Transformers: Dark of the Moon Reviews
Bad fun and surprisingly full of people and robots dying. It's a war movie, with robots versus humans and it delivers on that in spades. The story is horrid, but it has a great time blowing things up. Meghan Fox's absence is definitely felt, but this movie is a blast. Big dumb fun.
"What the f*** is this movie?"
I really am not sure where to begin when discussing such a chaotic mess that seemed like a 6 hour movie stuffed into a two and a half hour potato sack and beaten repeatedly with a pillow case filled with bars of soap.
I guess we can start with the goals that seemed to be laid out in making this third film.
First off, action and CGI were, without a doubt, the number one priority in this film. This makes complete sense. The action and CGI is really exciting to look at and a getaway for some viewers when they see a film; robots transforming from cars, buildings collapsing from the sky, soldiers flying into battle in wing suits, and what must have been thousands of explosions all in 3D.
The next objective had to be comic relief. If you are a minor character, you will say something funny. If you are a small transforming robot, you will definitely say something funny. Don't forget to make the jokes a little more vulgar than the first two films and even a little cheesier. Cheese sells.
The last major objective had to be how much sex appeal can we put in this movie. I suppose when you cast the likes of a Victoria Secret model in her first role in a film (see my previous article about Ms. Huntington-Whiteley from yesterday) and the hunky doctor from Grey's Anatomy your film is set to draw boys and girls alike.
The film accomplishes all of these goals, but at what cost (now it's as if I'm talking in an Optimus Prime voice). What about story? Coherence? Character development? Audience to character relationship?
It seems like I am just beating a dead horse over and over again (or a horse that surely does more coke than Tony Montana when directing his films), but I am more and more offended each time I see a Michael Bay film. Even more so, I am offended every time some moron in the theater tonight started clapping when Bumble Bee had a stellar looking upper cut kill or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley stood slow-mo with explosions blasting all around her (not joking, they clapped).
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a bumbling mess of fire and loud noises and is just another film for Michael Bay to add to the references on his resume for most ridiculous director of all time.
Even worse is the flow and logic of Dark of the Moon. I have seen plenty of films to accept that not understanding what is going on doesn't really matter, but it is different with a mainstream blockbuster. When watching a David Lynch film, you can expect something like this. When watching a film about transforming robots, coherence should be somewhat standard.
For the first hour and a half of the film I had no idea what city the film was in. I heard Sam (Shia LaBeouf) say "DC" early on, so I assumed that was where we were. But then his girlfriend Carly (Huntington- Whiteley) worked at the Milwaukee Art Museum (it took a while to realize that the museum was now fictionally home to her boss) and a fight takes place on a highway listing signs to "Aurora" and "Rt. 20" (names that any Chicago kid would recognize). Hell, the headquarters of NEST is clearly the downtown loop area.
So after a certain transformer leaves the NEST headquarters and is next to the reflecting pool in DC moments later, I thought "either Bay has decided his audience will have no idea what length of time passes from cut to cut or Milwaukee and Chicago are now Washington DC." I think the answer is the latter, but I am still not sure.
This is just one example of the incoherence that can be found in this film (like how Bumble Bee saves Sam in the middle of the battle and moments later is on his knees for execution by the hands of the decepticons). It is bewildering how unorganized this film is.
Maybe the final goal of Michael Bay in this film was to bring back memories of some of the most significant events in the United States since the 1960s. The film includes the Apollo 11 story, a rocket ship blowing up after take off that is extremely familiar to the Challenger explosion in 1986, and, as if the event being referenced wasn't fresh in many minds, sky scrapers tumbling to the ground and characters falling out of windows to their death.
There seemed to be no goal to the film other than mind fluff; expensive, loud, and annoyingly repetitive mind fluff. As a major credit to the special effects and CGI team, the film's action is a tremendous accomplishment. The problem is the success is contained in a film that has absolutely no other redeeming qualities.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is almost too bad to describe. I would like to say it contains the worst story and flow in any movie I have ever seen, but that would just seem overly dramatic.
