Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Directed by: Michael Bay
Running time: 157 minutes
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Now Showing this week is Transformers: Dark of the Moon, directed by Michael Bay who directed the previous two films in the trilogy. If you read my last review then I’m sure you’re all dying to know if I thought this one was any good given I hated the previous film. Ok, you probably weren’t dying to know, but in answer to the question I have to say: no, it wasn’t that good. BUT it was a hell of a lot better then Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen! Also, I might just throw up a spoiler warning here just in case. I don’t plan on spoiling any major plot points, but just on the off chance I say more then a spoiler free person wants to hear, you have been warned!
Transformers: Dark of the Moon continues the adventrues of Sam Witwicky and his involvement in the ongoing war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. This time around, Sam is struggling to find a job as well as contentment in his life since it seems dating/sleeping with Carly (played by Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, look her up) isn’t enough for him! Meanwhile, the Autobots have discovered that humanity has known about an Autobot spacecraft wreck up on the surface of the Moon and that the Moon landing of 1969 was the initial mission to discover it’s power. That power being an Autobot named Sentinal Prime and his “pillars” that can teleport anything from Cybertron to their location. So of course, Megatron and his crew want to get their hands on them so they can get an army of Decepticons to kick Earth’s ass!
Let me begin with some positives, the action was very good. I was only confused once as to who was fighting whom in the battle sequences and the sequence involving a squad of marines, a toppling skyscraper and Decepticon Shockwave, was fantastic! I did not go see the film in 3D and was fully aware that that was against all other critic recommendations. The fight scenes in the previous films were hard enough to comprehend in two dimensions, I ain’t gonna tackle three! Also, I guess the acting was good, no real complaints. All the performance problems were not acting related per se, just the characters being terrible!
Now on to the good stuff! First complaint, does everything in the Transformers films now have to be funny? I don’t mean that I hated that it was very comedic; I mean that every single plot development had to be comedic, there wasn’t a single one that wasn’t! Military honcho Frances Mearing briefing Optimus Prime on the Moon landing situation involving her saying: “the bag?” to her assistant, the assitant saying awkwardly while holding lots of bags: “which bag?” and then Mearing replying by hurridly whispering the brand and material style of the bag. Sam has a watch placed on him that transmits everything he hears around him to the villains and also electricutes him if he disobeys orders. While wearing it, he is constantly trying to warn people he is wearing it and it shocks him, causing him to turn bright red, seize up and his arm the flail wildly. Sam meets a NASA informant who wants to secretly pass him information, but he’s played by Ken Jeong (one of the worst things to happen to cinema in recent years) who must be loud and insinuating homosexually by cornering Sam in toilet cubicles.
Is any of that necessary? No! Mearing and her bag is just sexist: “don’t worry folks! The strong, confident women is still obsessed with accessorising!”. Sam and his watch is just so stupid and it also makes every other character look even more stupid since it would be bloody obvious to anyone with even a quarter of a mind to notice something was wrong with him! And as for Ken Jeong, that’s just there to get some awkward “ha ha, everyone thinks he’s gay now!” jokes into the film. Trust me, Jeong’s demise made me say, aloud, “thank god for that!”
Second complaint, plot holes. They didn’t learn from the last film it seems, as there are some major plot holes in this film as well. The big one is that given the nature and details of the Decepticons evil plan, why the heck are they only implementing it now? They clearly knew about the damn pillars since the beginning of the first film, so why not start the plan after they gained a chunk of the All Spark by the end of the first film? The writers seem to have actually made the second film redundant! There are some other plot holes but to explain them would involve further details to plot twists so I shall not go into them.
Lastly, there were some serious issues with editing in conjunction with the story unfolding. The biggest example of this, for me, was when Megatron says “seal off the city!” and then cut to a shot of Chicago, and then suddenly cut to another section of Chicago at night time, then cut to another section of Chicago being bombarded by giant Decepticon spaceships flying around! Um, where the crap did the spaceships come from?! I could guess as to where (from the teleport device), but the film doesn’t show it or offer any explanation of it’s own. All we see come out of that device is Decepticon foot soldiers, not flying death machines!
I guess now I’m being too picky, but it was very jarring for me. So, all in all, the film was pretty bad. Not Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen bad, but bad nonetheless. It still had a lot of the same problems: plot holes, unnecessary (lame) humour, the parents being really annoying, the whole package. But, I can say with much relief that the incredibly racist “Twins” were not to be seen! See you next time!