Transformers: Dark of The Moon

When Bay expelled any goodwill he had left from the first Transformers film by ejaculating an epilepsy-inducing, racist travesty of a sequel, we did our best to defend the film, as we would anything with giant robots fighting in it.

However, when the film came out on DVD, even we had to admit that it was appalling tripe. Now, Bay has released a third film without Megan Fox, the first two offerings' saving grace. How can this outing possibly stand up? Hit the jump to find out:

First of all, the new Transformers is truly more of the same. The main purpose here is giant, transforming robot punch ups with huge numbers of off-screen human casualties, which are completely at odds with the most bats'-arse attempts at comic relief imaginable. The human characters are downright bizarre and you'll spend most of your time shouting at them to get off the screen so you can see some more Autobot/Decepticon fisticuffs.

The best part of the first two films was the surprisingly-effective desert scenes in the first outing, featuring a bunch of stereotypical, Michael Bay, gung-ho American soldiers fist-pumping into the air as they take the fight back to the Decepticon menace. Why exactly we have to follow Shia LeBeouf's sideshow-freak family around instead of focusing on these characters doing exactly what we want to see is beyond me. I can only assume the studio suits were pushing for some "human" characterisation, which, of course, no-one who wants to see Transformers gives a hoot about. At least this substory gave them an excuse to include Miss Fox' well-formed calves. Without her, this film's endless droning about LeBeouf struggling to find a job after college is completely extraneous.

Thankfully, despite his many faults, Bay has, at least, listened to his detractors. LeBeouf's arc this time, is a quest to escape the drudgery of his day job (read "subplot") and find a way to be useful in the war against the Decepticons ("action scenes"). The first part of the film is largely dedicated to clearing the decks of the remaining plots and characters you wished had been removed from the first films.

His joke-wearing-thin parents make only a token appearance and we have no new side kicks to take up screen time. What new cast additions there are, are at least filled with big names'. John Malkovich hams it up as LeBeouf's new boss; he's random, insane, grating and mercifully-brief in appearance. Elsewhere, Frances McDormand shows up as the Autobots new boss and, whilst having no purpose in the film at all, is always nice to see. Finally, Steve The Pirate himself, Alan Tudyk shows up as an occasionally-German, occasionally-gay bodyguard for John Turtorro from the first two films; who just won't die, no matter how much you keep staring at the screen trying to force choke him. Of course, no-one could ever object to Tudyk turning up in any capacity.

Then there is the new Megan Fox, model Rosie Huntington-Whitely. What can we say about Rosie Huntington-Whitely? Well, she's not as bad as you feared. However, her accent is even irritating to us and we're English. She has no purpose in the film at all other than to stand/run around and look pretty, which is precisely what Megan Fox was fired for admitting was her purpose in the films. Fox is mentioned twice in passing, if only to say that she dumped LeBeouf and she's a bitch, which is actually quite sadistically funny of Bay given the circumstances. Otherwise, Huntington-Whitely may as well be Fox' character, except that she is happy to allow Bay to do extreme close-ups of her arse in knickers, which is all they really wanted from Fox anyway. Furthermore, she actually manages to walk away from a building that has collapsed around her, without a hair out of place, a smudged patch of make-up or having to take off her stilletto heels.

Elsewhere, Bay intentionally cuts out the horrible, racist, gangsta-parody Twins from the last movie, but replaces them with them drunken Scottish-parody Autobots; but they're not a minority in America, so it's cool. Likewise, the camera occasionally pans back far enough for you to see what is happening in the action scenes, rather than just being confronted with a whirling kaleidoscope of robot limbs.

It really is an improvement on the last film, and, once all of the set up is out of the way, the fun begins. Without blowing what we could laughingly call a plot, the latter half of the movie features a full-on, end-of-the-world invasion by 200 Decepticons and a frantic assault by the human resistance to stop their evil plan. This involves the aforementioned escape from a collapsing sky scraper that is being ripped apart by a giant, robot version of the sandworms from Dune, much robot scrappage and some paratrooper action. This is Bay and the Transformers doing their take on Battle: Los Angeles in a solid, hour-long action sequence. The humans even get some Autobot technology to use in taking down the Decepticons, which we've wanted to see for a while.

All in all, this is still, unfortunately, a Transformers movie, as filled with irrelevance, inconsistencies, bizarrely awful "humour" and pacing issues as the first two, but, like the first movie, it at least has some gung-ho, fist-pump, human vs giant robot and giant robot vs giant robot action that powers through. The effects are as good as ever and the spectacle more than makes up for the "hilarious" characters and fly-by-night plotting, which is more than we can say for the last attempt.

1 comment:

  1. I want to know why they made 80% of the Transformers gray....???
    It just makes it impossible to tell who the hell is who ;(