The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication-CBCP

The Episcopal Commission on Social Communication of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines presents movies viewed in the light of the gospel. . *** For inquiries, please EMAIL: *** CALL or TEXT: (02) 664 5886 *** or WRITE TO: CINEMA, Episcopal Commission on Social Communication, CBCP Compound, 470 General Luna St. Intramuros, Manila *** Enjoy the reviews, and THANK YOU!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


DIRECTOR:  Christopher Nolan  LEAD CAST:  Tom Hardy, Harry Styles,  James D'Arcy,  Kenneth Branagh, Cilian Murphy & Mark Rylance  SCREENWRITER: Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz  PRODUCER: Emma Thomas & Christopher Nolan  EDITOR: Lee Smith  MUSICAL DIRECTOR:  Hans Zimmer  GENRE: Action  CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Hoyte van Hoytema  DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros.  LOCATION: USA, UK, Netherlands, France  RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes
Technical Assessment: 4
Moral Assessment: 3
Cinema Rating: V14
MTRCB Rating: R13
Set in the second World War, thousands of British, Canadian, Belgian and French soldiers who allied themselves against the Nazis are tracked down by the cold-blooded German troops and are inescapably surrounded in the coastal village of Dunkirk.  There is no way out to freedom except to fight, hold on to life and desperately hope for a rescue. Along the shores of Dunkirk, two soldiers (Fionn Whitehead and Damien Bonnard) spend a desperate time  trying everything they can to be on-board one of the ships leaving for England. While out on the sea, a civilian (Mark Rylance) and two young men (Tom Glynn-Carney and Barry Keoghan) make the risky day long crossing to Dunkirk on a yacht—as part of a civilian effort to rescue the soldiers. Meanwhile, up in the air, three spitfire pilots attempt to provide air support for one vital hour of rescue.  
Dunkirk banks on its grandeur simplicity in painting a picture of the horrors of war and its aftermath. While the scope of the film goes on epic proportions, its heart remains focused on the specificities of significant human experience. The audiences are brought to the specific time and place where its heart is. One would really feel the desperation, the trauma and the fear of soldiers trapped in a place and situation where even hope seems to be elusive. The audiences hold their breath the entire running time. The actors are all great even in the silent moments where they all swim for their lives, hide out of fear and embrace imminent death. Dunkirk is loaded with emotions on its visual storytelling that never fails to deliver. Here is a war film that never really shows the enemy yet makes it felt very strongly—an approach that is rarely seen on films of the same genre, making the film an experience that leaves a lasting impression on the real terrors of war.                               

While Dunkirk strongly paints the destruction of humanity during wars, it is able to utterly portray how humans become more human in time of war. This defies the usual persistent theory that war brings out savages among men. In Dunkirk, it is otherwise. Here, men are seen taking care of other men—they do not leave wounded soldiers behind. The entire journey of the film follows two young soldiers who got each other’s back no matter what happens. There are civilians who would risk their own safety to rescue soldiers, their fellowmen, trapped in the midst of the battle. There are pilots who would pawn their lives to rescue comrades. Soldiers are real heroes and in this film, they are real men—wounded, afraid and vulnerable, yet still choose to persevere to live. Their focus is not on killing the enemy but on preserving their lives—they want to be home for their families. The soldiers in Dunkirk long for peace—peace in their countries and more so, peace in their hearts constantly bombarded by threats, trauma and fear. War has so many lessons to teach humanity but it remains a mystery if we have ever really learned. For graphic scenes of violence, blood and gore, CINEMA deems the film as appropriate only for audiences ages 14 and above.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cars 3

