Review of 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'

3rd film in the 'Transformers' series

dark_of_the_moon.jpg In a communication blackout during the first moon landing in 1969 the astronauts are sent to investigate the site of a crashed ship from Cybertron, returning with samples and pictures. The ship is an Ark piloted by the great Autobot leader named Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy). After the events of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Sam (Shia LaBeouf) has graduated from college and is living in Washington DC but despite his help in saving the world he is having problems finding a job. Eventually he manages to land a job with eccentric technologist Bruce Bezos (John Malkovich) through a recommendation from tycoon and car enthusiast Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey) who employs Sam's girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Working with NEST the Autobots are helping the humans track down Decepticons. When they discover the human's secret about the crashed ship Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) leads a team to the moon to bring back Sentinel Prime and five “pillars” that prove to be part of a transport system. Soon after reviving Sentinel it is revealed that he is working with the Decepticons. After a battle, Sentinel escapes from NEST and activates the pillars, bringing a large number of Decepticons to Earth from their hiding place on the moon and attacking Chicago…but their real plan is much, much bigger…

A long and confusing story in the Transformers franchise with more and more of the same: Lots of giant robot battles, hot cars and “eye candy” women. I suppose the primary demographic aimed at here is adolescent boys or men who have adolescent views of the world. To be fair, the action and effects are quite incredible but, as is often the case with Bay films, often difficult to follow. This film does introduce the idea of robots “bleeding” liquids which adds to the visceral nature of the battles which tend to be much more graphic than in previous films including the unapologetic death of many humans which was previously glossed over. So, add “violence” to the attributes of “Dark of the Moon”.

There is an attempt at humour with Sam's life (including his dim-whited parents offering their shallow and unhelpful commentary on his life) and the bringing back of former agent Seymour Simmons (John Turturro) who here is silliness personified (at least when he first appears). Sam himself is as shallow as a puddle during a light drizzle with his obvious attraction to similar woman who look as though they have just walked off the pages of Vogue. Even his action scenes are pretty much “run, duck and cover” despite attempts at (foolish and inconclusive) bravery. Complex character arcs these are not nor is it a searching moralistic tale…

Happy to turn off your brain and see a massive Hollywood blockbuster? Look no further. Adolescent humour, violence, and eye candy – Check. Put aside any moral or ethical compunctions and have a watch.

Rating: “A bit better than average”

Review Date: 2019-11-24

Directed by: Michael Bay

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Year: 2011

Length: 154 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films in the 'Transformers' series:

Other reviewed films by Michael Bay: