Remember how good the second Transformers movie was? The seamless pacing, memorable characters, and how Michael Bay expertly harnessed the spirit of the Transformers? You don’t? That’s because Revenge of the Fallen was easily the opposite of everything I just said and worse. So the obvious elephant in the room is if Michael Bay has redeemed himself in the last of the Bay trilogy of the Transformers film franchise. Unfortunately, Dark of the Moon doesn’t completely redeem Bay, but it shows that he was listening.
Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way, and when I say boring, I really do mean boring. The first half of the movie, pretty much, is an embarrassing comedy. All of the jokes felt trite and forced, with none of them feeling like they were ever scrutinized. Seriously, we all know Ken Jeong was funny acting like a thug with the key word there being was. Every new big name except for Patrick Dempsey felt like a complete waste. Actually, Bay does do something really impressive in that he managed to somehow make John Malkovich unfunny. Sure, Malkovich has had unfunny roles, but the reason they signed him on to this film was for comic relief. I did not laugh once at any of his bullshit shenanigans onscreen.
The story revolves around Shia’s character, Sam Witwicky, trying to find a job in a post-grad world while dating new hottie girlfriend Carly, played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley…a Victoria’s Secret model. Thankfully, Rosie’s Australian accent covers up her mediocre acting. Before I go any further, it’s worth noting that Bay and fellow screen writers actually tried to have a plot involved in this story, unlike the last film where all I remember there being is some robot heaven. Apparently, Sentinel Prime (mentor of Optimus Prime and former leader of all Autobots) has hidden a technology of his that allows for teleportation and, naturally, the Decepticons try their damnedest to obtain it. It’s only on the actual Transformers side of the plot where things are even remotely interesting. The human stuff? Forgettable and, when reflecting back on it, kind of shitty.
Now, what helps keep the Transformers side of things is the near-flawless action. There wasn’t a moment of action where I wish things were choreographed differently (except for when Optimus gets tangled in construction cables…really?). It’s in this aspect that Bay actually impresses. The final 1/3 of the movie is an edge-of-your-seat action ride. The set pieces that involve a falling building and soldiers jumping out of aircrafts is worth the price of admission for those on the fence for this movie. The robot-on-robot action porn is more clearer and distinct than in the two prior films. Basically, the good guys are in color and the bad guys are in mind-numbing, monotonous grey. I have some gripes with how some of these Transformers die, but I won’t delve into spoilers.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, had it edited, like, at least 30-40 minutes of footage, could have been a fun, tightly-paced flick to really get summer movie-goers something to stroke their nerd-boners to. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t do it. The first half is such a chore to watch and I know that this is a movie where your brain should be turned off, but when the first fucking half of a movie is a pretty atrocious “comedy”, then I can’t help but scrutinize it. There were barely any Transformers in the first half in a move called TRANSFORMERS. At least the action is badass enough to justify the ticket price for those willing to forgive shit stories. Just know what you’re getting into.
Special Effects: 100
Actor Performances: 78