Transformers_dark_of_the_moon_ver5Paramount Pictures
2011
PG-13

“How doomed are you, Autobots.  You simply fail to understand, that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

A mysterious event from Earth’s past threatens to ignite a war so big that the Transformers alone will not be able to save the planet.  Sam Witwicky and the Autobots must fight against the darkness to defend our world from the Decepticons’ all-consuming evil in the smash hit from director Michael Bay and executive producer Stephen Spielberg.

The first Transformers movie was a big-budget and mindlessly fun summer action flick, which I saw in the theaters.  The second Transformers movie was even bigger, but was even more mindless in a bad way, when I saw it on DVD.  This third installment of the Michael Bay-helmed franchise, subtitled Dark Of THe Moon, is something I waited until it was on Net Flix streaming to finally watch, and even then it was after weeks of hesitation, thinking “um, well…I don’t know…”  But, finally took the plunge, just to get that completist side of me satisfied that I had indeed watched all three live-action Transformers movies.  No matter what the cost to my sanity.

And really, after the final credits rolled, I must admit that Dark Of The Moon wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Definitely not the raging disaster that a lot of reviews both professional and amateur were proclaiming this was.  I think a lot of that has to do with there being actual writers to work on this, rather than Michael Bay having to write like he did on the last movie, due to the writers strike.  The result is a much more cohesive plot, rather than…what passed as a plot on Revenge Of The Fallen.

That’s not to say that Dark Of The Moon is suddenly a serious and sophisticated piece of cinema.  This is still a Michael Bay flick, for crying out loud. You go into this expecting mostly giant robots making things go boom.  And you get that in spades, clubs, hearts and diamonds.  This time out, Megan Fox is not the focus of sexual objectification, and the movie is so much better without her presence.  Finally, we have a love interest that doesn’t embarrass herself whenever she opens her mouth.  Intelligence is a nice change of pace, there.  The Sam Witwicky character is still an annoyingly whiny d-bag; matter of fact, I argue that aspect of the character has been amplified up to 11, at least in the first third of the movie.  And “Deep Wang”?  Really?  Did we really need that?  I can imagine the writers giggling like a six-year-old boy who just discovered the game Pull My Finger.

There are quite a few things to like about Dark Of The Moon.  Leonard Nimoy as the voice of Sentinel Prime was a great choice, though recycling the somewhat cliche’ phrase “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” was a little more groan-worthy than fanboy squee-enducing.  The inclusion of Shockwave and Laserbeak were…okay, I geeked all over the place.  John Malkovich was a good surprise, though I wonder why he agreed to appear in this.  It’s a small roll, but still.  And Alan Tudyk as Dutch…I want to see a movie about his character.

At a little over two and a half hours, I can’t say that Transformers: Dark Of The Moon just flew by.  There were times where I’d pause it to use the restroom or replenish the snack bowl, and think “There’s still that much lefet?”  But, at least I didn’t get bored.  Admittedly, the movie did suffer from the scenes with Sam Witwicky in there, but not by much.  The real reason to watch this is the giant robots duking it out in Chicago, and finally a glimpse of Cybertron.  Worth a watch sometime.