16 July 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The first movie, Transformers, was a fantastic film. It was entertaining and full of heart. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was one of the blandest movies I have ever seen. All the heart was gone. The story and plot were nonexistent. The gaps left by these were filled with robot fight sequences. It was as if a child sat down and played with action figures and Michael Bay filmed it and then remade it on screen with a shit-ton of CGI. The movie concluded with an open non-ending setting up the inevitable conclusion film. I cannot stress how much I hate this tactic. This only means that your second film cannot stand alone, and really doesn’t need to be. I hated Revenge of the Fallen with every ounce of my being, and therefore dreaded the third.

Thank whatever Heavenly being that you believe in that this is the last movie in the Transformers franchise by Michael Bay. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the most bloated movie in recent memory. You could cut out most of the first half of the 157 minute film and not miss anything other than John Malkovich’s pointless character and the reason why Patrick Dempsey is even a factor. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaces Megan Fox after she made an unfortunate comment involving Bay and Hitler. This is a step back in both looks and acting ability, not that Fox added much in the latter category.

To save time, the plot is simple, the Decepticons are still bad, and try to turn Earth into a new Cybertron. The Autobots are still good, and try to stop the Decepticons. That’s it. That is the whole plot. Not only is it simple, it is damn near so easy a caveman could have written it in stick-robot drawings on a cave wall. Ehren Kruger has “written” the last two CGI laden films. This time around he attempts to show us how creative he can be by trying to interlace the actual history of the space race and moonlanding of the sixties with, well, Transformers. I applaud his idea but not his final product.

All the series regulars are back: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, and Peter Cullen. This time around, Ken Jeong (Community, The Hangover), Alan Tudyk (Death at a Funeral, Firefly) and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand (Fargo, Almost Famous) join the party in various throw away roles.

With Michael Bay behind the camera, explosions and CGI fill the screen. The final hour is nothing more than one long action sequence. Steve Jablonski turns in yet another generic score that sounds no different than the first two films. Linkin Park lends their “talents” to another song for the soundtrack. The whole movie truly felt stale and long.

My friends and I sat watched this video right before leaving for the theater. This helped the enjoyment factor of the film immensely. Dark of the Moon hits almost every point made in this video. Despite all its problems, Dark of the Moon is still a better film than its predecessor, but still leagues behind the first. I paid the extra $$ to see this in 3D, and it was worth it. I think that it has a lot to do with the amount of CGI in the movie. I have yet to see a life action movie that utilizes the third dimension well, and that looks good. Other than Avatar, of course.

Rating: 4/10

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