Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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An Underwear Model Tries to Sex up Transformers: Dark of the Moon (No Spoilers)

Jun 29, 2011 (Updated Jul 6, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Entertaining action movie.  Good action and special effects.

Cons:Plot still has issues.  Camera work at times.  Flat characters.

The Bottom Line: Transformers: Dark of the Moon has issues, mostly with the plot, but it works as an entertaining action movie overall.


I fully admit that the first two Transformers movies had issues, but I did end up enjoying them overall as mindless action movies.  Because of that, I decided to give Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third Transformers movie, a chance.  Once again, I thought the movie had some issues, but I enjoyed it overall.

Even though the first two movies had very thin plots, Transformers: Dark of the Moon does sort of build on a few things that happened before.  This one can stand alone fairly well, though a few things may not make as much sense if the previous movies haven't been seen.

I am only going to briefly discuss the plot of Transformers: Dark of the Moon and I won't be sharing any spoilers.  There could be a few minor spoilers for people who haven't seen the previous movies.  People that prefer not to know about the plot should skip the next paragraph.

**Minor Plot Discussion**

The Autobots and Optimus Prime are still working with the military and the government.  During a mission, they discover something they didn't think could exist.  Once back in the states, Optimus and the team meet Charlotte Mearing, a high ranking government employee.  She tells them about a ship that landed on the moon in 1961 and was the real reason for the space race.  Sam Witwicky, recently graduated from college, has another encounter with a Decepticon and starts trying to help the Autobots again even though his new girlfriend Carly isn't happy about him getting involved.

**End of Minor Plot Discussion**

There is one short scene during the first minute or two of the credits that is cute.  There aren't any more scenes during the credits, or after they are over.

I use to watch the Transformers cartoon all the time when I was younger and I really enjoyed it.  The characters have also been featured in different comic books.  I think the story for Transformers: Dark of the Moon is original, though I don't know that for sure.

It isn't said for sure how much time is supposed to have passed since the events of the second movie when Transformers: Dark of the Moon begins.  Since Sam has now graduated college, I'm thinking it is supposed to be three or four years later, but I could be wrong about that.  Some information about the war on Cybertron is shared in a voice over by Optimus Prime, and that information ties into what is going on in the movie.  It is kind of interesting how real events like the space race are included in the story.  During the first several minutes, some real news footage from that time is used, along with footage with actors.  

Plot was far from a strong point for either of the first two Transformers movies.  It may be slightly, and I do mean slightly better in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, it still isn't that strong.  Once again, the plot mostly serves as an excuse to have the Autobots and Decepticons get into various fights, destroying stuff in the process.  Time is taken to show Sam looking for a job and kind of resenting not having Bumblebee and the other Autobots around.  The stuff with Sam seems more like fluff, just there to pad things out until the robots start fighting.  Sam's parents turn up again in a few scenes, but they really don't do much, though his mom has a few good lines.  The plot is not strong enough or complicated enough for the movie to be as long as it is.  Once again, the longer running time just allows the Autobots and Decepticons to fight each more, while Sam and a few other human characters somehow survive.  Even though the plot is rather weak, the movie still manages to be entertaining.  

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is full of action scenes, and they are done well for the most part.  Some of slow motion is used in a few scenes again, though thankfully it doesn't get out of control.  The camera work is a little shaky every so often and Bay still uses quick cuts at times, but it didn't seem as bad as it was in the last movie.  This is clearly a mindless summer action movie, and anyone expecting anything different will be disappointed.  Just about all the action involves the Autobots and Decepticons fighting.  Sam and a few other human characters do some fighting too.  Some of the fights between the robots are cool looking, especially a few with Optimus.  There is a lot of shooting, chases, and some explosions.  Sam ends up running around through rubble filled streets with Carly, dodging shots and not getting hurt.  Carly is wearing a white jacket that somehow stays clean.  People really need to be able to suspend their disbelief with most of what goes on in this one.

There is a lot of robot carnage in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, including some deaths.  The robots even spray blood when injured, something I don't remember happening in the last movies.  This is not a movie for kids even though there are toy tie ins.  The movie definitely deserves the PG-13 rating.  Some of what happens might scare children.  A little bit of humor turns up every so often and that does help to lighten the mood a bit.  The humor isn't as stupid as it was in the last movie and it doesn't turn crude either.

There are a lot of special effects in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  I think the CGI was done well.  The movie really wouldn't have worked that well without effects.  People have to be able to suspend their disbelief to be able to enjoy this movie.  There might be too much CGI in the movie for some viewers.  The movie is showing in 3D in some theaters.  I did end up seeing the 3D.  I do think it was done well.  The 3D looked really cool in a few scenes.  The slow motion in a few scenes did actually work fairly well along with the 3D.

Sam has a new girlfriend in Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  Production had actually started on the movie when Megan Fox was either fired or she quit, depending on who is talking about what happened.  A new love interest was quickly cast.  The movie briefly touches on Mikaela being gone, and two robots even get digs in at her.  That just seems like Bay being petty getting a few potshots in at Fox.  Carly's introduction in the movie has her walking around in barely there panties and Sam's shirt, with the camera focused in on her backside.  That firmly establishes Carly as just eye candy.  The relationship between Sam and Carly comes across as just superficial and it isn't believable.  It certainly doesn't add any romance to the movie.          

