Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review (Late…on Purpose)

by Ed Lau on July 28, 2011

I wanted to write my review of this summer’s Michael Bay blockbuster and the last (I think) of the Michael Bay/Shia The Beef incarnation of the Transformers franchise later…after I had seen it again…as a half-way decent, not-that-shaky camera rip I found on the internet. Let me explain why.

Transformers has a special place in my heart. I loved the toys, I enjoyed the TV shows and generally, I associate it with pleasant parts of my childhood. However, I’ve never really gotten on board with the movies. The first one I sort of enjoyed because it was a Transformers movie but I couldn’t stand the cheesy dialogue. I’ve always thought Michael Bay just states the obvious…and the movie really does with lines like “One must stand and one must fall.” sort of garbage. That’s probably why I hated the second movie so much. While the first movie had cool set pieces, fun action sequences, a little good humor and shots of Megan Fox bending over a Camero, the second was full of stupid one-liners, blatant racism and all the fights were jumbles of scrap metal tumbling too fast for anyone to see.

I had no reason to think Dark of the Moon was any different and it really isn’t but I have to say, I spent the entire movie with my eyes wide open behind two pairs of glasses (the 3D ones, which were Scotch-taped to my own. No, really.) yelling “WOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!” as one of the movie’s thousands of explosions. Honestly, I can’t remember a more spectacular looking movie since I saw Avatar. It was like staring directly into Michael Bay’s head, where I’m sure all of his thought processes have explosions and low sweeping camera angles. This is the sort of movie that Michael Bay makes when he isn’t hindered by silly things like gravity, reality or history books.

But like Avatar, without the visual flash, the movie isn’t a particularly good one. I mean, I haven’t bothered to watch Avatar since the time I saw it in IMAX 3D. There’s really no point since the movie isn’t very good without the effects. It’s like a peacock without the plumage…just not very interesting.

The script is convoluted, confusing, poorly written and the entire first half of the movie is irrelevant by the time the second hour rolls along. Watching it again without the big screen just emphasizes the movie’s flaws. Inevitably, you will come across that moment where you think to yourself “Wait…why didn’t they just ?” or “Oh come on…no one would EVER do !” because there’s no way a logical human being would stand around with her hair blowing in the wind as things blow up around her.

Speaking of which, Rosie Huntington-Whitely replaces Megan Fox in this third film for reasons that I could care less about because it isn’t like Megan Fox brings anything but hotness to the table. It’s hard to complain when the movie begins with what is basically a five minute sequence of Bay’s Victoria’s Secret footage that never made it to the commercials but it’s hard to think of her as anything but eye candy in this film since all of her scenes feel like they should be accompanied with Bay standing over your shoulder, pointing at the screen and yelling “She’s HOT! Look at how HOT she is!” in your ear. No, really…that’s her entire role in Dark of the Moon but that really could be said of all the humans in Transformers who are all rather replaceable, interchangeable and forgettable.

Actually, now that I think about it, most of the robots are insignificant as well. Other than the main players like Optimus, Megatron, Bumblebee, and a few others, most of the rest look the same and unless you’re a huge Transformers nerd fan, you aren’t even going to know their names. Most of the time, I had to lean over and ask my buddy who many of the indistinguishable piles of metal were. “Oh, so that’s Shockwave? Wait…which one is Soundwave, then!?” The original cartoon versions were always very easy to tell who’s who but in this movie and the previous one…why do all the Decepticons look the same?

The real star of the show is Michael Bay, who has someone managed to make a movie I absolutely hate but love at the same time. Seeing this film in the theater was just amazing. The visual effects are incredible and the CG is actually quite seamless when you consider how much of the movie takes place on a motherboard somewhere. However, even the best Michael Bay movie is still a Michael Bay movie. Also, I’m not sure if this was the case in the first two movies but I thought this was a much more violent movie than before. People actually die and the robots fight in a really brutal way, tearing each other’s parts off and spraying blood or motor oil or whatever everywhere. If the Transformers were made of flesh and blood, this would be more like Saw than Transformers.