I will say this, there were much better ways I could have spent my $15.50 and two and a half hours of my life than seeing this film. There have been enough films with explosions in the last five years to not have one for another 50.Man, so much stuff happens in this damn movie. One can only scratch the surface of what the movie has to offer when reviewing it. The best I can do is list the best and worst of it.
The best thing about these movies is how they look, how well the transformers integrate into the real-life footage to make a compelling action sequence. Here it's cranked to eleven, and the CG is very impressive. On the larger shots, even tiny transformers far in the background look convincing.
There a several action set pieces (specifically towards the end) which are easily some of the best of the trilogy. The whole scene with the collapsing building and the tracking shot of Optimus slicing and smashing his way through a bunch of decepticons are colossal showstoppers.
This is also one of the best 3D movies to date. One major critique of 3D is that 3D glasses make the film darker, but here they do a very smart thing, the film itself is brighter than your average movie and this problem evens itself out. Another thing that worried me before I saw it is that if there was so much high-speed action maybe that and the combination of 3D would give me motion sickness, end of the movie: no problems.
The villains suck. Megatron does absolutely nothing throughout the whole film until right at the end, and even that was a let down. Shockwave appears briefly at the start and vanishes for two hours, he himself doesn't actually do much, it's all down to this big nameless tentacle-clad decepticon he works with. Starscream does nothing, but then he never did anything anyway. I'm not even going to mention Patrick Dempsey. But the biggest let down is with the movies main villain "Sentinel Prime". Basically he is Optimus' predecessor but he changed sides to the decepticons and made a deal with Megatron to bring life back to their home planet Cybertron. This is the driving element of the movie, but there are many plot holes from this. Early in the film Optimus basically says he wants to make Sentinel Prime leader of the autobots again, and offers him the matrix (an item that brings dead transformers back to life) but Sentinel Prime declines. Then he changes sides. Why did he decline taking the matrix? it would in definitely be a help in his ploy. Sentinel Prime gets numerous chances to kill Optimus once and for all, but like all lousy villains he delays his hand and Optimus lives.
The product-placement is out of control. I am not joking when I say there is a scene where Shia LaBeouf stops the movie to recite a Mercerdes Commercial
The annoying characters from the last movie are gone, save one. The little autobot who humped Megan Fox's leg makes a return. Just be thankful there's no Skids and Mudflap
The Down-Right Ugly
The acting here is a range from Tolerable to Impossibly-Bad. There are actors here that have been in some high quality material that just blatantly signed onto this because A) they wanted a paycheck B) they have nothing else on their schedules I mean John Malkovich and Frances McDormand are Oscar nominees who are so unbelievably bad in this movie they make Shia Lebeouf look like Laurence Olivier and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is the stiffest most wooden actress i've seen in ages. John Turturro is awkward but after three movies I don't care anymore.
Stereotypes a-hoy, not as prominent as before but it's here. We have: Tyrese Gibson and some other black guy fist-bump and ridicule one another. We have LeBeouf call a Japanese man "Moto-Mushi-Ichi" and decepticons with dreadlocks. Plus that gay guy from the hangover makes an appearance as some loony scientist, but luckily Michael Bay had the sense to drop him out of a window.
Some visceral "American" moments, like using the moon landing to spark the movies plot. Also blowing up the statue of Lincoln to let Megatron sit on the chair instead. Since i'm British I didn't care for these scenes that are obviously meant to say to American audiences: "These decepticons are blowing up America! Damn Them!"
In Conclusion, I may have some major complaints with this movie but it is a ton of fun. The movie delivers on everything it promises and everything you expect and not a single dull moment. If you loved the first movie, and loved the second movie (god help you) I can guarantee you will love this movie even more. I'd say the definitive summer film this year has been made clear.
i checked IMDb today after i came home from the cinema, and saw that the movie has almost 7 points... i just had to register to write this review.