Direction: Brian Fee, Ben Queen, Eyal Podeli  CastOwen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Arnie Hammer, Chris Cooper, Larry, the Cable Guy  ScreenplayKiel Murray, Bob Peterson CinematographyJeremy Lasky, Kim White  EditingJason Hudak MusicRandy Newman ProducersKevin Reher Genre: Animation Location: USA DistributorWalt Disney Studios   Running time: 123 minutes 
Technical assessment: 3
Moral assessment: 3  
CINEMA rating: V14 
MTRCB rating: PG13
Lightning McQueen (Wilson) has been the greatest racer seven times in a row until technology catches up and gives birth to a new breed of boosted racers. McQueen suffers a violent crash while trying to beat Jackson Storm (Hammer), an arrogant rookie. Determined not to end up like Doc Hudson, McQueen decides to train again. He is assigned by his new owner Sterling to train with Cruz Ramirez (Alonzo). In the beginning McQueen and Ramirez do not get along and disagree with each other’s methods. But as the two are forced to work together to save McQueen’s career, they discover each other’s real self and end up as good friends. In the final race, McQueen uses technique rather than speed to beat Storm and allows Ramirez to fulfill her longtime dream to become a professional racer. 
Cars 3 boasts of the same visual expertise Disney and Pixar are noted for. The design and artistry are so meticulously detailed that watching the films is like watching a live action scene. The voice performers deliver well. You could almost see the faces of the people in the animation with their honest interpretation of the characters. The story, although not necessarily novel, is relatable and the sensible development for the 3rd franchise. The storytelling sometimes falls into the temptation of self-indulgence and vanity but with the visual feast it delivers, audience will not always mind. 
The most prominent messages Cars 3 delivers are mentorship and self-confidence to pursue one’s dream. The movie talks about the elders and more accomplished as mentors and guide to the young and inexperienced. In turn, the students are taught not solely for their personal gain but to pass on the wisdom and skills to the next generation. This becomes a positive reinforcing cycle which ensures a productive and selfless society. And with positive and ethical mentorship, the student not only learns skills but learns to appreciate one’s self. The self-image is built and confidence is strengthened. Women, underdogs, less privileged, seniors and physically challenged begin to see opportunities and pursue their dreams without fear. This is a family movie with very positive messages better appreciated if parents discuss with their children. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Kita Kita

DIRECTOR: Sigrid Andrea Bernardo  LEAD CAST:  Alessandra de Rossi, Empoy Marquez EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Joyce Bernal, Piolo Pascual, Erick Raymundo  MUSIC: Arlene Flredia Calvo  CINEMATOGRAPHY: Boy Yniquez  EDITING: Marya Ignacio  GENRE:  Rom-com drama  LOCATION:  Sapporo, Japan  LANGUAGE:  Pilipino  RUNNING TIME:  84 minutes
Technical assessment:  4
Moral assessment:  4
CINEMA rating:  PG 13
Masayang namumuhay mag-isa ang Pilipinang tour guide sa Sapporo, Japan, na si Lea (de Rossi), nguni’t isang araw, bigla siyang mabubulag.  “Temporary blindness” daw, ayon sa doktor, dala ng stress.  Ang sanhi ng stress?  Nasugatang puso.  Nahuli niyang nagtataksil sa kanya ang boyfriend niyang Hapon, na siyang ikinaguho ng lahat ng kanyang mga pangarap.  Magkukulong at magmumukmok sa bahay ang broken-hearted na babae, at dito naman susulpot sa buhay niya ang kapitbahay niyang si Tonyo, isang OFW sa Japan, at kasulukuyan namang bumabangon mula pagkasawi sa pag-ibig.  Natural lamang na mailap si Lea sa simula, ngunit walang sawang magdadala ng mga niluto niyang pagkaing Pinoy si Tonyo kay Lea araw araw, lilibangin ito sa pagpapatawa, at hihimuking samahan siyang magpasyal sa mga tourist spots ng Sapporo.  Dahil dama naman ni Lea na katapatan ni Tonyo, tatanggapin niya ang alok nitong “maging mga mata” niya habang namamasyal sila.  Unti-unting magkakalapit ang dalawa, at kapwa sila sasaya sa kanilang pagkakaibigan, hanggang isang araw, makakakitang muli si Lea.
Hindi mahuhulaan ng manonood ang buong kuwento ng Kita Kita sa panonood lamang ng pakita o trailer nito. Maaaring isipin nilang, “Mukhang kakaiba dahil hindi pogi ang leading man, pero bulag naman ang babae eh, malay niya?  Cheap comedy lang siguro ito!”  Ganunpaman, halos puno ang sinehan nang manood ang CINEMA samantalang mag-iisang lingo na itong ipinapalabas noon.  At hanggang ngayong halos dalawang linggo na itong tampok sa maraming mga sinehan, mahaba pa rin ang hatak nitong pila sa takilya.  Marahil isa itong palatandaang handa na ang mga Pilipinong manonood sa ganitong uri ng pelikula—madaling sakyan, madaling intindihin, nakakaaliw panoorin, pero malalim ang pinaghuhugutan, kaya’t malalim din ang hatid na katotohanan.  Nababakas sa Kita Kita na may sapat na kaalaman ang nagsulat nito tungkol sa kultura sa Saporro, kung kaya’t naihabi niya nang makahulugan ang ilang mga maliliit na bagay upang isulong at mabuo ang kuwento.  Kung magaling ang pagganap ni de Rossi at Marquez, magaling din ang direksyon at pagkaka-edit ng pelikula.  Napagtagni-tagni nito ang mga pangyayari sa tamang daloy na hinihingi ng kwento, at nabigyang kasiyahan ang manonood ng isang makabuluhang katapusan.   
May kasabihan tayong “Love is blind”—ang pag-ibig diumano ay bulag.  Nabigyang katuwiran ito ng Kita Kita kung saan napalambot ang puso ng isang babae ng isang lalaking hindi naman niya nakikita—ngunit ito ay dahil kahit siya bulag, nakikita niya ang puso ng lalaki, isang pusong mayaman sa kabutihang loob.  May isa ring payo ang mga nakatatanda sa mga kababaihan na nabibigyang katuwiran ng Kita Kita:  “Marry a man who can make you laugh.”  Pakasalan mo ang isang lalaking kaya kang patawanin.  Sa panahon ng pasakit at kadiliman, ang “sense of humor” ng mga taong malapit sa atin ang mag-aangat sa atin.  Tulad ni Tonyo, na dahil sa “sense of humor” niya ay nagsilbing salbabida ni Lea na malapit nang malunod sa pighati.  Ang tunay na “sense of humor” ay hindi lamang basta pagpapatawa—lalo na’t hindi kung pagpapatawa itong may halong panglilibak—kungdi isang magandang katangiang nag-uugat sa kababaang-loob.  Dahil sa “sense of humor”, kaya nating pagtawanan ang ating sarili, at hindi rin tayo napipikon kahit pagtawanan tayo ng iba.  Ang ubod ng kuwento ng Kita Kita, simula puno hanggang dulo, ay ang kagandahang maaaring hindi nakikita ng ating mga mata nguni’t nararamdaman ng kaluluwa: kabutihang loob.  Makita kaya ninyo ito sa inyong panonood ng Kita Kita?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Finally Found Someone

