Under Review: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’


After the massive success of “Transformers” in 2007, Paramount Pictures immediately green-lit a sequel, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” for 2009 and although it was a commercial success, fans and critics were not happy with the film. Now director Michael Bay — the master of massive action sequences — is back for his final movie in the series: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” Can Bay end the trilogy on a high note, and will bigger equal better this time around?

Years after the Transformers came to this planet, they have gone from hiding to working with the military to round up the remaining Decepticons, but was that the beginning of man’s interaction with these intergalactic robots? We learn that NASA’s mission to the moon was a cover-up of the real reason to go there, to investigate a Cybertronian spaceship that crashed there filled with Autobots, including the leader Sentinel Prime. The ship is filled with superior technology and a weapon that could forever change the fate in the war between good and evil.

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) has graduated college, but even though he has a degree and a medal from the President, he still can’t find a job. Along with trying to find a new purpose for his life, he also has a new girlfriend, Carly (Rose Huntington-Whiteley). Carly has a new job working for industrialist Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey), who has his eye on more than just her impressive resume. Since the Decepticons seem basically wiped out now, the Autobots work along with United States Secretary of Defense’s Charlotte Mearing (Frances McDormand) and the group of elite N.E.S.T. forces such as Lt. Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Robert Epps (Tyrese Gibson) to stop local and international terrorists. But when Sam discovers a secret alliance that could endanger the safety of the planet, he must team-up once again with his friends to stop evil from procuring a weapon from the crashed ship on the moon and bringing about the destruction of our world.

With the entire cast returning (minus one overly-tanned Megan Fox), plus many more new characters, there are so many side stories and plots it was just a lot of information to take in throughout the film. Most of the newcomers’ plots do tie in nicely to the overall film, it just seemed like they were trying to cover too much information in a single film.

Returning agent Seymour Simmons (John Turturro) provides some great comedy, but used on a much smaller scale then the previous films. In smaller or cameo roles, I thought that Frances McDormand played her part of the stern and somewhat abrasive secretary of defense role very well. Another smaller role in the film went to Alan Tudyk as Dutch; he was a great source of comedy relief throughout the film and I wish he we would have seen him more.

Patrick Dempsey was enjoyable in his role because it seemed to go outside the typical roles he plays, I think fans of his will be surprised at where he takes his role in the latter part of the film. The big question is did Michael Bay make the right choice casting model Rose Huntington-Whitley as the female lead and I will say yes. Although she doesn’t do much acting in the film (more like reacting), her part was played as a very beautiful average girl and I thought she pulled it off well enough to not pull you out of your viewing experience.

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is the first in the series to be brought to us in 3D and although a lot of the scenes really didn’t matter if it was in 3D or not, the major action sequences were mind-blowing. A jump out of a helicopter, the cars transforming and many fight sequences in the 3D were utilized to their fullest to pull things out at you. During some of the destruction sequences where a downtown area of a major metropolitan city is being massacred by the Decepticons, weaving in and out of buildings and falling debris make it the most interactive in the series in how immersed you become. Did this film need to be in 3D? No, but I am glad that is how I saw it. It really helps distinguish it from the first two. One thing’s for sure, when you go to a Michael Bay film you aren’t expecting Oscar-worthy performances. What you do tend to expect is some mind-blowing action and this film has that and more.

With a running time of over two hours and 30 minutes, the first half of the film is a history lesson of the Autobots and their doomed home planet as well as catching us up on all that has happened to our characters since we have last seen them. I felt that some of the side stories and background information could have been cut to help keep the pace a little bit quicker. The second half is one giant free-for-all fight for the fate of planet Earth and can I tell you the pure scope of it all is so massive it is hard to explain. There are many plots and sub-plots to this film and, surprisingly, they really tried to wrap up most of them and give the audience a decent farewell.

Although the third film is stars above the second and has more action in it than the first. If you want a massively exhilarating film to watch where you can just enjoy some amazing fight sequences, special effects and amazing sound design, then maybe this film is for you.

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence, mayhem and destruction, and for language, some sexuality and innuendo and is in theaters now.

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4 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Sienna #

    Felt like I was waiting the entire movie to see the action sequences. They were very impressive, especially in 3D but barely enough to carry the entire film.

    Overall, solid action movie.

  2. Geraldine #

    I liked the movie quite. Enough action for sure and watching it on IMAX 3-D was pretty awesome.

  3. Hal9000 #

    I’d say this one is pretty much on par with Revenge of the Fallen. The writing is just as terrible and the ugly misogyny still front and center. It’s amazing how much Michael Bay seems to actively hate and fear women. KIds may get a kick out of it but, as an adult, it’s more than a little embarrassing.

  4. Lily #

    Wow… I don’t understand how someone can call Michael Bay a mysoginist when he directs extremely strong women. Now, if we were talking about Christopher Nolan… then I’d give you that. Rosie did little acting but her scenes were all great. Her chemistry with Shia was amazing. But Shia is the star of this film. We’ve known this since the first part.

    But the mysoginist comment really bothers me for the simple fact that all the women in Michael Bay’s films are strong.

    Liv Tyler’s Grace Stamper in Armageddon… Kate Beckinsale’s Evelyn Johnson in Pearl Harbor… ScarJo’s clone of Sarah Jordan in The Island… even Megan Fox’s Mikaela Banes in the first and second Transformers… and now Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Carly Witwicky (soon to be at least) has joined the ranks of those other female characters.

    Because I’m sorry…. Carly has a couple of scenes where you had to nod and say, “Hmm… yup… she’s badass… I can see what Sam sees.”

    So while Michael Bay is a douche (I don’t deny that) I wouldn’t go so far as to call him a mysoginist. I think Nolan is more mysoginistic than Bay ever could be.

    Especially when you go back and watch the women in all of Nolan’s films especially Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Inception which are his cinematic goldmines.