None of the dialogue makes sense. None of the scenes seem to play out in a logical order. None of the characters are close to believable. You walk out of the theater thinking “THAT LOOKED AWESOME!” but also “…wait, what just happened for damned near 3 hours!?”. Bay’s storytelling is not as much storytelling as it is taking a story and using it as an excuse to make things blow up. Who needs narrative when we have guns, robots and pretty girls, right? Oh, and the ending is one of the worst I’ve seen in movies. I know that sounds harsh but it’s made worse by how abruptly the movie ends. Right then, it will hit you how awful the whole thing really was. Pretty, but awful.

Dark of the Moon is pointless…about as pointless as movies get…but it’s fun. I tried to write this review without saying “…for some reason” but that’s what you’re going to find yourself saying a lot of the time to explain the plot. I actually recommend you watch it but do so in a theater in 3D (the 3D is actually not terrible this time) or on a 60+ inch TV. I can live with it if it’s on a big screen but otherwise, it’s about as pleasant as eating your own hair.

Verdict: 6.5 out of 10

in Entertainment

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny July 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

I agree. Should only watch this movie for the action and special effects not for plot.

LOL I thought exactly the same thing about the scene where Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s character just stands there not even blinking while things were crashing and exploding around her. WTF?!

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Dean @ Car News July 31, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Hi thank you very much for your review!! I really love this movie!! Especially the new girl Rosie.

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Komodo Dragon August 2, 2011 at 3:28 am

I chose this over Cars 2 as both came out at the same time, and I wasn’t disappointed. While not a whole lot of story/substance I thought, how far can you go with a plot in a movie that’s more about extremely cool action sequences with robots anyway? So I felt it delivered what it was supposed to.

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Sourish @ Iphone 4 jailbreak August 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm

i have not seen transformers yet , but the trailers are super awesome. my friends have seen though … will be watching it in 3D in theatres

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Sourish @ Iphone 4 jailbreak August 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm

and the girl is hot like all transformer movies . which chevy cars are they using this time ? the same old camaro

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used tires August 5, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I haven’t been able to really take the series seriously after they put Shia LaBeouf in one of the roles. To me he is a comedian, so I really couldn’t stand that. It might be a bad view that I have though… but to each his own right? lol

-Jean

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Blogging Tips August 17, 2011 at 1:00 am

After Ken Jeong dies the movie gets super boring and tedious. It looked very promising because of how they merged actual historical facts with the movie but then all the focus goes to the action sequences and they forget about the story. visually amazing, yet worst transformers movie

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Blogging Tips August 19, 2011 at 7:57 am

Michael Bay and Co. try to redeem themselves for Revenge of the Fallen with Transformers

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cng tank September 23, 2011 at 1:39 am

Well, considering Ultra Magnus got completely discombobulated in Transformers: The Movie and the junkions were about to slap him back together with a little alien superglue, I think Optimus will be alright.

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friv September 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm

the first 3d movie i watch was Captain America (not Avatar, because after watching the 2d version, i lost my interest in the film, it is not worth what people talk bout, the content is the same story as the cartoon i saw a long time a go: Pocahontas, so i never want to see it again), perhaps it was the 1st time so i was really very impressed with the 3d effect of the film. As what i saw from the trailer of “Transformer”, i think the effect would be much more wonderful. (But is the content of the film really that bad?)

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Sourish @ Iphone 4 jailbreak October 24, 2011 at 6:26 am

just saw this movie . its too much 3D animation and less story. not very interesting

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used tires February 1, 2012 at 4:04 am

I agree Sourish.. managed to watch it recently and wasn’t too impressed overall. I guess the cool robot animations are the main reason people watch it but I expected a slightly deeper storyline too. Maybe in Transformers 4.

-Jean

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Rent Textbooks Online February 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I just saw the second one and while it was alot of graphics and not so much story I was still pretty entertained.

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Alfio Angelini February 6, 2012 at 5:19 am

I’m a big fan of Transformer since I was 6 years old!
I don’t have seen this movie yet, but I hope to see it as soon as possibile.
I’ve really liked your honest review and the photo of robots that you’ve posted here are awesome!

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Capital of Canada April 11, 2012 at 2:14 am

I’ve watched all of the Transformers films, but got to say I’m not a fan and it’s only because the wife loves them! I like sci-fi, but it’s a bit silly even for me! :o )

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Online Education Consultation July 7, 2012 at 3:56 am

This is very nice movie just because of 3D Animation only.

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