The opening scene of Transformers: The Last Knight is set in England during the Dark Ages. An army led by King Arthur (Liam Carrigan) is battling an invading force. Merlin (Stanley Tucci) arrives with a magic staff. The staff allows him to control a gigantic three-headed dragon transformer called Dragonstorm, which drives off the invading army. We learn that the staff can be used only by Merlin or one of his direct descendants.
The movie skips to the present day, where Optimus Prime (voice of Peter Cullen) is on a quest to find his creator. The Transformer Autobots, now declared illegal, have gone into hiding after being hunted by the TRF (Transformer Reaction Force), who destroy any Autobots they come across. A young girl, Izabella (Isabella Moner), tries to save a dying ancient Transformer Knight. She’s attacked by the TRF and only just saved by Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), a hero from previous Transformer movies. The Knight dies but gives Cade an ancient talisman, which gives Cade special powers.
Cade is approached by a humanoid Autobot named Gogman (Jim Carter), who convinces him to go to England where he meets Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). Sir Edmund is a member of the order of Witwiccans, who have been keeping the Transformers’ existence a secret since the days of King Arthur. Arthurian historian Viviane Wembley (Laura Haddock) also goes to meet Sir Edmund. Sir Edmund reveals the secret of the staff of Merlin and its role in protecting the Earth. He explains that Viviane, as Merlin’s surviving descendant, is the only person alive capable of wielding Merlin’s staff.
The rest of the movie is a battle between two ancient enemies with the fate of the world resting on the shoulders of a few humans and Autobots.
Fantasy; good versus evil; death of parents; weapons of mass destruction
Transformers: The Last Knight contains:
- medieval battle violence, some of which is brutal
- intense sequences of science fiction action violence and peril throughout
- the depiction of mass destruction of property
- the use of weapons of mass destruction.
Here are some examples:
- The opening scene of the movie shows a medieval battle between two armies, involving hundreds of men in close hand-to-hand combat. During the battle, catapults hurl flaming projectiles that explode as they hit the ground. Knights and soldiers are hurled through the air and engulfed in flames. Combatants are stabbed, sliced and chopped with medieval hand weapons. One soldier is impaled on a lance. A gigantic three-headed transformer dragon kills men by breathing fire at them and their horses.
- Some children are attacked by TRF robots, which fire automatic weapons at the children as they run for their lives.
- There are several brutal fights between Transformers, who use a variety of giant hand weapons. In one scene a Transformer stabs another through the head and various fluids leak out of the wound. In another scene a Transformer slices the heads off several others with a single sword swipe. In other scenes gunfire blows Transformers’ heads off.
- Transformers punch and kick humans.
- There are several perilous and reckless car chases involving normal cars driven by humans and Transformer vehicles. Vehicles speed recklessly through busy London streets, causing property damage as they crash into things. Cars collide, overturn and pile up with explosions and flames. There is gun fire between vehicles, including automatic weapon and cannon fire.
- In the epic final battle, a titanic structure drifts towards the Earth. It is attacked by air force jets and helicopters, which fire missiles and automatic weapons. This causes flames and explosions, and part of the structure breaks off and falls to Earth. Hooks trailing from the structure dig into the Earth and cause mass destruction. Several helicopters crash, and some are completely destroyed.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Transformers: The Last Knight has many scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:
- The medieval knights wear scary armour.
- The movie features dozens of Transformers of varying colours, sizes and appearances. Some can transform from humanoid to vehicle shape. Some are giant sized, whereas others have mouths full of sharp teeth, red glowing eyes and evil voices. There are also several dinosaur Transformers. The gigantic three-headed flame-throwing dragon Transformer is particularly scary, and there’s also an evil medusa-like Transformer.
- In a couple of scenes the attacking forces are trapped in a bubble of suspended time. People are suspended floating in the air or frozen in midstride.
- In one scene that’s supposed to be funny, a Transformer tyrannosaurus eats a police car and then regurgitates it, covered in goo.
- A talisman spontaneously grows four legs and then walks like a spider up a man’s arm and transforms into an armband that wraps itself around the man’s bicep. In other scenes the talisman transforms into a fluid metal device that moves over the man’s torso, disappearing and then reappearing.
Children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Younger children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Transformers: The Last Knight contains sexual references and innuendo throughout. For example:
- When an adolescent boy tries to flirt with a girl, the girl points to her guardian-like Transformer companion and says, ‘As far as you’re concerned he’s my boyfriend’.
- A Transformer says, ‘Look at the junk in her trunk’. The comment seems to have a sexual meaning, but the movie cuts to an image on a laptop that shows a car boot full of packages.
- Four older women tell a young woman that she should place an ad in the classifieds for a sexual partner. One of the women describes an ad about a man who has his own dungeon. They suggest that ads for women would be OK as well.
- A humanoid Transformer tells a man that he got a message from a woman wanting to snuggle.
- A man is asked how long it has been since he ‘made whoopee’. He’s then asked if he’s saving himself for old age.
- A woman says to a man, ‘Hands off – there’s a time and place for everything’.
- There’s a reference to a goat’s scrotum.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There is some use of substances in Transformers: The Last Knight. For example:
- A man drinks alcohol from a bottle in a couple of scenes and admits to being ‘sozzled’. A second man refers to him as a ‘worthless drunkard’.
- Four women sit around a table with drinks in front of them. One of the women picks up a carafe and drinks half the contents.
- In one scene a man asks another man what he’s smoking in his pipe.
- One Transformer appears to be smoking a cigar throughout the movie.
Nudity and sexual activity
Transformers: The Last Knight has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Women wear tight and revealing clothing.
- One woman walks and moves in a sexy way.
- In one scene a man pulls up his shirt to reveal his muscles.
- A woman passionately kisses a man on the lips.
There’s an entire toy franchise based on Transformer characters. In addition to this, the movie shows several brand-name vehicles including General Motors, Lamborghini, Chevrolet, Dodge, Range Rover, Lexus and Mercedes. Characters wear Adidas and Nike clothing and footwear.
Transformers: The Last Knight has frequent coarse language, put-downs and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Transformers: The Last Knight is the latest movie in this science-fiction action adventure series targeting teenage fans.
This movie might appeal to younger children, particularly those who have Transformer toys, but the M rating is appropriate. The movie’s violence, scary scenes and characters, and coarse language make it unsuitable for viewers under 13 years. We recommend parental guidance for children aged 13-15 years, because some children in this group might find some scenes disturbing.
These are the main messages from this movie:
- By working together we can achieve a greater good.
- Split-second decisions might have important historical consequences.
- Anyone can be a hero if they step forward when needed.