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SUB PRIME; Michael Bay blows PS200 million to create another, noisy, vacuous and ultimately underwhelming offering from Optimus and friends.

Byline: TRANSFORMERS... THE LAST KNIGHT (12A). .... BY CHRISTOPHER HUNNEYSETT

RUN for your life as the giant alien robot franchise returns to obliterate the box office. The previous four films have taken nearly PS3billion in total, and this wretchedly repetitive and grindingly incoherent episode will probably add considerably more.

Never afraid to do less with more, director Michael Bay takes his PS200million budget and adds King Arthur to this mangled mess of globe-hopping machines, endless explosions and terrible bantz. Even the supposedly quiet moments are played with a rock music video intensity.

The plot shamelessly apes that of the recent Fast Furious film. Hero robot Optimus Prime is coerced by a glamorous female villain to turn on his former comrades so can rule the universe.

As Optimus is a pompous, vain and speechifying dumbbell, it's a blessing he's sidelined for long periods.

Mark Wahlberg resumes his role as Cade Yeager, a struggling inventor and now legendary resistance leader. He gamely runs around, shooting stuff and flirting with Laura Haddock.

The Brit actress has been parachuted in to provide a suitably glamorous love interest and miraculously escapes with her dignity intact.

This is despite her character being described as a "professor in a stripper dress" and being obliged to perform a zero-gravity pole dance during one of the many lengthy action sequences.

Anthony Hopkins' broader eccentricities are unleashed as Sir Edmund Burton, a historian with back-door channels to Downing street.

He explains the sub-Da Vinci code nonsense as they chase about castles and stately homes in pursuit of the staff of Merlin. It's the weapon of ultimate power. Which is useful as the robot planet Cybertron is en route to suck all life out of planet Earth. And me...

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 25, 2017
Words:287
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