Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I wonder what it is about explosions that fascinates Michael Bay.  He has so many of them.  SO MANY of them!  Really.  It’s actually pretty impressive.  I could become a pyrotechnician, apply to work for Bay, and make loads of money…because he needs so many.  I want to write a movie for him where something is constantly falling apart or exploding.  I think he’d read my finished script, add more explosions, and then it’d become a huge summer blockbuster called Transfomers 4.

What I can say about this movie, honestly just generally covers the same things I could say about any of Michael Bay’s recent movies.  I think we’ve all gotten used to what he cares about and pays attention to and thus, we know what to expect.  For me, this means “Am I giving the movie 1 star?  Or 3 stars?”  ‘Cause ever since he filmed “The Rock,” that’s about as high as they go.  Stay tuned to find out!  or just…skip to the bottom…and look at how many pairs of Mario Star eyes are staring at you…

Plot: Towards the end of the war on Cybertron, the Autobots sent a special craft out to escape with a newly developed secret weapon to change the tide of the war.  The ship was shot down and was never recovered until 1969.  Apollo 11, it turns out, was a recovery mission of the Autobot weapon.  Sam Witwicky (Shiah LeBouf) graduated college but is having difficulty finding a job.  He’s with a new girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), and is balancing frustrations with his own insecurities, not being with the Autobots, and his jealousy of Carly’s very rich boss, Dylan (Patrick Dempsey).  After landing a job, he discovers that the Decepticons are killing Russians and Americans involved with moon missions from the 70s, and seeks out the connection and the Decepticon’s intent in order to help the Autobots.  The Autobots discover the existence of the weapon, revive former Autobot leader, Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy), attempt to learn its secrets and Megatron’s plan for it, and stop the Decepticons for the last time.

General concencus?  It’s fine.  It’s not good, it’s not “not bad,” it’s not “alright.”

It’s just “fine.”

I’ve never been much impressed with Michael Bay’s Transformers series.  I, actually, particularly disliked the 2nd one.  I was quite thankful to my friend who had snuck in a flask of rum into the theater for that one.  This one, it wasn’t necessary…though I was worried it would be.  Dark of the Moon is was WAY better than Revenge of the Fallen, and almost as good as the first one.

One thing I was grateful for was that they fixed the writing.  Transformers 2 was atrocious.  This time there weren’t a million noticeable plot holes, and the sequence of events was clean cut.  Everything had a point and a purpose.  Everything was pretty straight forward.  But, to a flaw, I think.  The plot was character driven– and by that I mean the personalities dictated the direction of the film.  This is good!  However, it was not character driven in the sense of character development.  There wasn’t enough conflict within any one character for them to grow in the end.  Sam’s conflicts were shallow and petty.  He spends the whole movie whining about one thing or another, and after a while you just want to slap his annoying face and tell him to man up and stop being a bitch.  The villains were pretty simple faced as well.  There was enough reason for them to be the bad guys, but you’re left with this linger feeling of “that’s all you’ve got?  /sigh, it’s a Bay film.”

The action was pretty good, apart from following the cliche of having the hero save someone just in the knick of time– all the time.  Seriously though.  There are a lot of instances where you’ve got some good guys doing their thing, handling themselves (or not), and then the moment you’re like “uh oh…what’s gonna happen now?” (don’t forget to lay the sarcasm on thick…) here comes an autobot.  Hurray!  Well, for the most part.  Some parts you just don’t care what happens, and neither do they.  There were a couple cool fights and kills, so there’s that to look forward to.

I really liked Shockwave.  Having that giant metal tube of destruction made for some pretty cool scenes.  Also sparked a humorous line or two.  In fact, the humor was pretty decent.  Enough to keep you smiling every so often, with a good burst of laughter.  Nothing particularly memorable, but still fun.

You would think that with a 2.5 hour trilogy ending blockbuster one could find plenty to complain about or compliment.  But, literally everything in the movie can be summarized in the words “It’s a Bay movie.”  You go in there already knowing what to expect, and it’s exactly what you get.  Bay delivers a Bay movie.  It’s fine.  But that’s all you get.