Rarely am I regretful for the time spent in a comfortable chair, watching a $260 million film on a 100-foot screen. But it does happen. I mean, come on, I could have watched the Mariners win another game in what will be Seattle’s first World Series year ever. I digress.

“Transformers: The Last Knight” may not actually be the last time we’ll see the robots in disguise on screen, but it plays out like a finale.

The world is in peril yet again, with an imminent collision between Earth and Cybertron. The evil robot goddess Quintessa is trying to suck the lifeforce out of the Earth’s core, or something like that. Battles ensue between Autobots, Decepticons, good humans, bad humans, and there is a mystical staff of power that is uncovered for the first time since the dark ages. The plot is silly and amateur, but we don’t watch Transformers for the story, do we. The audience is bombarded with sentient robots, new and old. There are some adequately cool visual effects, but there are some serious problems with this film.

Mark Wahlberg plays Cade Yeager, a prototypical humble hero, and his acting made me pine for the days of Shia LeBeouf. Laura Haddock plays Vivian Wembley, and she made me legitimately miss Megan Fox. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s truly that bad. To capitulate the almost certain Razzie award sweep, Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is one of the finest actors of his generation, delivers what is undoubtedly the single-worst acting performance of his career. A shame really that it is such a high-profile piece in the twilight of his career.

Screenwriting is an area where I tend to pay particular attention, and when you combine nonsensical dialogue with a director who clearly has ADHD and isn’t ashamed to let the world know, it tends to overshadow any and all continuity or movie magic in this case.

Story? Who needs a story when you have special effects? Let’s blow some things up and put gorgeous women in tight clothing and diminish characters by creating elaborate but irrelevant details about them. Look, a squirrel! Explosion, sex appeal, product placement, stereotype. Mark Wahlberg’s abs, giant robot fight, cheesy cliché speech. Bad jokes, worse acting, the worst dialogue. The end.

Michael Bay is in his element, which is to say his fifth Transformers film. He loves his cutting-edge special forces technology and bearded, sunglass-wearing macho men. I actually kind of liked “13 Hours” last year. He also loves explosions; lots of explosions in slow motion with camera flares. And then blow up the explosions with special effects. I think you get the point. This was a terrible film on top of awful writing, and horrendous acting.

Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan of Transformers since before I can remember, and the 2007 original live-action film was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I liked the first one. It was quirky and had a nice blend of action and humor. But then the franchise began its spiral into cinematic depravity, chasing the dollar in all the wrong ways.

You are probably asking yourself, “There has to be something good about it, right?” To that I will say, absolutely. The fight scenes were great. A bit inconsistent in quality, duration, realism (even within the realm of giant robotic car creatures), and science (Michael Bay likes to take liberties with the laws of physics). 

Basically, this was a colossal pile of regret — $260 million wasted on a terrible film. A terrible film that will likely make more than a billion dollars worldwide. Sigh.