My Review of Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Dex17113, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Dex17113

    Dex17113 Well-Known Member

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    “Years from now people will ask; “Where were you when they took over the planet?” – Seymor Simmons in “Transformers; Dark of the Moon”

    12 hours removed from viewing the eyeballgasm that most Hollywood blockbusters are these days, I sit down to offer my humble review of the latest installment in the Transformers movie franchise “Dark of the Moon.”

    SPOILERS AHEAD!!

    Much like the previous two installments, the film opens with an Optimus Prime voice over that enables the audience to get caught up on the necessary back story regarding the Ark, what happened to it, Sentinel Prime, etc. It then adds an element by telling a human side of the story that is, at the time the movie starts, unknown to the Autobots, regarding the Ark crash landing on the moon in the early 60’s, being detected, and prompting the space race between the US and soviet Russia to be the first to make contact with the alien crash. Bay’s film magicians do a great job weaving together stock footage, dead CGI presidents, and new shots to produce a rather convincing look at their ‘conspiracy theory space race.’ All of this sets up the next couple of hours where the action is heavy, a story actually exists, and some reasonable character development actually happens. The body count mounts, as I expected it to considering Bay mentioned he intended this to be the end of the story, as the film reaches its climax leading to a very quick resolution after the action is done that, from my point of view, left it open to a possible sequel, but I would suggest that it is highly unlikely.

    END SPOILERS

    First, let’s just put it out there, from a story telling perspective and character development it’s MILES better than both of the previous films. The screen writer does a nice balancing act, especially considering how the amount of screen time spent on action (it is a Bay film, after all) limits the time he actually has to develop characters. As a result, you can expect the side characters to be largely one dimensional and given the minimal amount of lines possible to build their characters. Most of the new Decepticons are without any lines at all. One notable exception is Laserbeak, who becomes a kick-ass character that I can honestly say has been re-imagined in to a BETTER character than he was in G1. Given my historical bashing of Bay’s TF films, it almost pains me to say that!

    The acting feels better this time around also. Frances McDormand does an exceptional job as Sec.Def. Charlotte Mearing as do both Patrick Dempsey and Alan Tudyk in their TF Universe debuts. John Malkovich delivers a scenery chewing performance as Bruce Brazos, and he has serious competition from Ken Jeong. Both men had the audience I shared the film with in stitches. Kevin Dunn and Julie White are back as the annoying Witwicky family….but are far less present and, thereby, less annoying in this installment. Surprisingly, given that it is her first acting gig, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley manages to deliver a better performance than Megan Fox ever did….and I’ll leave it at that. As always, John Turturro is exceptional and his first appearance caused applause, much like it did in Revenge of the Fallen.

    Even the voice acting seemed better to me. This is, in no small part I’m sure, due to the presence of the great Leonard Nimoy in the role of Sentinel Prime. While I despised the Twins in the last film, I actually really enjoyed Wheelie and Brains in this installment. That duo takes over as the comic relief sidekicks for most of the movie. Peter Cullen always does a good job as Prime, but he was certainly given more to do as a performer this time…and I thought he did great.

    The story itself seems to be an update of three of four G1 cartoon episodes that have been merged in to one. Writer Ehren Kruger does a solid job recovering from the mess of a script that was Revenge of the Fallen. He even manages to put the Matrix of Leadership back in its rightful place in Transformers lore as something other than the key to a star killer. Without a doubt, the special effects and visuals in “Dark of the Moon” are mind-boggling and beautiful. There are plenty of little moments that just thrilled me and kept me gazing at the screen with a sense of awe and wonder that is often not provided to audiences in this day and age.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t indicate that, with all of that said, it’s STILL a Michael Bay film. Nobody can go in to this expecting an academy award winning script or a story that will please everyone. There are several problems present that have been there in all of Bay’s Transformers films. Not the least of which is the number of characters that Bay tries to juggle on screen at one time causes many characters to be left with too little film time to actually establish themselves as characters you even know by name, let alone care about. Even some major characters manage to get relegated to small roles this time around, which I believe hurts the ending of the film. Also, the obligatory indifference to continuity issues continues to be alive and well – such as how 9 Autobots and a handful of armed humans can be so effective against the baddest baddies in the universe. The body counts mounts at the end of the film, which I expected given the fact that Bay pointed out that this would be the last film in his series, however some of the deaths feel empty and without a reasonable point. In addition (in my view) it makes it more difficult to move forward with the franchise in any reasonable fashion….not that I’m against a ‘reboot.’

    All in all, “Transformers Dark of the Moon” is a great Michael Bay action film…probably one of his better films, if not the best. It isn’t the most intelligent film in the world, nor will it win any major awards. That said, it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours enjoying big fighting robots and, ultimately, closes out the ‘Bayformers’ series – be that for better or for worse in the minds of the individual viewer.

    So far as Transformers films go it’s the best in the series. So far as films in general go? I’d give it 6.5 out of 10.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in this review of “Transformers Dark of the Moon” are mine and mine alone. Don’t kill me or hate me….just voicing my thoughts.

    Dex
     
  2. RosieFan

    RosieFan Member

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    Great review! Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Dex17113

    Dex17113 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind response, man!
     

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