The funny thing about crap is no matter how much glitter or sprinkles you put on it, in the end it’s still crap. That explains Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon. A movie that almost has everything in line to have a good and top notch action film. Yet some of the problems of the previous installments weigh this film down. Still the 3D is amazing and with a final battle that is pretty amazing this film is an actual solid summer popcorn flick. Still though Michael Bay seemed to learn from mistakes in the other two films and slowed things down. Unlike the other films you can see the robots fighting. I think Bay had to slow down for the 3D and that benefits the audience. Still his need for throwing in a dozen extra human characters who have no point and placing dozens of odd “comedy” moments that fall flat.
Now I was not impressed with the first two Transformers films. I love the first half of the first film. Essentially a boy and his best friend but instead of having some nerdy kid play the friend they had a robot car. They together try to land the hottest girl in school. I loved it. The second half falls apart as the other Transformers show up and Megatron plans to make all machines into robots(ugh). The second film is hands down the worst movie ever made. It has no plot, every scene kind of just jumps around. It was filled with horrible attempts at comedy and two of the most racist character creations I’ve ever seen. That film is just an example of how just going bigger and louder in a film doesn’t always work. Dark Side of the Moon has a solid enough script the plot is very basic but much stronger than the second film.
This film sets up that the space race between America and the Soviet Union was really based around a crashed ship of the autobots. On board holds a Transformer that created technology that essentially is a large teleportation device. Of course the Decipticons try and use it and invade the entire planet. Yet this plot is slightly over whelmed by Shia LaBeouf’s character Witwicky who can’t find a job even though he has a medal from the President and saved the world twice. Yet this guy lands a British super model, it’s very obvious this was suppose to be Megan Fox’s character but they just tweaked it a little bit. Still the replacement played by Rosie Hunington-Whitely is sweet and is never really bad even though she never really has anything to do in the film. The problem with these films is Shia and Fox or Whitely should be the only human characters really, instead Bay stuffs these movies. Sure here most have their screen time limited but Witwicky’s parents are back again. We get a number of newbies who simply are destroyed by the attempts at comedy. The hilarious Ken Jeong is in here, his scenes are truly horrible and cringe worthy, not his fault at all it’s the script and Bay trying to simply push “comedy” in our faces. So at least an hour of the film is simply a waste of time since there a dozen human characters tossed in who have no arc, and frankly nothing to do.
What matters is the last forty five minutes of the movie where the Deciptions take control of Chicago. I can’t really explain how insane it is. The destruction level is massive and finally the violence in these films has weight. The robots stomp down the street murdering people. Shooting them, crushing them, evaporating them. We’ve never really seen that is these movies. Most of the humans survived while robots were blown up. Here the human military is basically demolished and made to fight a guerilla war against robots in the streets of Chicago. Here also Bay allows Optimus Prime to shine, this film series is his, it’s him kids wear on T-shirts, not Shia. Here Prime is a massive hero, destroying villains left and right. In Revenge of the Fallen Prime was missing for a large part of the movie and it really hurt it. In Fallen the robots took a back seat to just chaos and idiocy. In Dark of the Moon the final battle is really about them. Sure Bay can’t help but have the American military come in and help but it’s not as distracting as in the other films.
Over all though the film doesn’t have a lot of weight too it. Too many flat jokes and too many characters make the first hour utterly pointless. I go back to what I said at the beginning of this review, this movie like the franchise is crap, the final battle is amazing and frankly everyone should see this on the big screen in 3D, it’s that good. Sadly the rest of the film is just not what I expected, the story is just basic, it’s still the best of the franchise so far. If this is really Bay’s last Transformers film he does get to leave on a high somewhat of a high note.