New Release Tuesday: Transformers – Dark of the Moon (2011)

5 07 2011

There comes a time when you always hope against inevitability. You know what will happen yet there are rumblings of hope, giving you reason to believe there could be a chance things unfold otherwise. Such is the case of Michael Bay’s new blockbuster. Sure the second movie was bad, and the reviews have been terrible but most say it was at least an improvement on the previous film. Perhaps most of it will be tolerable and I’ll be able to enjoy some good action. Alas, reality has to come crashing down eventually and I got to view it in the form of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. It would be unfair to call it a trainwreck but the whole production is so uninspiring that it makes me start to lose faith in American filmmaking altogether. The plot revolves once again around Sam Witwicky (Shia Labeouf), fresh out of college and he… you know what, no. I’m not even going to bother with whatever the series of events that occurs in this film could be called. I think it is better for all of us if we just move on.

“You die!”

Yes, that is actually a line in the film which brings us to the first deficiency, and I’ll be sure to rush through them as there are many. The dialogue is very stale, every character seems to just repeat the same lines in every movie, and during action scenes everyone is reduced to monosyllabic words to give some interaction between the characters and the many explosions that take place around them. The themes are identical to the previous movies in the series and each character is still fighting for the same thing whether it be respect or freedom or honor. Michael Bay’s cinematographic style is officially stale for me now, he repeats so many shots that the intent and purpose of those shots have lost all meaning. He has become so predictable that it feels as though we are now just going through same steps before the action begins again. Yes, Michael Bay films are all about action but the sections in between have no excuse for being this dry. The characters are flat and uninteresting, and their decisions are so illogical at times that you end up hating all of them. Finally the worst part of this film has to be in the editing. Several sequences end abruptly and aren’t revisited before quickly moving onto a new area, far too many characters are used and intertwined with no practical purpose, and the ending is non-existent. This area almost becomes laughable at the end.

“You have 21 minutes… “

I chose the above quote to define this section as there is only about 21 minutes of good cinema here, and I use that term very loosely. Alan Tudyk is easily the best member of the cast, he is hilarious and if this movie was about him I think it may have been OK. The newcomer, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, is incredibly sexy and very good when she is being her flirtatious British, or is it Australian, self yet the serious moments were… well, it is obvious she’s never acted before. Nevertheless she more than replaces Megan Fox in my opinion. Finally there are some great action sequences mostly involving the new giant, mechanical worm.

“Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon” is better than “Revenge of the Fallen”, but being slightly better than a disaster still isn’t good. It is an infuriating, migraine inducing mess that has some redeeming qualities, but they are so few and far between that the production cannot be kept afloat. This has been but a nutshell review because there are so many thing wrong that I would have to dissect it scene by scene and I have no inclination to ever watch this movie again. The few bright spots barely keep the movie running at it’s elongated time and seem more like the gasps of air one takes as he trying to survive drowning in white-water rapids. I’m sure there will be another Transformers movie with the money it is currently bringing in so hopefully I will remember my lesson and miss it or at least only view while extremely inebriated.

Score: 45/100

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