Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Having beat down the Deceptacons twice already, Prime and his crew are helping us out as military liaisons while Sam gets a job in the real world. But before anyone can get too comfortable, information about a covert mission on the moon reveals a sinister secret that will put the entire planet at risk.
When it comes to the Transformers I happen to be one of those people who grew up loving the original cartoon series and toys. Despite the fact that most films based upon these types of cartoons are coming out a generation late, I was still flushed with youthful exuberance and childlike glee when I first found out Transformers would finally become a movie. When I heard Michael Bay would be directing, I felt even more at ease because although some critics like to throw pot shots at Bay, there’s no denying that he’s brought us some of the best action films of the past decade. When it comes to action, intensity, adrenaline pumping scores, comic relief and yes, explosions, who better than Bay to make it all happen consistently well.
The first Transformers film was exactly that; a breakout film to test the waters and because of that I can overlook some of the easier nitpicking that came with it. The second film suffered from too many issues to ignore, and not just from a fan’s perspective (devastator turning into a dog with testicles), but from an editing, plot and overall script perspective as well. In light of this, many people lost faith in the idea of another sequel. The trailer for DARK OF THE MOON peaked my interest with the cover-up mission within a mission with Neil Armstrong and the Cold War moon landing. That right there was an ingenious hook that worked well within the film. I liked what they did with the story, the ship landing on the moon was especially cool because it mimics the original cartoon’s beginning only here the ship crashes on the moon with one Autobot rather than on Earth with all of them. Yes, I would have preferred something like this in the first film but it’s better late than never.
The casting choices and character arcs also impressed me this time around. The roster for this film kept getting bigger and bigger (sort of how THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is going) which sometimes can be disastrous but here worked out rather well. First, congrats to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, she was the underdog here due to the ridiculous Megan Fox debacle and as far as I’m concerned, she did just fine. Fox’s beauty comes off snobbish whether she intends for it to or not and Huntington felt more like an adorable, sweet girl next door, a perfect match for Sam’s off the wall character. And speaking of The Beef, Shia rocked out as Sam, bringing the action and all sorts of laughs. Now the rest of the human cast all got fit in but John Malkovich and Ken Jeong were the surprising diamonds in the rough who really added to the experience.
Which brings me to the Autobots and Deceptacons. First the good. The smartest thing Bay and co. did when putting this franchise together was get Peter Cullen to reprise the original voice of Optimus Prime. Every time Prime is on screen I feel like a kid again, eyes wide and full of awe. Leonard Nimoy came aboard as Sentinal Prime (a fan irony as he helped voice Unicron in the original cartoon movie) which was fine by me but the real let down was Shockwave. I guess original voice actor Corey Burton was offered the role and said “no”, I was taken off guard by that news at first but now I can understand why. Shockwave only really speaks once in the film and from there is unforgivably underused (I was pumped to see Laserbeak as well, his design could have been a little better but he was cool nonetheless). The Deceptacons as a whole, are given the short end of the stick here (I can’t really say why but you’ll understand when you watch it), even Megatron only gets a couple lines here and there, so on that front I was a little let down.
TRANSFORMERS DARK OF THE MOON is an Molotov cocktail of pure adrenaline which was both beautiful to behold and sinfully entertaining. This was the sequel we were hoping for after the first film, but like I said earlier, it’s better late than never. The tone was also nice, pushing the language barrier like last time to make it feel more adult themed. Yes, the two small guys do grate on your nerves from time to time, but they were there for the kids. The 3D aspect of things didn’t blow my mind but it sure made those flight suit jumping scenes look unreal (also, big thumbs up to those guys too, they were magnificent). All in all this was a satisfying summer popcorn flick and a joyous Delorean ride back to my childhood. This is definitely one you MUST see in theaters.