I really enjoyed the first Transformers for the same reason why I kind of liked Bad Boys 2. The movie is exactly what it should be, a
fun and very entertaining action flick. The action, comedy, and drama all seem to fit in well with each other with some minor exceptions. The thing that made the first Transformers more than just an average action film was the action which was beautifully stylized and passed fast enough to justify a 30 plus minute climax. I also loved the way that the Visual Effects team made the Transformers into something that was catching to the eye and I could probably watch our metal friends “transform” for two hours alone. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen came out two years later and it was terrible. The movie fell flat on its face as far as story and plot goes and the comedy bits in the film were not only unwatchable but they took you away from the film and the moments where the film kind of actually worked. Revenge of the Fallen got a lot of fan boy hate and won Bay 3 Razzies awards for Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay (which the film probably deserved.). Now comes Dark of the Moon which from the trailers look to be doing what the second film could not, push the plot in a new and interesting directions and create more suspense and drama while eliminating the excess of comic relief. The problem with trailers are they condense a movie into three minutes and your imagination makes up the rest. Dark of the Moon is an improvement over Revenge of the Fallen but it does not justify why Bay is still making these movies.
The premise of Dark of the Moon is a little more promising than its predecessor. It involves conspiracies and a mystery that is actually kind of interesting. The dark side of the moon plot runs parallel to are LaBeouf story which to say it is ridiculous is an understatement. Bay seems to be playing in with the problems of a lot of post college graduates where Sam Witwicky can’t find a job. Here we meet his British girlfriend Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) who doesn’t do much but wear close to nothing and fit in when she is needed. Obviously Megan Fox is gone and instead of just being like, “yea we could lose the dumb hot girl plot point”, Bay seems to be scared to have a movie that doesn’t include a hot chick that does absolutely nothing except give horny 14 year olds something to look. I wouldn’t be so upset with this if he had picked out an actress that could act but Rosie can’t and her performance is almost unbearable. Any storyline that deals with Sam’s job situation is awful, just downright awful. These scenes should have been cut out of the movie and are so bad that I really don’t feel like dignifying them with a summary.
The film is basically split between two parts, the pre-battle of Chicago and the battle of Chicago. Normally an hour-long climax would seem obtuse but it saves us from Bay’s patent humor, which is a warm welcome. I advise that Bay goes out and gets two things: a good sense of humor and some taste (and somebody take Linkin Park off his iPod). The first part of the movie (which is a painful 30 minutes longer than it should be) isn’t all-bad. The moon plot line and the set up to the big battle can be quite effective and does give some moments of pure anticipation of what lies ahead. I wished that Bay would of stuck with the mystery plot line instead of trying to submerge the film in comic relief. Comic relief is meant to give the audience a brief escape from the drama but Bay doesn’t seem to know the literal translation of the word. Here Bay spends considerable time trying to denigrate the plausibility and promise of his plot with an array of ridicules potty jokes and sexual innuendo’s. If the comedy here was kind of funny than it would be at least tolerable if not condonable but here we have Turturro and Malkovich wasting valuable scene time with annoying performances. Bay needs to learn to cut his losses instead of adding more of them. During these moments your like “yea this is the same jackass that directed Revenge of the Fallen”.
The last hour of the movie is its best with a whole bunch of robot ass kicking going around. Yea sometimes the action drags and the climax wasn’t as epic as I thought it would be but for the most part the last hour is exhilarating. There were two big things that I didn’t like about the climax and the first is that Optimus Prime is a bitch. The dude always gets his ass kicked in every movie. Isn’t it about time that are hero doesn’t have to wait for his adversary to get distracted or kick them while he’s down. Also it’s kind of getting repetitive. The second is that there is a scene where a big portion of the autobots get taken captive but we never see them get captured. Yes Bay doesn’t bother to show why they get captured, they just are. I attribute this to laziness. Other than that the climax may have a few problems here and there but for the most part it works and gives a satisfying yet simple ending. The ending comes abrupt here almost as if Bay wasn’t interested in wrapping up his story with anything other than CGI. The point isn’t where we end up, it is how we get there and how much shit blows up in-between. Although unrelated I do have to say that Shockwave is probably the best villain in any of the Transformers films. His design and pure ambiance is scarier and more menacing than all of the other Decepticons put together.
Dark of the Moon is never supposed to be a good film. It’s a Bay film and if it is good or bad is based more on conquiencidence than anything else. Bay does things his own way and when you watch his films you need to realize that. He is good at certain things and he can make a good movie or two but he isn’t concerned with that. Michael Bay is a director that screams to be regulated. He needs a studio to come in and say, “come on now, cut that shit out” but since his films make money no body wants to touch him. I am not mad at Bay for making Dark of the Moon the way he did because I knew what to expect but on the other hand I can’t indorse it either. Yea the time went by quick and the action is cool but like so many films without substance, the movie just really isn’t memorable. Bay can get pissed at all of the people who bash his movies but I think more than anything that we are all annoyed that someone else couldn’t of done these movies. Bay is passionate about doing things his way not the right way and the Transformers sequels are a causality of that thought process.