Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Movie Review

Thanks to Paramount pictures, we had the chance to see ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ the third installment of Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ trilogy. This is our review; but remember, we still suggest you to go and see the film at your local cinema, because there is no better critic than yourself!

After all the issues with Revenge of The Fallen, there were high expectations for this third film – especially after seeing a 20 min preview via cinema footage; that showed James Cameron giving Michael Bay advice on how to shoot an entire film in 3D technology – and also explaining that the film’s effects were from the same team behind Avatar.

‘Dark of the Moon’ starts with a very interesting premise of the space race between USA and Russia: Using the Apollo 11 mission as an excuse for exploration of the outer space. The United States used the mission as a disguise so they could search for an alien spaceship which crashed on the Moon ages ago.

This spacecraft is from the original planet of the Transformers: Cybertron, and it held a very important passenger, the first leader of the Autobots: Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy – who also has some quotes in the film that are dedicated to ‘Star Trek’ fans). It is he who has the key to the Transformers’s biggest technology.

Obviously the main Autobot characters are back; with Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Bumblebee and Ratchet returning. Furthermore – as it was previously confirmed – the twins are not back in this sequel.

The human characters also make their return; such as Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who is now trying to readjust to his life after having saved the planet twice. He even received a medal of honour from President Obama. Sam is no longer hooked up with Mikaela (Megan Fox) and it’s never explained why they broke up.

He has a new love interest in the name of Carly (Victoria Secret’s model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and he is jobless and hunting for a new career. He has no luck at all.

Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and the US Marines are also in the film. They’re trying to save the world again. Sadly, the annoying former Sector 7 agent: Simmons (John Turturro) is also back…

Some new characters are introduced in the film. Like: John Malcovich as Sam’s new Boss, Patrick Dempsey as Carly’s boss (who also hides something “more than meets the eye”). Oscar winner Frances McDormand is in the film as the head of the secret US Service, and Ken Jeong has a small role in the threequel. With the exception of Dempsey, all these new characters are meant to give the film even more comedy moments. Not event achieves this simple goal.

Obviously the Decepticons are trying to get the “old technology from Cybertron,” and they start to hunt all the humans who are aware of its existence. They try to get all the information for the sole purpose of overtaking the world…again.

One of the biggest concerns for many people before the release of the film is Victoria Secret’s model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: the lead female actress. Now working under the shadow of Megan Fox. Her character seems like it was just ‘ok’ for the film – which for some reason needed a female character on screen to begin with – still, Huntington-Whitely does her job on the film: to wear white clothes that never get dirty, and even participating in the battle against the Decepticons a little bit. Furthermore, an attempt of love triangle and jealous scenes between Sam, Cary and Patrick Dempsey‘s character is also on the film.

The problems of the film are with pretty much all the other new characters: John Malcovich as Sam’s Boss, is a weird character who makes some unnecessary jokes that are not funny at all; making the viewer wonder if this character was necessary in a film that is meant to have robots as it’s stars. The same thing happens with Ken Jeong, who is in less than half an hour of the film; repeating pretty much the same role as already seen in the ‘Hangover’ and that film’s sequel.

We noticed that this movie has two big flaws, and these are:  a) Putting in a bunch of characters with no purpose and b) Having too many unnecessary jokes – just like in ‘Transformers 2’, only this time it is worse.

Moreover, as just like the twins in the previous film: WHEELIE (the small truck from ‘Revenge of the Fallen’), has a new friend, Brains, whose character is also annoying. This “bot” friend has “white hair”…yes people, now some bots have hair (optical fibre, to be exact). As you can imagine, these two are the ‘funny’ characters in every scene, reminding us a bit of some scenes from “Gremlins”. Add to that the jokes from John Turturro – the Jar Jar Binks of the Transformers Trilogy – his character is one that should have been deleted from the very beginning; he’s still doing his Sector 7 jokes and inexplicably taking the supreme command of the entire secret service in a time of crisis.

But that is not all, he has a friend who acts like a “funny” bodyguard – played by Alan Tudyk – who has a secret past…well one that is never explained in the movie.

You might be wondering what happened to Sam’s parents? Sadly, for every fan wanting to see big robots fighting, you’ll instead get more “jokes” from them. At least this time Sam’s mom doesn’t get high like in the previous film.

Now, enough about the humans. let’s talk about what we want: The Robots!

The Autobots have some new faces. Just to mention some of them: there is Silverbolt (who actually has a cool design as a Ferrari), as well as a cool group called ‘The Wreckers.’ Then there is Wheeljack (yes, one of the most beloved fan favourite characters is finally on film) but he doesn’t look like the cartoon character at all! His design is just bad. You can tell they tried to put Einstein’s face on him – hair and glasses included – and what results is poor.

On the other hand, the Decepticon list includes Shockwave (who was mean to be a main character, but isn’t much in the film), Megatron (who is back with some injuries sustained in ‘Revenge of The Fallen’), Laserbeak, and of course Soundwave – who is now a car and no longer a satellite.

With this cool list of characters you might expect massive battles between bots- especially if the first leader of the Autobots: Sentinel Prime is there – and in that aspect Michael Bay does what he does best: Giving us epic visual battles full of explosions! Also – thanks to James Cameron – the movie watcher will have a great 3D experience because of the latest state of the art technology.

Although we are sure that viewers want to see Autobots and Deceptions having a big epic war, sadly for everyone, they’ll instead get “The human soldiers” doing more killing of Decepticons. All while spouting with ‘witty banter’, jokes and of course shouting some clichéd American stereotype quote while doing it. At least there is a cool acrobatic sequence with humans in it.

Still, fans of the cartoons will be able to see few cool sequences and things that they’ve wanted to see since the first film. You’ll get to see Optimus with his trailer – which has all his weapons and wings, making him able to fly like in some episodes of the cartoons – and finally using his iconic Axe. He also wields his sword and even a shield. Ratchet, is mostly absent in battle; with not many action scenes. Some cool fighting scenes can be expected, particularly one that involves Ironhide and Sideswipe against some random Decepticons.

That is actually another flaw of the film: there’s too many Decepticons in alien form! Moviegoers will get confused as to which characters is which. Furthermore, there is a massive mechanic worm (as seen in the trailers), that is controlled by Shockwave  and it destroys everything around – it’s size and path is quite hard to follow.

One thing for sure; action is not absent on the film at all. The Decepticon invasion finally happens, and it’s a big deal! This movie has a lot of amazing Computer Generated Imagery. There’s scenes like the flashbacks of the future in “The Terminator”, and sequences of a big robot apocalypse – with humans and robots both fighting for survival. However, all this doesn’t matter because the poor script – the almost 3 hours of jokes/most of the characters particularly John Turturro – make the film fail.

Michael Bay apparently forgot that he was doing a movie about big robots called “The Transformers”, instead he made a comedy with lots of humans and some robots fighting. He’s made a futuristic war comedy, that happens to have amazing visuals made with outstanding 3D Technology. One thing for sure is that Bay knows how to make movies that make money and that will sell lots of toys.

Who will win in this final battle for the Earth?…The answer is in your local cinema…!

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‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ opens in Australia on June 29.