Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Most summer movies are what I would call “popcorn” movies.  It’s the time of year that Hollywood throws large sums of money at big tent-pole pictures in the hope of making a lot of money off of their films.  Transformers is certainly no exception to this rule.  When Michael Bay first introduced us to the world of Transformers we were blown away with the CGI and imagery on the screen.  It was very impressive.  And the first film was all about the origin so it had a pretty good story around it.  The second film is one that I think most of us try to forget.  So what about the third film?

This time around Michael Bay, the director, gives us a much better story.  It’s solid.  It’s certainly not the best one that they could’ve come up with, but it works and that’s what counts.

Once again the film is centered on Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf).  This time around he’s got a new girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) who I must add is not only a much better actress than her predecessor, but is leaps and bounds better looking than her.  The Transformers, led by Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) are still working with the NEST team but this time on human issues.  There’s been no sign of the Decepticons for a while.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

In the beginning of the film we come to learn that in the 1960′s an Autobot ship crashed on the moon containing some revolutionary new technology.  What I liked is the manipulating of JFK’s race to the moon campaign around this story.  They imply it was so that American’s could be the first one to examine the spaceship. 

Hatching a plan to destroy the Autobots once and for all, Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving), comes up with a plan for the Autobots and the NEST team to bring back Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) for a reason that I won’t disclose.  Facing defeat and the enslavement of the human race, the Autobots, Sam, Lennox (Josh Duhamel), Simmons (John Turturro), and the rest of the NEST teams must figure out a way to destroy the Decepticons.  And that’s where the action begins.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Like I said above, the story is solid.  There are some subplots I didn’t mention, but they all work within the film.  The acting is on par with where I expected it to be.  Shia and Rosie have good chemistry together, and even though Optimus is animated, Peter Cullen adds a lot of heart and emotion to his voice.

One of the things I enjoyed was the references to Star Trek in the film.  With Nimoy as Sentinel Prime, Bay decided to not only shows a Star Trek episode, but gave his character pointy ears and we even get a quote from Star Trek 2.  It was a nice nod to the series.

The CGI and imagery in this film is fantastic!  With every movie the animators are getting better and better creating these robots that have hundreds, if not thousands of individual moving parts.  Watching them morph on screen is so interesting and fascinating.  How they make it look so fluid and lifelike I have no clue.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The film was shot in 3D.  I’m glad about the fact it was shot in 3D.  2D to 3D conversions just doesn’t look that good.  It doesn’t add anything to the film, but doesn’t take anything away.  I guess if we’re going to have 3D forced down our throats, I’d rather have it so it doesn’t take anything away from a film.  We’re stuck paying the additional money, so at least we’re not getting a worse experience.

I’m pretty sure this is the last of the Transformers movies for a while.  Don’t bother staying till the end of the credits as there is no scene at the end of the film.  I think Bay wants to take a break from the franchise, but I imagine at some point in time Paramount will throw a bunch of money his way to get him interested again.  And so long as he concentrates on the story and not just the visuals, I’ll be in the front of the line for the fourth.

FINAL GRADE:  A –

Reel Film News Movie Review by Bill Ayres

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