DIRECTOR:  Theodore Boborol LEAD CAST:  Sarah Geronimo, John Lloyd, Christian Bables STORY & SCREENPLAY: Gilliann Ebleo, Carmi Raymundo, Patrick John Valencia  MUSIC:  Jessie Lasaten  CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Gary Gardoce  EDITING:  Beng Bandong PRODUCTION DESIGN:  Winston Acuyong  PRODUCERS: Malou Santos, Charo Santos-Concio, Vic del Rosario Jr., Veronique del Rosaro-Corpus  PRODUCTION COMPANIES:  Star Cinema, Viva Films  GENRE: Comedy/Romance DISTRIBUTOR: Star Cinema  LOCATION: Philippines  RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes
Technical assessment:  3.5
Moral assessment:  3.5
CINEMA rating:  V14
Araw ng kasal, na-indiyan: hindi sisipot ang nobyo ni Aprilyn (Sarah Geronimo) na si Randy (Enchong Dee).  Sa sama ng loob, nagngangangawang itatakas ni Aprilyn ang wedding car at kung saan saan hahanapin ang nobyong nawawala.  Pagka’t ni ha ni ho ay hindi magpaparamdam si groom, at titirik pa ang tsikot, tuluyan nang mawawalan ng poise si bride—nandiyang umangkas sa tricycle kuntodo naka-wedding gown, nandiyang umakyat sa fire escape, nandiyang maglupasay sa mall, at kung anu-ano pa.  Pagpipiyestahan tuloy ng mga nagse-selfie hanggang maging viral ang mga video—magte-trending ang Aprilyn bilang #ChosBride.  Ito naman ang magiging daan para makilala siya ni Raffy (John Lloyd Cruz), isang PR strategist.  Kliyente ni Raffy si Mayor, na nagkataong tatay pala ng indiyanerong si Randy, at igigiit niya kay Raffy na magbalikan sila Aprilyn at Randy, dahil kailangan ni Randy ng pogi points sa publiko pagka’t ikakasa siya ng tatay niya bilang mayor sa susunod na halalan.
Hindi nakapagtatakang humatak ng 20 milyong piso sa opening day sa Pilipinas ang Finally Found Someone—una, subok na ang Sarah-John Lloyd tandem; ikalawa, sagana sa kilig moments; ikatlo, hitik sa katatawanan; ika-apat, me laman naman ang kuwento.  In short, patok sa Pinoy.  Nang manood ang CINEMA, napansin namin na hati sa dalawa ang audience—ang kalahati ay tumitili sa kilig, at ang iba nama’y natatawa sa mga kinikilig.  Entertaining talaga, pati audienceIn fairness, magaling ang acting, ika nga madadala ka: si Sarah, natural na natural, okey lang magmukhang losyang kung kailangan; si John Lloyd, feel ang papel, at lalaki pa rin kahit umiiyak o kumekembot; si Mayor na buktot na politiko, gusto mong sapakin. Okey ang editing, tinambalan ng matinong dialogue, kaya walang nakakaantok na eksena.
Ang Finally Found Someone ay isang rom-com na malaman.  Lutang dito ang tatlong mensahe: ang karahasan at pagkukunwari ay bahagi ng realidad sa politika; ang isang matatag na pamilya ay kailangan upang suportahan ka sa iyong pinagdaraanan; at ang pagharap sa iyong mga kahinaan ay katapatan sa sarili at sa kapwa.  (Pahabol: ikinalulugod ng CINEMA na pinaninindigan ni Sarah Geronimo ang pag-iwas sa passionate kissing sa kanyang mga pelikula, na tila ba nagsasabi sa mga manonood na hindi mo kailangang labagin ang prinsipyo mo para lang maging "masaya" at popular). 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

