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The big surprise of the new Transformers trailer is it looks kind of fun

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The Last Knight is my last chance for the series

I know I shouldn’t be excited about a Transformers film because of a good trailer. The franchise has had great marketing in the past, carefully concealing the bloated melodrama, offensive caricatures, and puerile humor. And yet I’m kind of, sort of, maybe a little bit intrigued by Transformers: The Last Knight.

It’s not just this new trailer that has me seriously considering paying to see a Transformers film. My colleague Bryan Bishop spoke somewhat kindly of early footage shown at CinemaCon last month. A lot of the wild moments he described — knights, magicians, sentry droids, Mark Wahlberg dodging explosions — appear in this trailer, set to an almost laughably wrought score.

Perhaps why I’m optimistic is because this movie could be anything. There are at least five movies sold in the promo’s diminutive runtime. It’s a movie about King Arthur fighting alongside giant robots, a post-apocalyptic drama, a 1980s action kids movie, an unintentional Wahlbergian comedy, and of course, it’s also the launching pad for the Transformers extended universe.

This movie will almost certainly be stuffed with the tacky, confusing fodder that stuffs every Transformers movie. But in this moment, I am eager to see it. I suppose this shouldn’t be surprise. Michael Bay has always been the best at making commercials.