Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

July 2, 2011

First there was Transformers, which was bearable. Next came Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which sucked. And now Michael Bay and his team gives us Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is more of the same, but without Megan Fox. However, with a slightly better cast than the first two films in the Transformers franchise, and with Michael Bay slightly less incompetent, this film might be worth your time.

As the story goes… Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeuf) is a jobless loser, living off of his Megan Fox replacement girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), until Jerry “Wang” (Ken Jeong) approaches him in a bathroom stall, at which point havoc begins to ensue. Transformers: Dark of the Moon features a lot of badass Autobots (Good robots) and Decepticons (Bad robots) fighting, conspiracies, explosions, and Patrick Dempsey as a bad guy. Frances McDormand and John Malkovich are additionally notable new cast members.

I noted above that Michael Bay, this film’s director, displayed a little less incompetence than he had previously in the Transformers franchise. Credit where credit is due, there is a decent amount of good in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starting first with the cast.

The addition of Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Ken Jeong, alongside the return highlights (John Turturro, Alan Tudyk, Kevin Dunn, Tyrese Gibson) goes a long way. There even is a great Bill O’Reilly cameo, which is highly amusing as O’Reilly mocks himself. Sans Megan Fox (Who I actually like in certain roles), every other mediocre actor from the previous films persist, Shia LaBeuf at that helm. But again, credit where credit is due, the new cast additions are very good.

On top of that, the special effects are phenomenal. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the film which makes it evident that video is no longer enough proof for any phenomenon. From this point onward, I can witness a supernatural event, catch it on film, but be laughed at as good with special effects. The Transformers, both Autobots and Decepticons, are pretty kickass. However, Tyrese Gibson says a line which I agree with wholeheartedly.

How come the Decepticons always get the good shit?

Seriously. Although Optimus Prime defines awesome, I’d feel much safer with Decepticons on my side.

Finally, the story isn’t all that half baked. Hat tip to Ehren Kruger to for writing the darkest film of the Transformers franchise. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is significantly darker than either of the previous two, and there is a lot of death. Parents need be forewarned before taking their kids to see this film. Chaos and death aside, there are a host of jokes throughout. Most fall flat, but the genuinely funny ones are spread thinly enough in the 2.5 hour runtime to keep my attention. Again, credit where credit is due. That said, I also believe in discredit where discredit is due. Enter the bad half of this film.

While the robots look amazing, most of their dialogue is exceptionally poor. It is all very adolescent. The robots used slang terms more than any of the humans. Words cannot express how terrible the robots’ dialogue is, it’s absurd. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for any of the human characters.

In the name of freedom…

Says Optimus Prime, who, instead of immature, is extremely patriotic with his words. Which is almost as bad as the adolescent dialogue from the other ‘bots. Transformers: Dark of the Moon would be a much better film if the robots had no dialogue, which is an unfortunate thing to say.

Another massive problem: The Angst!!! The drama between Shia LaBeuf’s character and Megan Fox’s replacement is borderline unbearable. That shizzle needs to be banned from cinema, but unfortunately, filmmakers believe that angst and/or drama is a requirement in every single film. It isn’t, but even then, it reaches a new low in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. On Megan Fox’s replacement, she has abnormally poofy lips, which I think might be the most distracting thing in this film. The bad kind of distracting.

And lastly, the soundtrack is a disaster. Almost no song matched its corresponding scene. Whoever is behind this soundtrack should hang their head in shame, and Michael Bay should hide under a rock for letting it slip by under his direction. It really is that bad… If not for the quality of the special effects, I’d guess that Transformers: Dark of the Moon was put together by interns.

So my advice? This film is slightly passable. When I say slightly, I mean a single hair above the line which separates avoid and see. It’s difficult to recommend Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a standard popcorn flick, due to its oft-dark nature. So see it, but be prepared to dislike this one if you intend to be judgmental. Otherwise, there are better films in the wild worth more of your time.

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