DIRECTOR: Luc Besson  CAST: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, Rutger Hauer  SCREENPLAY BY: Luc Besson  STORY BY: Pierre Christin, Jean-Claude Mézières  BASED ON Valérian and Laureline  PRODUCERS: Luc Besson, Virginie Besson-Silla  FILM EDITOR: Julien Rey  GENRE: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction  CINEMATOGRAPHY: Thierry Arbogast  MUSIC: Alexandre Desplat  PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hugues Tissandier  PRODUCTON COMPANIES: EuropaCorp, Fundamental Films, BNP Paribas Fortis Film Finance, Universum Film, Gulf Film, River Road Entertainment, Belga Films  DISTRIBUTORS: STX Entertainment (US), EuropaCorp (France)  COUNTRY: France  LANGUAGE: French, English  RUNNING TIME: 137 minutes
Technical assessment:  3.5
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA Rating:  V14
In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delavingne) are sent to a mission in Alpha, a huge city in the outer space inhabited by millions of creatures from different planets, to solve a mystery that threatens the peaceful living in the said space station and entire universe. Prior to embarking on the mission, Valerian proposes marriage to Laureline, but the latter prefers to retain their relationship at colleague level because she does not believe Valerian can take serious relationship. The two agents accomplish the mission of retrieving a rare animal and acquiring special pearls that are needed to protect the Alpha. On return to space city, they learn from their commander Arun Fillit (Clive Owen) that Alpha is further threatened with infiltration by dark forces in some areas. During public assembly, the humanoids attack and kidnap the Fillit while the rest of the participants in the assembly are incapacitated including Valerian and Laureline. But Valerian manages to free himself and chases the kidnapers towards the infected area where he suddenly losses control of the vehicle and his contact with Laureline. The latter searches and finally finds him only to be abducted in return. This time its Valerian’s turn to rescue Laureline with the help of Bubble (Rihanna), a shape-shifter. 
Valerian has a character-based plot made interesting by the love angle between the main characters which is tried and tested while accomplishing the mission together. There is miscasting of the main character particularly Valerian who looks more like bubbly teenager than a credible police agent. Nevertheless, the film boasts of excellent CGI  work and is a real treat of visual delights for the viewers. The cinematography is likewise good especially long shots of the universe and close-up shots of details in the highly imaginative production design. The sound effects perfectly fit every movement and action in the space station and enhance the visual effects.
Peace is achieved when there is unity in diversity. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets showcases a big community of  beings from different origins who are peacefully living and working together. They generously share their technology and culture in harmony for the greater good. Keeping and protecting the city from the enemy of peace is a noble and sacrificing act, adhered to to the point that even the personal interest such as the love relationship of Valerian and Laureline takes a back seat for the benefit of the great majority. But this does not make them love each other less; amidst the trials and threat of loss their love and care strengthen them to fight together. On the other hand, the one responsible for triggering chaos and damage to the peaceful city suffered the consequences of his actions. The movie conveys positive messages, however, violent nature of fighting and the killings may need guidance adult for minors to comprehend the movie.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CINEMA takes a look at real life apes

