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Wow, how the mighty have fallen. Once regarded as the golden goose of Hasbro, The 'Transformers' franchise has fallen on hard times after it’s goose egg with last year’s release of Transformers: The Last Knight. Under normal circumstances, raking in $605 million at the box office is nothing to be ashamed of, however, The Last Knight, currently ranks dead last in box office sales compared to the other live action 'Transformers' movies.
Who did it better?
With a bloated run time, witless one liners and an endless supply of forgettable characters, Transformers: The Last Knight may be the most generic installment to date. Michael Bay, the film’s director, has rarely been praised for originality, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if Optimus Prime and company attempted their best 'Terminator' impression to woo audiences. Transformers: The Last Knight and Terminator Salvation bear a striking resemblance and you can’t fault Bay for mimicking one of the most successful franchises of all time, but whoever gave him the idea to mirror one of the worst films in the 'Terminator' franchise should be fired immediately. Both Transformers: The Last Knight and Terminator Salvation are blemishes on the resumes of their respective sagas. The question is, which film did a better job?
Box Office Results:
Terminator Salvation: $371.4 Million Worldwide
The Last Knight: $605.4 Million Worldwide
This round goes to the robots in disguise. Numbers don’t lie so it’s safe to trust the world wide box office results.
For lack of a better noun, the winner is Terminator Salvation. If you put any stock into Rotten Tomatoes, proceed with caution.
It wasn’t a good idea to change the most likable character to a villain, but even as a villain, Optimus Prime is the most redeeming quality in the The Last Knight.
In Terminator Salvation, I’m not sure a 'Terminator' fan can name the main cyborg without a Google search. The final blow comes in the form of using CGI to masquerade as everyone’s favorite T-800 in the final act. The underwhelming cyborg (Marcus Wright in case your browser is too slow) and the Arnold Schwarzenegger stunt double in Salvation make this a lopsided matchup against Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and Co. so the point goes to Transformers.
Since the 1984 release of The Terminator, movie buffs have been on standby, patiently waiting for the day that Skynet would become self-aware. Terminator Salvation has issues, but the world building isn’t one of them. The scrawny actors, filthy terrain, and roaming Terminators make you feel like the dystopian future has arrived and the battle between man vs. machine is afoot.
It’s tough to say the same thing for Transformers: The Last Knight. Following the events of Age of Extinction, Earth has seen better days and as hard as Michael Bay tries to make you believe this film takes place in a not too distant, apocalyptic future, you get the feeling that everything would be okay for the characters if they packed their bags and moved to any state other than Chicago.
It seems our future is much more dark if we embrace the 'Terminator' timeline.
If you love watching robots in action, sorry, this isn’t the film for you. The sons of Cybertron have always been the big draw for the 'Transformers' franchise, but Paramount and Hasbro have struggled to find a story that focuses on the Autobots and less on humans. Most of The Last Knight’s runtime pits Cade Yeager, Mark Wahlberg’s character, front and center and as a result, we get less action and more of a tamed storyline of Cade discovering his destiny.
Terminator Salvation’s action scenes provide the right end of the stick compared to Transformers: The Last Knight (I reiterate, "compared to Transformers: The Last Knight”). Although man probably outnumbers machine 1000 to 1, Terminator Salvation finds a way to put all of the new Terminator models on display and we get lots of action scenes and loads of fatalities (cough cough, “compared to Transformers: The Last Knight”).
Terminator Salvation: 3
The Last Knight: 2
Rarely imitated and hopefully, never duplicated, Terminator Salvation is not only the predecessor to Transformers: The Last Knight, but it’s also The Last Knight’s superior. This goes to show that when you create a sloppy copy of a film, the results are equal to or less than the original. With Bumblebee, a spin off 'Transformers' movie, scheduled to hit theaters later this year, hopefully, Paramount takes a fresh take for the Chevy Camaro’s big screen solo project. If not, hopefully the studio chooses to copy one of the better 'Terminator' movies this time.
Hasta La Vista, Baby!