The third and if we can keep Michael Bay up to his word the last Transformers movie, or at least the last one he will be directing. Considering the money these movies make I don’t see Paramount stopping this franchise despite the mediocre quality in terms of story that is put up on display here time after time. These movies are fun, but they’re also pretending to be epic as each one has an average running time of 2,5 hours. While giant robots battling each other can be epic, it doesn’t require 2,5 hours of exposition to be so.
Basically the plot this time revolves around a crashed ship which contains a long lost robot. This robot is the key for the Decepticon to gain enough power to control the world and defeat the Autobots once and for all and Sam Witwicky is in the middle of all of this. Wait a minute, ain’t I describing the first two movies?
Even the cast returns almost entirely despite not all of them were necessary to the plot. Sam’s parent; not needed. The two soldiers? They don’t add much. The obligatory love interest has been replaced. After calling Michael Bay “Hitler” Megan Fox was replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. To convince the audience that she’s a worthy replacement her first shots consist of her ass in underwear while we follow her through her house. Yeah, she’s a natural talent.
Despite the retread there’s a more coherent plot this time than in the previous movie, and for the fans a lot of references to comics and the cartoon. Sadly though comments I made about Revenge Of The Fallen I can make about Dark Of The Moon as well. Especially concerning the who’s who of the robots. The only thing keeping the Autobots are their paint jobs and their accents. The Decepticons are all grey and while there are a lot of no-named secondary characters who appear as mere cannon fodder the central deception character are quite fleshed out nicely. Megatron still has an open skull from previous events and transforms into a brown rusty truck. The cloth over his trailer body is used as a cape. Goofy yes, but it looks cool. Starscream has returned and his character and jet are easy to recognize.
Soundwave returns, this time as a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG instead of a satellite. His partner Laserbeak also turns up as an assassin and practically steals the show as I found him to be the coolest addition. There’s also Shockwave who doesn’t do so much transforming himself but seems to have a mechanical worm called Driller as a weapon. It reminded me of the movie Tremors. It’s this abnormally large worm that’s also one of the weaker points of the movie as it defies all logic (how does he move around undetected and get from Chernobyl to Chicago) and it generates a lot of special effect scenes of buildings being destroyed which of course have the human protagonists in them. Having seen how easily a skyscraper collapses and basically no people come out of it alive it requires a very big suspension of disbelieve seeing how these people, including civilians, all slide over the side of a tumbled over building and eventually leave this building without a scratch.
I was at Six Flags last week, and did my fair share of roller-coasters during that day. At the end of the day I had a headache and felt a little bit sick. Now just seeing how Sam (Shia LaBeouf) on multiple occasions is thrown out of cars, caught by bumblebee and several similar moments it really shows that no matter which character we’re talking about; they all are written like robots. Even some robots are actually more mortal than the central cast in this movie. The only exception is John Turturro who is launched from a car (happens a lot in these movies) and lands on the highway in a fall that should have been lethal. He ends up with what seems to be a broken leg in a wheel chair for the rest of the movie. Sadly that wheelchair was not a Transformer, a missed opportunity.
I know the sound of a robot transforming into a wheelchair might sound stupid, but seriously: in a move that has robots transform into a laptop and a printer I don’t think it’s just that far fetched.
Dark Of The Moon is more of the same with some new robots and humans. It’s a pretty solid trilogy and an improvement over the second movie. It’s a movie about giant robots beating the living daylights out of each other and that’s just what you get. Loud noisy action, just leave your brain at the door.