Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the third installment of the Transformer series based on the popular 1984 cartoon. Thanks to producer Steven Spielberg and director Michael Bay, I had to sit through another badly directed and horribly written two and a half hour movie that should come with a warning for moviegoers to take motions-sickness pills before watching.
To recap the basic story, the transformers are an alien race of robots that have split into two factions – the good Autobots and the evil Decepticons who came to earth as various vehicles to blend into society without being noticed. They wanted to find a technology that gives life to electronics and mechanical objects.
In the new film the Autobots have integrated into human society to keep the earth safe from threats from both humans and Decepticons. The Autobots discover the humans have not been up front about everything and that a Cybertron ship crashed on the dark side of the moon in 1961. The ship contained advanced technology that can rebuild the robots’ home planet. The Decepticons, aware of the ship, plotted with the humans to obtain the Cybertron technology, defeat the Autobots and enslave the Earth.
Shia LaBeouf reprises his role as Sam Witwicky, the Autobots friend and confidant who finds himself in the middle of war once again. Sam has a new super hot girlfriend, Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) replacing Megan Fox in her previous films. Josh Duhamel as U.S. Army Lt. Colonel William Lennox, John Turturro as Agent Seymour Simmons and Tyrese Gibson return. Huntington-Whiteley is no different from the little affect Fox had in role. The only contributing factor for this character is pure sex appeal.
Dark of the Moon introduces a few new characters and robot voices. Patrick Dempsey as Dylan Gould is Carly’s ultra rich boss who gives Sam a leg up on getting a job and competing for her affections. Bruce Brazos (John Malkovich) is an eccentric, obsessive compulsive boss who reluctantly hires Sam. Frances McDormand portrays Charlotte Mearing, an U.S. National Intelligence Director who appears to have little intelligence since her conclusions are wrong on nearly everything throughout the movie.
Leonard Nimoy provides the voice of Sentinel Prime, the original leader of the Autobots but was deactivated long before the Autobots left Cybertron. Primes body was found in the wreckage of the ship that crashed on the moon. There are a few Star Trek jokes but they get few chuckles. Voices of major robots (Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving) are great but the robots are the exaggerated stereotypes as usual.
What bugs me about director Michael Bay is his constant craning or trucking shots in almost every scene. The camera is craning up or down, left or right or rotating around everything, constantly or the overuse of the slow motion shots to show off the intricate computer graphics or a female character’s seductive walk during an intense battle scene. This repetition in many scenes almost appears as sexual objectification of the females in the movie.
Despite those beefs along with plot holes, continuity errors, and historical inaccuracies, the movie’s exceptional visual effects are the only reason to see this movie. Fans of the first two movies will not be disappointed but will forget this movie a week later.
MPAA: “PG-13” Photo credits: Jaimie Trueblood / Paramount Pictures