A gun-toting chimp: fiction today, tomorrow a reality?
CINEMA thinks the Planet of the Apes trilogy may bring to focus the implications of real life scientific research utilizing primates, as its plot revolves around the scientists’ search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease that created instead an ape with human-like intelligence.
It’s a fact that primates are being experimented upon by humans for medical purposes.  According to US-based PETA—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—“over 105,000 primates every year are imprisoned in US laboratories… abused and killed in invasive, painful, and terrifying experiments…”  (See Primates are prime targets for experimenters because they share important biological and psychological characteristics with humans, such as sensitivity and intelligence.
In July 2011, as Rise of the Planet of the Apes hit the theaters—showing, among other images, a chimpanzee that fired an AK47 towards humans—the Academy of Medical Sciences of Britain (AMSB) said the dangers of disturbing animal-human experiments are real.  In a hard-hitting report the academics warned that research is close to pushing ethical boundaries and urged the government to create tough new rules to prevent such a scenario (of gun-toting primates) from becoming a reality.  Professor Martin Bobrow, a medical geneticist at Cambridge University and lead author of the report, said society needed to set rules before scientists began experiments that the public would find unacceptable.   Three particularly “sensitive” areas in animal research, the report stated, are cognitive, that of reproduction, and creation of visual characteristics that would make them see themselves as human.  Relating to reproduction, the report recommended that animal embryos produced from human sperm or eggs do not develop beyond a period of 14 days.
Furthermore, the AMSB report called for a ban on extreme attempts to give laboratory animals human attributes—such as injecting human stem cells into the brains of primates—and called for a closer monitoring of the experiments by a new body of experts.  “If a monkey that received human genetic material begins to acquire capabilities similar to a chimpanzee, it’s time to stop the experiments,” said Bobrow.  A co-author of the report, Professor Thomas Baldwin, said: “The fear is that if you start putting very large numbers of human brain cells into the brains of primates suddenly you might transform the primate into something that has some of the capacities that we regard as distinctively human—speech, or other ways of being able to manipulate or relate to us. These possibilities that are at the moment largely explored in fiction, we need to start thinking about now.”

Spiderman: Homecoming

Running Time: 133 minutes; Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey, Jr., Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei; Direction: Jon Watts; Story:  based on Spiderman by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko; Screenplay: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, etc; Cinematography: Salvatore Totino; Editing: Dan Lebental, Debbie Berman; Music: Michael Giacchino; Producers: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal; Genre: Action; Location: New York; Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing
Technical assessment: 3.5
Moral assessment: 3
CINEMA rating: V14
After the victory of the Avengers against Loki and the Chitauri invasion, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is initially commissioned to clean up the city. However, their operation is taken over by Stark’s Department of Damage Control (DODC) and in retaliation and to salvage his investments, Toomes keeps portion of the Chitauri to create advance weapons to sell to petty crooks. Eight years after, 15 year old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is drafted by Starks (Robert Downey, Jr.) to help them settle a dispute against Captain America (Chris Evans) but is asked to return to his normal life as he is not yet ready to be a full pledge Avenger. Peter, however, dreams to be an Avenger and devotes his entire time and energy to stop petty crimes within his neighborhood. Accidentally, he discovers Toomes—who has transformed himself into the metal-winged Vulture—and his dealings, and attempts to end it himself, although unsuccessfully most of the time. All the while, Tony Starks monitors his activities and intervenes when necessary until he decides to confiscate the Spiderman suit. Peter, upon learning both the true identity of Vulture and his ultimate plan, makes a final attempt sans the Spiderman suit to thwart his plans and rescue DODC’s plane.
The 3rd reboot of Spiderman offers a fresh insight into Peter Parker’s character—this time with an awkwardly fun and colorful coming of age passion to initially belong to a prestigious team and eventually to do what is right.  It is frustrating, though, how the movie tried too much to integrate his storyline into the Marvel Universe, ultimately giving too much screen time to Iron Man. The computer generated visuals balance the narrative and humor well. With three different treatments of three Peter Parker/Spiderman, the movie might appeal to some and bore others, depending on which personality they like better.
Adolescence is an awkward stage of confused assimilation—on the one hand, teenagers are so ready to be part of anything prestigious or popular, on the other hand, they do not always have the maturity to grasp the responsibility nor the patience to learn what is needed. However, if the heart and person of the young ones are formed well, the desire would be less to be part of what is popular than to be part of what is right and good. Here lies the role of mentors, role models and guides. As adults, these are what we are expected to be for our young ones.  To hold their hands until their steps are sturdy and straight, to shape their minds until their reasons are clear and righteous and to light their ways until their eyes can distinguish truth and justice on their own. Beautifully, Tony and Peter became poster children of adult-young mentoring.

