It’s been a while since I’ve written a film review, so I felt now was the time to resurrect that old tradition
Most of the Transformers movies have been pretty naff – lots of action and explosions and not much else. The third movie isn’t much different, but it is at least better than the second one.
The idea behind Dark of the Moon is that an Autobot ship, launched during the Cybertron war, crashed on the moon in 1961. This was detected on Earth and hence the entire moon landing was part of a mission to find out what it was about. Therefore Armstrong, et al, actually landed where they did because it was near the crashed ship. There they found very little and everything was kept Top Secret. Back to today and the information leaks out. Optimus Prime upon finding out explains that the ship contained a secret weapon that could have won the war for the Autobots and it’s imperative that they get to it before the Decepticons. They do, find the weapon but it soon ends up in the wrong hands.
All the characters from the first two films return, with the exception of Megan Fox who has been replaced by an English actress with even more bionic lips and even less acting ability. I wasn’t impressed. In some cases the characters added nothing – such as Sam’s parents.
Sam has left college and is looking for a job. He’s represented as being more adult by the fact that he gets angry a lot and tries to take charge. However, like the other films, he spends most of his time complaining.
The effects, as ever, are amazing. The best example of this is the collapsing building scene, in which Sidewinder (an excellently designed Decepticon which is like a giant rotating worm) tries to destroy it and the humans inside slide around, break glass, free fall and everything else they can to avoid it.
Having said all that, the CGI for me was ruined by a few elements that were just poor. After all the time and budget spent on effects why would obvious problems be left? Here are some examples…
- During the road chase scene a number of cars are pushed aside by the Transformers. However you can blatantly see smoking holes on the underside of the cars where the rams have been deployed to flip the cars.
- At the end Bumblebee, fresh from a massive fight, drives up and his yellow bodywork is immaculate. As soon as he transforms to his robotic self, though, the yellow paintwork is scorched and damaged.
- The less said about the CGI’s JFK the best. It was hideous – they should have used a double as they did later in the film with Obama.
And whilst I’m having a moan… those Star Trek references. Leonard Nimoy voice a new Prime and so Michael Bay, hardly known for subtlety, crow-barred in every Trek reference that he could. Annoying.
However, even after all the above, which are more minor issues, I enjoyed it. It won’t tax you and it won’t leave you feeling any different to how you did before you saw it. And even at 2 1/2 hours long I found it just right – as it was I felt the ending was a bit rushed.
Summary of Transformers : Dark of the MoonGreat effects, but notable flaws and annoying aside, this was an enjoyable action film. Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by David Artiss on 28th January 2012.