There are a lot of characters in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, though most of them are rather flat and one dimensional.  Sam is the human character that has the most to do.  He is struggling with a few things, and he acts like a jerk at times.  Shia LaBeouf is fine in the part.  Sam's parents turn up briefly in a few scenes when they show up to visit Sam.  Epps doesn't turn up until later in the movie and he's no longer with the Air Force.  He still gets involved in the fighting.  Tyrese Gibson is fine in the part.  

Lennox is still in the military and working with the Autobots.  He is mostly just shown fighting.  He seems nice enough, but he just isn't developed.  Josh Duhamel doesn't have much to do.  Simmons has written a book and has some sort of butler/bodyguard named Dutch.  Sam contacts Simmons and gets him involved again.  John Turturro is fine in the part.  Dutch doesn't say a lot, but he's good at all sorts of things.  He does a lot of computer stuff, even helping the military at one point.  I was happy to see Alan Tudyk in the part even though he doesn't get a lot to do.  He does get to be tough at one point.

There are a few new characters in the movie.  Charlotte Mearing works for the government, probably the defense department, and she's dealing with the Autobots.  She has her own way of doing things and she doesn't want Sam involved.  Francis McDormand is fine in the part even though the character is rather flat.  Dylan is an accountant who also has a car museum.  He is Carly's boss.  He enjoys throwing his money and influence around.  Patrick Dempsey is fine in the part.  Bruce Brazos is Sam's new boss.  Bruce is kind of odd.  John Malkovich does good with the part and steals the few scenes he's in.  Ken Jeong has a small part as someone working at the company where Sam gets a job.

Carly is Sam's new girlfriend and she works at Dylan's car museum. She was working for the British embassy when she and Sam met.  She really just seems to be a fill in for Mikaela.  Since production had already started when the part was created, it seems like the bare minimum was changed in the script and she really doesn't do anything other than stand around and try to look sexy in some scenes in tight, form fitting clothes.  It really seems like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast mainly because she's a Victoria's Secret model.  It was like Michael Bay wanted to try to find someone sexier than Megan Fox.

Some robot characters are back from the previous movies.  Optimus is still in charge of the Autobots.  He has his trailer, something I don't remember being in the second movie. Peter Cullen is back doing the voice the character.  Bumblebee is still close to Sam even though he doesn't spend as much time with him this time.  Ironhide and Ratchet are also back.  There are other Autobots around, though I had trouble keeping track of their names even though the different colors made it a little easier for me to tell them apart.  I think at least a few of them are new characters for this movie, though maybe they just got new paint jobs.  Leonard Nimoy does the voice of Sentinel Prime, an Autobot thought to be lost.

I have more trouble telling the Decepticons apart.  Megatron turns up again, still partially injured, plotting yet agin.  Hugo Weaving is doing the voice of the character again.  Shockwave has some kind of huge drilling cannon thing and is very destructive.  He was trapped for a while and just recently released.  Frank Welker does the voice of the character.  Starscream is a jet and Soundwave handles communications for Megatron.  Laserbeak is a cool looking condor and Soundwave's minion.  A bunch of other Decepticons turn up at one point without being identified.

Main Cast
    
Peter Cullen - Voice Optimus Prime
Patrick Dempsey - Dylan
Josh Duhamel - Lennox
Robert Foxworth - Voice of Ratchet
Tyrese Gibson - Epps
Jess Harnell - Voice of Ironside
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley - Carly
Shia LaBeouf - Sam Witwicky
Frances McDormand - Charlotte Mearing
John Malkovich - Bruce Brazos
Leonard Nimoy - Voice of Sentinel Prime
James Remar - Voice of Sideswipe
Alan Tudyk - Dutch
John Turturro - Simmons
Hugo Weaving - Voice of Megatron
Frank Welker - Voice of Shockwave

Michael Bay - Director

Transformers: Dark of the Moon has issues, especially with the plot, but it does manage to be an entertaining action movie overall.  People that don't like the previous Transformers movies won't find anything to change their mind here.  The movie works well as a mindless action movie.  People in the mood for that type of movie will probably find something to enjoy.

I would have gone with 3.5 stars if I had the option.  Since I didn't, I decided to round up to 4.

This review is part of elvisdo's 2011 Funny Pages Write Off.

Independent or Original Superhero/Comic Book/Graphic Novel Inspired Movies
30 Days of Night ~ Barbarella ~ Bulletproof Monk ~ Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog ~ From Hell ~ G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra ~ The Greatest American Hero - Season 1 ~ The Greatest American Hero - Season 2 ~ The Green Hornet ~ Hancock ~ Judge Dredd ~ The Legend of Zorro ~ The Mask of Zorro ~ Masters of the Universe ~ Mystery Men ~ My Super Ex-Girlfriend ~ Richie Rich ~ The Shadow ~ Sky High ~ Superhero Movie ~ Tales From the Crypt - The Complete First Season ~ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ~ Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze ~ TMNT ~ Transformers ~ Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ~ Underdog ~ Wanted ~ Whiteout ~ Zoom ~


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