It was absolutely terrible. In advance, i'd like to apologize for using the world "ridiculous" too many times, but that's the best one to describe this masterpiece. of course one would expect that a story about 30 m high robots is a little bit ridiculous, but it was really over the top. After things started going, there wasn't a single minute in the film where something utterly ridiculous did not happen. So many examples... I'll list some of them and some of my problems
- the chick checks the 2 evil robots with the spyglass, sees that they have an argument. later on, she decides to turn megatron against the bearded guy (the super villain high tech robot megatron), and she persuades him. yeah, that's right. that's some neat intrigue you might expect from hose luis Fernando from a Brazilian soap opera, you get it here with a super robot in a 100 million dollar budget film with Steven Spielberg's name.
- they don't stop telling each other secrets of the government. no question, no reason, it's needed because the story can't progress, so why not tell something that's been a state secret for 30 years, or even yell it in front of 30 people. every time this happens, you just ask loudly in your chair: WHY THE HELL DID HE TELL THAT? but there's never an answer
- no one thinks forward in the movie, not even the decepticons. the bug just came off the main guy's wrist after the decepticons thought the auto bots left.why the hell did it come off and just left the guy that has been a major pain in the ass for the decepticons in the past decade? why didn't it stay on him or kill him? humans don't kill each other, even if it would be in their best interest. no, they let the hostage live and tell secrets so he can escape and ruin their plans. the robots somehow avoid killing humans until the last part of the movie
- the movie has some weird comical parts, some of them childish, and they don't kill any humans in the first half of the movie. but then there is a gay joke and at the end the human killing strangely begins, decepticons shoot people to ash and their skull rolls on the ground after they evaporated. so please mr bay, decide if you want a movie for the audience of spy kids,and don't show sexual/violent stuff, or make a scifi for adults, and don't make it retarded.
- they replaced Megan fox with this blonde chick, a significant portion of the movie was centered around her ass or boobs. this was actually a semi-valid reason to look at this terrible piece of a movie, but is this really justified in a sci-fi?. and btw she's 10 cm higher than the protagonist and she can't act.
- they keep fighting with idiotic weapons, optimus even has a flame ax or what the heck now. really. super high tech robots equipped with huge ass cannons fight like tom cruise in the last samurai with close combat weapons. optimus prime even had some kind of fight position at the start of one fight, like a martial artist, which looked really stupid.
- they couldn't think of a decent new villain, so they just repeated the one in the last episode. an ancient robot on top of a big building doing some kind of intergalactic mambo jumbo for half an hour. pretty lame, also what's up with robots having beard mustache hair out of metal, it isn't bad ass it's idiotic
- starscream has the ability to shoot a missile that utterly destroys a gigantic space ship full of auto bots. meanwhile throughout the movie the high tech super intelligent robots keep fighting with knives and swords. no comment
- the trend continues, new robots appear that resemble some ridiculous characters. we have a fat robot now, old ones with beard and male pattern baldness, troll doll robot, an eagle robot (that flies with metallic wings, not engines), megatron gets a hood and looks like some dark wanderer now, and my favorite, his lackey, the HUNCHBACK robot. yeah, that's right. megatron has the robot version of the hunchback of Notre dame. that sole character, that they attempted to take it seriously made the whole thing retarded, even without the countless other stupid characters and scenes of the movie that would only satisfy a mentally handicapped teenager
- laws of physics work differently in the movie. collapsing buildings/robots avoid humans, a metallic building structure hangs in the air in a ridiculous position, the scientist robot sucks a whole metal PLANET through a portal right next to earth and nothing happens (and btw first the summoning is interrupted and there is a planet cut in half near earth, with a plainly cut surface at the intersection, and then the summoning is restored and it CONTINUES to come out of the portal.). somebody before this planet-portal scene mentions that they wanna make the humans slaves to rebuild the planet.later, robots are slaying humans left and right, killing everyone. that's clever, killing your slaves
- full of idiotic clichés like the grand American speech of the commander to talk soldiers into impossible mission, "we only need one shot", etc, really anyone finds these cheap and bad
- the protagonist's parents are so annoying, they make you wanna kill the writer of the script slowly and painfully
could go on for about 3 pages... really, don't watch this movie if you want yourself good.