TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
By Gary Murray
Starring Shia LeBeouf and a bunch of robots
Written by Ehren Kruger
Directed by Michael Bay
Running time 2 hr 38 min
MPAA Rating PG-13
Selig Film Rating Matinee
I was never a Transformers kid. By the time the Hasbro toys came on the market, I was already past the age of such childhood things and never saw one of the cartoons. I knew what they were but never saw the appeal.
When the first Transformers movie came out, I just thought it was something for 13 year-old boys. It had robots fighting, big explosions and Megan Fox (the most special of special effects); just the entertainment wanted by older youths. The second installment was even more of the same with an even weaker plot. The third adventure is called Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I was expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised.
The story starts with a battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons, who are much more animalistic. A super weapon that could turn the tide is lost in the cosmos and crash lands on the moon. Both the US and the Russians start a space race to find out what exactly has hit our closest planetary neighbor. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are sent to the spacecraft to discover its secrets.
Back in modern times, Sam (Shia LeBeouf) is a college grad looking for a job. Saving the world twice doesn’t seem to make much of an impression on a resume. He has a new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) who works for Dylan (Patrick Dempsey) a hot shot with a flair for fast cars and sleek women. Sam feels threatened by the more successful man.
The Autobots now work for the government, stopping terrorists. The robots find about the ship stranded on the moon and know that the contents can give the Decepticons the upper hand in taking over the earth. The leader Optimus Prime finds his teacher on the moon and can reactive the being. The story of Transformers: Dark of the Moon is how all these element blend into another super battle between the Autobots and Decepticons with humanity in the balance.
This picture is a typical Michael Bay, all flash over substance. But he does know how to direct an action sequence. At over two and a half hours, one would think that the film would be dragged down by its own weight. Just the opposite is true. This is a very big picture with giant robot monsters, some looking like the sand worms from Dune. The movie just fills every frame with action.
The 3D effects are exactly what one would expect from a film like this, flawless. The total experience looked like the old View Master toy but fully moving with explosions and debris flying all over the screen.
To be honest, I found the acting of Shia LeBeouf to be lacking. To define himself in this adventure, he’s become the ‘angry young man’ yelling to get his performance across. He could have taken it down a notch or three and still been just as effective.
Young Rosie Huntington-Whiteley just makes every male in the office to go ‘Megan Who?’ Not only is she a perfectly beautiful woman but she holds up her end on the acting side. Though ‘the girlfriend’ role has been done to death, she does show some serious acting chops.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is not for everyone. It is a summertime popcorn chewing flick that accomplishes its intended goal, just to entertain.