Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) Review

director: Michael Bay

writer: Ehren Kruger

starring: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Josh Duhamel

genre: Action | Sci-Fi

released:  June 29, 2011 (U.S.)

There are times when Micheal Bay could have been one of the greatest action directors that ever lived and then there are the times that he is his own worst enemy and manages always to out due himself in screwing up one film after the other. When Bay is focused, he can make some of the best action films ever made such as in "the Rock". But when he's let loose he just makes uneven films like "Bad Boys 2" and "Transformers" into a playground of silliness, racy content and extreme entertainment where few enjoy the end product to its full glory.

story: 

The Autobots are once again on the side of the U.S. government helping whenever needed to protect the Earth from terrorists or Decepticons. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) the human friend of the Autobots has now broken up from Mikaela, but no worries as he has found a new love in supermodel Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).

Carly has healed Sam's wounds but has presented new problems in their life with their job status. Saving the Earth hasn't done much but bring only other problems to Witwicky's life and it won't get any better any time soon. As he will get mixed up again in another Autobot-Decepticon fight that he will play a crucial role as always.

thoughts:

Before I trash the film, I need to mention that I'm not a Transformers fan at all. Never saw the animated series, played with the toys or even read the comics. I always found the product's premise preposterous and never interesting. Keep in mind this is coming from a guy who loved "Ninja Turtles" and watched "Power Rangers" as a kid.

The film in all honesty is not as bad as "Revenge of the Fallen". It actually has some great action sequences and the third act of the film is done incredibly well. Its shortcoming are due to its long length, insistence on having too many secondary characters that are also completely ridiculous and the films crazy humor similar to "Revenge of the Fallen.

Bay admirably manages to make the film not as silly as the previous one, but still insists on creating a semi-serious "Transformers" reality with an unrealistic cast of human characters to accompany them. Michael Bay biggest weakness as a filmmaker is that he doesn't know when to mix and mash two completely different styles in his films and never backs down on his own sense humor and style.

These problems make his film have a slow start and a unbearably silly middle section with boring and cliched plot elements that leave you hanging until the sweet action at the end of the film comes along. These cliches amount to the usual government dosen't trust Witwicky until he's proven right for a third film in a row, the girlfriend's boss likes her and has a evil motive and the newest Bay cliche of having two zany characters to accompany John Turturro's character as he was feeling lonely as the only crazy guy in the film.

However, for all the film's miss-comings, the action in the third act, the suspense and the effects are amazing. Everything that was packed in the end is done superbly and is the only reason the film is worth watching. Michael Bay shows all his chops and manages to balance the action between humans and robots effectively and masterfully create scenes of suspense to conjure a whole lot of cool action moments. Even giving enough time for the much needed and little drama the film is deprived of.

verdict: 

When the film ends, you will have seen a stunning and action packed third act, but that's all you will ever see of any value in this film. In general, the problem with some of these films is that the director (Bay) has too much control of the property and nobody ever gives any proper input. To conclude, if your a "Transformers" fan no doubt you've seen the film already and probably like it no matter what anybody says. For everyone else it's yet another mess that could have easily been cleaned up.

Personal Rating:

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review by Paul Katsaros

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