Transformers: Dark of the Moon
As expected, Michael Bay has followed a familiar outline with his third go around with the Transformers franchise. Much like he did with TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, he spent a decent 105 minutes setting up a very convoluted story that no one in the audience really cared about anyway, only to wow us with a 45 minute onslaught of over-the-top, bright, in-your-face action. But hey, this is why we love Michael Bay and in order to experience the spectacle that is a Michael Bay film, we have to take the good with the bad.
Bay starts by trying to establish a serious back-story involving an Autobot crash landing on the moon in 1961, thus prompting then-President Kennedy to start the space race to get a man on the moon and investigate. Little did they know that what they were investigating was actually the key to rebuilding the Autobot/Decepticon home planet Cybertron. Flash forward to present day, where we find Sam Witwicky shacked up with another super-model, Carly, this time played by newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who replaced the ousted Megan Fox. Witwicky is struggling to deal with his normal life, always longing for his days with the Autobots. And howabout those Autobots? Well, they’re busy doing military missions for the USA, all the while trying to sniff out more Decepticons. Long story short, they find them and unravel their plan to open up a wormhole of sorts to rebuild Cybertron on Earth.
This is really a two part film. The first part is a little slow and takes too long to get to the point. Michael Bay is great at many things, but telling a deep, meaningful story is not one of them. We spent way too much time trying to set up the NASA/Decepticon back-story and not enough time getting to the action. We could have easily lost a good 30 minutes (the film clocked in at 2.5 hours) and wouldn’t have missed a beat.
But as much as the first part of the film bored me, I have to admit that I have a splitting headache from the last 30 minutes, and I mean that in a good way. Bay pulled no punches with the final action sequence, which featured a grand Autobot-Decepticon battle through downtown Chicago that had the city in ruins afterwards. It was everything you hoped for in a grand Transformers battle and more. But you’ll have to hold in the laughter during the scene where Carly stood like she was posing for a photo shoot while stuff blew up all around her. It was ridiculous, but hey, that’s Michael Bay.
Even though 3D has been slammed lately, I can honestly say that this is by far and away the best 3D I’ve seen since AVATAR. The action scene at the end was made for 3D Imax screens and it was a nice reminder to how great the format can be if used properly.
By the third film, I didn’t think Bay could outdo himself, but never underestimate the guy’s ability to blow stuff up. I could have done without yet another highway action scene, but the film was enjoyable and kept me entertained throughout. But remember; this is a Michael Bay film, so you have to suspend disbelief, ignore the cheesy dialogue, stop trying to understand the plot, and just roll with the action. Because at least when it comes to over-the-top action, Bay does not disappoint.