Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon ReviewJuly 18, 2011
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is a massive overload of action. By now, at the third entry in the series, you should know how you feel about Michael Bay’s Transformers series, and Michael Bay movies in general. If you love dumb action, hot girls, and the best CGI that mankind has to offer, then you will love this movie. If you hated the last two, this one definitely won’t change your mind.
The setup for the film can be summarized pretty quickly: Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon recounts the War for Cybertron (pretty neat) and explains that there was an ulterior motive behind the space race of the 60′s. There’s even a CGI JFK, which lasted about 3 seconds but still was kinda cool. Flash-forward to present day, and Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is having a hard time finding a job after college (there are some funny scenes with Sam on interviews). Elsewhere, Lt. Col. Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and the NEST team of Autobots are taking out the fledgling Decepticons. The bad guys rise up and invade Chicago, planning to take over Earth. Obviously Optimus Prime is pissed.
The battles in Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon are better directed and easier to follow than in Transformers or Revenge of the Fallen. They can still get pretty hectic, but in general I could tell who was fighting who more often than not. The fights were also visually more interesting, with great choreography and CGI. I still can’t get over, after three movies, how freaking real the robots look standing right next to the human characters. ILM did a fantastic job once again.
Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon is a tiny bit darker than the previous movies, but Bay exaggerated about it. The Decepticons have some cool parts where they get to show how evil they are, such as a sequence when they kill off some of their human allies. I was surprised when they actually showed large groups of humans being exploded into nothing by Decepticons. Also, there is quite a bit of bad language in the movie. I felt a little weird being surrounded by kids and babies, and seeing gratuitous ass shots and violence and hearing much more expletives than in the previous films. I could care less, but parents should know that it does push its PG-13 rating a bit far.
Most of the old cast returns for Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon, like the previously mentioned Shia and Josh, along with Tyrese Gibson’s Epps, and the always funny Agent Simmons, played by John Turturro. There are a good amount of newcomers this time around. John Malkovich is one of Sam’s eccentric bosses.Ken Jeong is one of his co-workers, who was funny at first but they played his part out far too quickly, and he became annoying. The same could be said of Alan Tudyk (Steve The Pirate!) in some weird gay German sidekick shtick to Simmons. Kevin Dunn and Julie White are back as Sam’s sometimes funny, sometimes grating parents. Here they are mostly grating. Frances McDormand plays National Intelligence Director Mearing. Patrick Dempsey makes a heel turn as a too-nice-to-be-true boss, who quickly shows his evil side. As you can see, there are a lot of characters stuffed into this mammoth, 2.5 hour movie.
The characters you will see the most in Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon of are of course Sam, the awesome robots and Megan Fox’s replacement, model-turned-actress (Slashie Award!) Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley. She is OK for a first time-actress, but to be honest her sugar sweet attitude gets annoying by the end, and dare I say it, I missed Megan Fox a bit. I’m sure water cooler debate will wage for some time to come over who was hotter, and I’d have to give the edge to Megan. Also, even though there are giant robots doing battle on the streets of Chicago in this movie, the least believable thing has to be that Sam’s character can continue to get these supermodel girls.
Now for the robots. Optimus Prime is as badass as he’s ever been, with awesome battles worthy of him. He also gets to use his cool sword more in this movie, and even takes a giant robo-shotgun to another bots face. Megatron is back in a smaller role than usual, with a cool hoodie/cloak type thing and a badly destroyed body from the ROTF end battle. Starscream and Shockwave are sweet. Some of those tiny, goofy, comedy relief robots are back and annoying as usual. There are some more dumb looking Autobots this time, like an Autobot that looks like an old man, with gray hair and everything. Since when do robots grow old or have hair? It’s really dumb, unnecessary, and when he dies a horrible death (not a spoiler, nobody cares about him) most of the audience laughed. Those two racist robots from ROTF are gone, thank God. Finally, Leonard Nimoy voices a robot called Sentinel Prime in Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon.
After the travesty that was Revenge of the Fallen, Michael Bay and company try to redeem themselves a bit with Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon. They aren’t completely successful, as the movie still falls into many of the traps the last two did, but it is the most fun Transformers movie since the first film. The movie is definitely too long, has too many goofy slapstick bits, and too many characters. But if you’re willing to go in with an open mind (and switched-off brain) you will have fun.