It may ultimately amount to little more than promotional material, but there’s still a sense of artistry to designing a movie poster. Such poster titans as Saul Bellow and Drew Struzan approached their work as no less legitimate than painting, establishing a distinctive, recognizable style and leaving a permanent imprint on the field. Their legacies — of stylization, of spectacle, of conjuring drama and feeling through purely aesthetic means — have trickled down to influence designers today as they contrive clever, original ways to represent a film. And then, also, there’s the poster for Transformers: The Last Knight.


Let’s accentuate the positive: there sure are a lot of things on this poster. Look over there, it‘s a five-barreled turret gunner! How about a big ol’ explosion at center-right, and, ooh, what about a second, smaller explosion in the background at center-left? Franchise stars Optimus Prime and Bumblebee take the fore in the poster, with a gone-rogue Prime taking the upper hand (or, like, metallic vise-grip) over its former ally. Prime’s wielding the trademark robot-sword, but Bumblebee hasn’t showed up unarmed, brandishing a mighty robot-hammer. Some kind of big structure looms in the background, too. What is it? Who cares! Doesn’t matter! Robot hammer!

The press release announcing the arrival of the new poster also makes mention of an exclusive look at Transformers: Last Knight scheduled during this Sunday’s telecast of the MTV Movie & TV Awards. Those superfans who absolutely can’t wait until the film’s June 23 release date can get a little taste, and then return to the poster to contemplate who was put in charge of arranging elements in this frame.

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