Transformers: The Last Knight

DIRECTOR:  Michael Bay  LEAD CAST:  Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock  SCREENWRITERS:  Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan  PRODUCERS:  Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce  EDITORS:  Roger Barton, Adam Gerstel, Debra Neil-Fisher, John Refouga, Mark Sanger, Calvin Wimmer  MUSICAL DIRECTOR:  Steve Jablonsky  GENRE:  Science Fiction, Adventure  CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Jonathan Sela DISTRIBUTOR:  Paramount Pictures  LOCATION:  England, Scotland, Ireland, California, Arizona, Michigan  RUNNING TIME:  149 minutes
Technical assessment: 1.5
Moral assessment: 2
CINEMA rating: V14
MTRCB rating: PG
The fifth installment of the Transformers franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight retells the history of the series in a different light. The film opens in England in the Dark Ages, amidst a battle involving King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, establishing that once upon a time, the wizard Merlin was handed-over a powerful staff by the Transformers that time—which was instrumental in King Arthur’s victory over invaders. Hundreds of years later, the evil sorceress Quintessa sends the dark Transformer Megatron to find the staff, casts a spell on Optimus Prime so it would turn against mankind. In the present day, Transformers are being hunted down by the government, and Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is protecting the good ones like Bumblebee and the Autobots. Yeager eventually becomes involved in the hunt for Merlin’s staff, meeting Viviane Wembly ( Laura Haddock) and Sir Edmond Burton (Sir Anthony Hopkins) who both lead him into the discovery of his significant role in finding the staff –on which,  the final fate of the Earth and all humanity lies.
The film runs for two-and-a-half hours of convoluted plot without a sense of centrality and purpose as it jumps from one subplot to another. The explanation of the back story has taken more than half of its running time so nothing much is left for meaningful characterization, or at least a central tension to look forward to besides the motherhood doomsday sci-fi stereotypical of a plot. The film is nothing but a two hour and half full of ear-splitting noise and senseless battles. It seems that the filmmakers are themselves hardly convinced that alien robots would have a significant role in human history that it would really need a lengthy exposition enough to suspend disbelief of the audience. The fans of the series may not really care that much for as long as the high-tech visual effects (VFX) are shown along with all the spectacles expected of a Transformers franchise. But even the VFX scenes and transitions do not make so much of an impact—quite apparently in the heat of battle scenes, there is no single shot of both humans and VFX character in one frame. The two worlds and their spatial relationship are not clearly established.  so as to create the logical tension between the two. The alien robots who are supposed to be the titular protagonists and antagonists stay in the background with the humans at the center and heart of the story who are given more active participation in pushing the plot forward. Transformers: The Last Knight fails in its entirety for the lack of soul and focus.

Transformers: The Last Knight is a vague spectacle. So vague that even its moral underpinning is buried deep in the grandeur of its VFX minus a compelling story to ponder on. The film’s theme remains in its usual territory—the battle of good vs. evil. This time around, it is not only humans who are capable of goodness but alien robots as well. In essence, both humans and aliens are capable of being either good or evil. In the movie, the two forces unite to save the Earth from total destruction. It is inherent for humans to save humanity but for aliens to have a deep concern for humanity is not quite believable. However, the Transformers portrays it as possible—these robots, though non-humans have also the capacity to reciprocate goodness and fight dark forces if need be. The strange action of Optimus Prime at the start confuses the audience of its allegiance but the revelation towards the middle part explains it thoroughly. Although alcohol consumption is shown infrequently, it is taken lightly at the opening scenes, with Merlin the wizard babbling with inebriation. There are also highly suggestive shots of the young girl Izabella with her low-neckline shirt when she was running and a high-angle shot of her showing her legs spread and again the low-cut of her neckline. These scenes are unnecessary to the plot development and may leave a not-so-good impression on the very young.  The movie is not for very young audiences because of the use of vulgar language and graphic violence, so CINEMA deems it fit only for audiences 14 and above, preferably still with parental guidance.