Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Review


"Transformers 2" has become infamous for being one of 2009's and Michael Bay's worst movies so far. It definately is not a big act to make a better movie than "Transformers 2", but did Bay learn a lesson? The trailers for "Transformers 3" promise us a more serious take on the Transformers story with an invasion and big epic battles. There's no doubt that Bay will offer us robot action nonstop (again), but are the bad things of the past installments still there?



The plot:
The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. (source: IMDB)

I cannot say anything more about the main plot because it would probably spoil too much of the movie for you. But the plot is pretty ok (but of course not groundbreaking) and it starts the movie pretty promising. While Neil Armstrong acting as a government agent seems a bit far fetched, in the world of giant robots beating the crap out of each other it's ok i guess.
"Seriousness" is the key word in this third installment. In T3 finally big global invasion stuff is happening (not like in T2 where the government "covered" it all....stupid).
This time, protagonists are dying, sacrifces have to be made, and an army of decepticons is threatening the entire world.
The movie's first act focusing very much on Shia's midlife crisis makes you initially feel like this movie is not going to be much better than T2. One comedic scene after another is thrown at you. But luckily the autobot parts that focus on the main plot deliever enough seriousness and excitement to balance the entire first hour.
Unfortunately, the movie has big problems during the first act to have a consistent tone: the movie at times takes a 180 degree turn:
We jump from one funny scene to another serious scene that features a family getting attacked by decepticons in their home. Throwing in and even mixing comedy with serious threatening moments often kills every sense of atmosphere and mood. Fortunately, Bay's immature comedy is only present in the first act of T3 (which means about the first hour).
It all boils down to the fact that, the movie's exposition is taking way too long and represents the movies biggest weakness. It takes over an hour till the first transformer battles are actually happening, which the entire audience is there to see!

But after the first act, the movie's serious main plot kicks in full force. Gone is almost every trace of comedy, finally giving us what the trailers promised. A gritty non-comedic action extravaganza with more awesome robot battles than you can count.
"Making sense" is not really an important factor in the final acts of the movie but just excitement and fun. Just like "Rambo 2-4" you don't really need to activate your brain very much to just enjoy the action (if you are into that kind of thing).

Admittedly, there's not much acting to be done in a Transformers movie (well maybe except voice acting).
Of course, Shia LaBeouf returns as the main hero Sam. And i don't have a problem with him, well maybe except for his high pitched screams. He does ok and makes for a good, likable leading person.
A big change comes in the form of the "leading lady". Gone is Megan Fox, make way for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (i think because Megan called Bay Hitler in an interview).
Sam now has a new girlfriend and Megan seems to have gone without any good reason (but who cares). While Rosie most probably is just as hot as Megan...for god's sake she can't act. Ok i know that she is a model, but if you happen to be a worse actress than Megan Fox...man that is heavy. None of her lines made me believe ANYTHING that she was saying. She may be charming but not convincing. Except looking hot, she has no other purpose in this movie (duh!).
What really drove me nuts in T3 was its wasted cast of GOOD actors, that was taken absolutely NO advantage of: John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, John Turturro...all of them have so much talent and they are worth a Coen Brothers movie and you put them into a movie about fighting robots?!?!?! They got put into the most clicheed comedic relief roles of the entire movie and that's more sad than funny to me, sorry. But Luckily they don't have that much screentime anyway BUT STILL!
Anyway, the entire voice acting cast again does a great job giving the transformers voices and a personality (except those annoying hideous RC car transformers, they suck).
Leonard Nimoy does a great as Sentinel Prime but Bay really should have left out that stupid "Spock quote". WE KNOW LEONARD NIMOY IS SPOCK....THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS! I am not a Star Trek fan but even i know that this was pointless and dumb!

There's not much to say about the effects. While they are of course all CG, the effects are top notch. The action scenes are choreographed pretty well concerning it's mainly CG robots fighting, resulting in the battles being probably the best of the trilogy. If you are into that kind of thing, you get what you want...nonstop (well after the first hour). I just wished that they would have had a bigger color palette that would make distinguishing the transformers from one another a bit easier. Also the decepticons look way cooler and more badass this time. I guess this is mostly due to most of them having no voice to make stupid jokes. Unfortunately, as i mentioned they are very hard to distinguish from one another (mostly because they are all grey).
I found it very confusing, how little we got to see from Megatron and Shockwave as the main villains of the movie.
Of course there are also some cool new autobots to join the fight (my favorite one being the ferrari autobot, that was shown way too little of). And while those annoying twin robots from T2 are gone, there are still these fucking annoying RC car transformers. I know it's for kids but i would have wished that Bay would have learned a lesson from T2 to keep those Jar Jar Binkses out of the movie.

All in all, everything that was horrible in "Transformers 2" is made less horrible in "Transformers 3". While the fights are still exciting, in my opinion ALL THE OF THE COMEDY should have been left out. I know that this just is Michael Bay's stupid humor and style, and that this is for the kids, but it only drags the movie down and holds it back from being as epic as it could have been. T3 spends way too much time focusing on Shia's needless midlife crisis instead of the autobots. If i want to watch a transformers movie, i don't want to primarily see the human characters but transformers.
If i came in 50 minutes late for this flick, this would have been a fucking awesome movie and the best of the trilogy. The real stuff that people want to see in T3 happens roughly after the 1 hour mark.
T3 has a much more serious and epic tone which i always wanted from this franchise.
Again the comedy, some slight plot holes and the overlong running time hold the movie back, but it's way not as dramatic as in T2 and i would say that the pro's more or less compensate the cons in this installment.
It's certainly no masterpiece but it's great summer  blockbuster entertainment, which finds its place somehow in between Transformers 1 and 2.
Yet still, i would say that this movie is strictly for hardcore action fans and/or transformers fans. If you expect anything else than badass-nonstop-transformers-action, you will be disappointed. It's a movie about giant robots fighting, what did you expect?! It's a typical Michael Bay movie, and that's exactly what you will get from "Transformers: Dark of the Moon".


Final Verdict: 5 out of 10

 

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