It’s taken five movies, but the live action Transformers series finally has the correct actor voicing Megatron. If you see Transformers: The Last Knight you’ll hear a very recognizable voice coming from the Decepticon leader, as Frank Welker is finally voicing the character.
He replaces Hugo Weaving, who voiced Megatron in the first three movies, and having him as the real Megatron (never mention that fake Galvatron again) in this one is something Transformers fans have waited a decade to hear. Paramount famously rejected him in the first movie as to case a “bigger name” as Megatron in the original. Cullen was a favor to the fans who they feared would reject the movie if they went with the original rumored casting of George Clooney as Prime.
Megatron may have limited screen time in The Last Knight, but Welker makes every moment the best of Megatron in the series. As soon as he speaks in the movie it just feels right, having that original voice back doing the character.
As for the movie? What do you expect. After ten years and five movies if you don’t know what to expect from a Transformers movie by now you may have bigger issues with determining if you like them or not.
Personally, with the return of Frank Welker, the casting of Anthony Hopkins, Marky Mark coming back, and the Arthurian Legends angle; this is my favorite of the five movies. I was never much of a Shia LaNonono fan, and thought when they brought Marky Mark into the franchise it was a huge improvement. So, this movie is basically Marky Mark and Star-Lord’s Mom saving the world from a Quintesson and Unicron; although how they did Unicron in the franchise is incredibly stupid (Spoiler: Earth is Unicron).
Again, it’s still a Michael Bay Transformers movie and you get what you expect with that. They’re never going to be embraced by critics, and even non-Transformers fans will parrot their favorite critical trashing of the movies every two years when a new one shows up.
For me the fun in the Transformers movies is hearing Peter Cullen voice Optimus Prime on the big screen in a big budget movie while seeing cool cars turn into robots. There’s even a car chase in this one in London that shows Bay hasn’t forgot how to do one of those since The Rock.
The movies really aren’t that complex and the appeal of them isn’t hard to grasp. Expecting them to be deep and coherent films is like expecting a couch potato to win the 100-yard dash at the Olympics. I’ve been somewhat happy with what Bay has done with the Transformers…except for that second one. That’s almost unforgivable. But I will be disappointed to see him leave the franchise once and for all.
Prime is missing for most of the movie, and when he does show up he’s Nemesis Prime for the first parts of it, but as always Peter Cullen delivers his inspiring Optimus Prime speeches. He faces off with Frank Welker once again, and in the end Bumblebee is talking with his own voice…again. I just hope in Transformers 6 they don’t decide to break his voice a second time.
Despite Paramount’s baffling marketing, there’s nothing here to indicate it’s the final movie. The Bumblebee prequel comes out June 8, 2018 with Transformers 6 following on June 28, 2019 so we’re going to start having Transformers movies every year. Those who hate these movies are just going to have to learn to deal with it.
Hopefully they manage to keep both Peter Cullen and Frank Welker voicing their characters for as long as they can.