Review: Transformers Dark of the Moon (2011)

At this point, I know better than to expect much from the Transformers movie universe so maybe that’s why I’m not labeling “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” the worse film ever.

And even then, it’d be pretty hard to top the abomination that was “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Director Michael Bay brings his … unique brand of “film making” for what one can only hope will be his final take on the Transformers universe with all the bombastic action, bloodthirsty battles, EXTREME explosions and awkward humor that only he can provide.

And every so often he manages to toss in a scene or two with those big, clunky robots too. I still think Bay got his Hasbro toy properties mixed up as spends nearly as much time trying to make a “G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero” movie as he does “Transformers.”

Instead of going on and on about what’s wrong with this third installment of the franchise based on one of my beloved 1980s toy lines, I’ll talk about everything Bay got right this time out: **After a first hour of basically yelling or screaming in very high-pitched tones at everyone, Shia LeBeouf manages to keep Sam Whitwicky a fun everyman character.

**Approximately 30-seconds into her first scene as Sam’s new girlfriend Carly, Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley will pretty much make you forget all about Megan Fox.

**Some actual thought, time and effort were put into the 3D presentation making it worth the extra money to see it in the enhanced format. The action scenes that you can make out what’s happening are very well staged even if you’ve already seen the best ones from the trailers.

**The end credits do come up … eventually.

Instead of griping about all the nonsense of Bay’s take, I’ve resorted to trying to convince — or beg if need be — some other directors to take the reins of this fiscally successful, but creatively bankrupt franchise.

Dear Christopher Nolan, You had the unenviable task with “Batman Begins” of making Batman cool again after Joel Schumacher’s nightmare-inducing take on the series in the mid to late 1990s.  Wouldn’t it be fun to do the same with Transformers? While your Batman was tough and wasn’t afraid to break a crook’s ankles to get them to talk, you understood first and foremost that Batman is a hero. You probably wouldn’t portray the Autobots as homicidal maniacs who’ll decapitate or rip out the cybernetic spines of the evil Decepticons, let alone have four Autobots grab a limb of one Decepticon and pull or invade some foreign land to wipe out a few evildoers on the basis of some vague American policy.

Dear Jon Favreau, In “Iron Man,” you successfully directed a movie about a hero who while clad in his armored outfit somewhat resembled a robot. You got that simple is better and your Iron Man didn’t have a billion moving parts nor did you feel the need to have Iron Man’s enemies all decked out in a black, silver, gray color scheme allowing us to tell who was who in the fight scenes. You showed that a license-based property could be fun and have some lines that got big laughs from the audience, none of which involved a mother telling her son the importance of pleasuring his girlfriend or questioning how well-endowed her son must be to score women as hot as Fox or Huntington-Whiteley.

Dear Jon Chu, If you need any more actors to fill roles for your 2012 G.I. Joe movie, please consider Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson. With their swagger, top-notch movie star good looks and convincing manner in which they bark out orders they’d be awesome as soldiers fighting against a seemingly unbeatable opponent. Just don’t make them the main stars (and heroes) of a Transformers movie. Thanks!

I can dream, can’t I? But for those that value their time and hard-earned money, save it for some of the other summer offerings as “Dark of the Moon” easily transformed into the worst summer blockbuster of the year.

Rating: 4 out of 10

5 thoughts on “Review: Transformers Dark of the Moon (2011)”

  1. How can a franchise so full of spectacle and bereft of story remain so popular? It defies rational thought. I did like the callback to Batman breaking the guys ankles though. I forgot that. “If you’re going to try and intimidate me, you should try harder. The fall from here won’t kill me”. Classic Nolan and Bale.

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