Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

In 1961 a wayward Autobot transport crash-landed on the moon, sparking a space race as U.S. and Soviet forces competed to reach the downed craft first. In the present day, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) can’t get a job despite having saved the planet twice during the previous films. Living with new girlfriend Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), Sam grows jealous of her successful career and suave boss (Patrick Dempsey). When the supposedly defunct Decepticon army is discovered to be behind a number of assassinations – including an attempt on Sam’s life – he is reunited with his Autobot friends and faced with the greatest challenge of his life: to prevent the amassing Decepticon forces from enslaving the human race and relocating their home planet into our own solar system.

When MICHAEL BAY, Shia Labeouf and just about everyone else responsible for Transformers 2, Revenge of the Fallen, apologized for the irredeemable clusterfuck of a movie previously inflicted upon cinema audiences, I was foolish enough to believe that lessons had been learned and changes would be made. Heck, they even got rid of Megan “I wouldn’t know a Nazi if he ethnic cleansed me” Fox.

I imagined executive producer Steven Speilberg calling for an intervention; sitting MICHAEL BAY down, asking him to remove that stupid baseball cap, and reminding him what Transformers was actually all about. I imagined him explaining, again, that it wasn’t a story of window dressing, go-faster stripes and whatever other pixellated ornamentation that could be thrown at the screen. That it wasn’t even about the big-breasted bimbos told that if they hold on to Witwicky’s hand – real tight – they might get to act in a real movie. It’s a story of friendship, the tale of one boy and his car – a car that just happens to be a intergalactic digibot.

I was naive of course, no such exchange ever took place; or, if it did, MICHAEL BAY’s attention wandered at the baffling lack of explosions. Sam can’t get a job, he’s a disappointment to his father and a bit jealous of Patrick Dempsey. In a film longer than time itself, that doesn’t exactly qualify as astute characterization. But Transformers isn’t about characterization, you call from behind your head brace, it’s about the timeless war being waged over Cyberton by Decepticons and Autobots. Sure, whatever, but it’s not like that ever really impresses either.

From day one we have been bombarded with images of special effects kicking all sorts of special effects out of other special effects as buildings fall and humans shoot their little guns. The second instalment – however terrible – at least had the sense to take the battle elsewhere, delivering an Egyptian set-piece that at least cast some quasi-originality on the warring mechanoids. Dark of the Moon isn’t so adventurous, right from the off we disappear into a robot eye as some millionaire animator pushes buttons and types numbers. From this point on we are relentlessly bombarded with images of robots diving through buildings in a blur of CGI that quickly exhausts the retina and numbs the brain.

Wasn’t it Chicago we saw destroyed last time around? Or was it somewhere else? Wherever it was I’m pretty sure there was a skyscraper involved, exploding all over the place. With the exception of odd moments – a sky dive at least brings some novelty, however fleeting – it is simply business as usual at the pixel factory, all exploded out and running on empty.

BAY attempts to compensate for the unashamed aesthetic focus with humour, but it’s the humour of a man who still wears a baseball cap at the age of 46 and thinks racial stereotypes are cool. Gone are the racist twins,  in their place an array of equally offensive and idiotic characters fighting over your raging goat (remind me, why exactly might an alien robot have a Scottish accent, a sexual appetite or a penchant for head-scarves?). Poor John Malkovich gets to gum about for 10 words before being forgotten about for the rest of the movie. A rare display of mercy, especially when you see the mockery that is made of Alan Tudyk for daring to stay longer than his required plot advancement.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is, quite simply, inordinately dull. For two hours we dutifully watch as a slew of tired caricatures march about, because that’s precisely what their morning alphabites instructed them to do, until the cybershit can really hit the fan and fun can finally be had for the remaining 30 minutes. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley might not be as completely hopeless as Megan Fox – a statement akin to proclaiming chlamydia not quite as bad as gonorrhea – but what’s the point in even having her there if all she’s going to do is pout and try not to get in the way of the explosions. A tired end to a tedious trilogy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon hopefully heralds a franchise eclipse that will last the rest of its director’s career-long mid-life crisis.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

4 Responses to Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

  1. Pingback: June 2011 – It’s happening! It happened. « popcornaddict

  2. Amanda says:

    I’m guessing reviewer was born after 1984. (laugh) It was actually a very enjoyable movie for those of us who LIKE Transformers.

  3. Pingback: Six Fads That Are Arguably Stunting Cinema « popcornaddict

  4. Pingback: Fails of the Year – 2011 « popcornaddict

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