more than likely had an addiction to Transformers. I was no exception. I loved them, so I’m a little biased.

Let’s start with the good things. This movie actually got made. There were doubts as to if it would. Luckily it did, and it turned out awesome. They brought back the original voice of Optimus Prime. what better way to get the fanboys on your side than to bring back voice of their God, Peter Cullen. Not only that, he’s the first voice you hear when the movie starts.

Now, the negative. Michael Bay’s ego is going to be his undoing. He said Bumblebee wasn’t a VW bug because he reminded him of Herbie. This is a man that thought this was a stupid toy movie and only came on board to work with Steven Spielberg, so what does he care. All of us that grew up on TF know that Bumblebee was a bug. It’s part of his name! Optimus Prime had flames and lips. The Transformers didn’t resemble their original forms. Megatron didn’t turn into a gun. This is all fanboy stuff, though. The only real problem I have is with the final battle.

The last 30 minutes or so, are totally awesome. I do wish that more than just Optimus and Bumblebee got to have lines, especially on the Decepticon scene. Now, I understand that there are casualties in war and whatnot, but what purpose did it serve to kill Jazz? Best I can figure is that, the other Autobots that were used, with the exception of bumblebee all were killed in the 80s Transformer movie, and that was “payback”. I nearly cried when I saw Megatron rip him in two, though.

I didn’t care for the heavy human factor. The movie is called Transformers, not humans! However, I understand the cost of CGI, so there’s not much you could’ve done, but they could’ve made some kind of compromise. Also, I read on some message boards that people didn’t like the humor. I guess they wanted this to be a dark, evil movie. Everything doesn’t have to be dark, people, get over it. The humor added to the enjoyment!

As you can tell, there’s not really not much I have negative to say about this film, other than minor fanboy type stuff. Let’s hope the sequel lives up to this one!

5 out of 5 stars