ecksmanfan Reviews Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I take a look at the latest and possibly final film in Michael Bay's Transformers series. The film is a vast improvement of the previous movie, but it's still not perfect. Come on in for a spoiler-free review!

One of the most anticipated films of the summer is the final film in a powerhouse film franchise: Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The previous film, while it was a financial success, was panned by critics and fans alike. Most felt that the film tried too hard to be funny, with the addition of several useless and border-line racist characters. So, Michael Bay and company had a big hill to climb in order to redeem themselves and the franchise. Did they achieve that? Yeah, I think they did. While the film is not quite up to par with the first, it is by far and away better than the previous movie we were forced to stomach. The film isn't without it's faults however, as it is a Michael Bay movie, but I think it is a great closure to this franchise...at least for now.

Having worked with the humans for the past several years in weeding out the remaining Decepticons, the Autobots, let by the always fearless Optimus Prime, discover that the government knew more about their race than they were initially told. The Autobots must fight for beliefs and their new home and in doing so, they face a foe far greater than they ever could have imagined.

Let me get this out of the way first, I don't go to a Michael "Boom-Boom" Bay film to relish in a plot driven movie. While the story is actually pretty decent, it is filled with holes and little to no character development for many of the new characters and/or robots that are featured. However, that does not make them fun to watch. One of the biggest issues many people, fans mostly, had with the previous films was that instead of focusing in the robots and their war, the film and story was more based around the human characters. Dark of the Moondoes a much better job of balancing that out, but there is still too much story based on the humans. Having said that, the way this story unfolds, there actually needs to be a heavier focus on them, so I'm ok with that. By the way, they do address the whole "Megan Fox" issue, if only briefly, but it's enough for viewers to understand why she isn't around. The opening sequence of the film, which documents the real reasoning behind the space race was surprisingly well put together; including a combination of actual footage of newscasts and interviews and new, recreated footage. The two were pieced together very well, creating a nice flow for the opening of the film.

We have several of the characters returning for the third film, but there are several new additions, both humans and robots. While there is very little back story given to most of them, all you need to know is that they are there and there are part of the fight. The few that need the back story, get one, such as Patrick Dempsey, who played a much more pivotal role than I had anticipated. "The Twins" are gone, but there is still some (much better written) comedic relief provided by Wheelie and Brains, who are there, but toned down, thankfully.

It was fairly evident from the first film on, that the female lead was there for strictly eye candy, and even though we have a new leading lady, she is there for the same reason, which is made evident in the first few moments of the film. Huntington-Whiteley doesn't really add any depth to the film, but she does what she is meant to do. While I am a huge fan of John Turturro as an actor, his character has run its course and I found him to be the weak link in the film. Mearing, played by Frances McDormand, played quite a prevalent role in the first portion of the film, but towards the end, she was all but pushed aside, for whatever reason. Not sure why, as it would have been nice to see her progress. Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey does a surprisingly good job in his role as well.

As can be expected, the special effects are top notch and have greatly improved, even, from the last film. When the robots are battling, you can actually tell which characters are which. There are some great slow motion sequences that are very Matrix-like in nature, including a scene where Bumble Bee transforms while Sam is in the car that was incredible to watch. As with any Michael Bay film, there are many explosions, including when glass breaks, which makes no sense at all. The film is much grittier than the previous installments; you can expect to see many deaths on screen, both in the human and robot sides of things. And a new feature: the robots bleed, even if it is transmission fluid.

All in all, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a great improvement over the last film. It is a fun ride, from beginning to end with some fantastic action sequences. I had a great time watching this film, and would say this installment is almost as good as the first, but not quite. Still, this is one worth watching in theaters; go and watch a great summer action film and do your best to just sit an watch and try not to look at the faults, and you will see a fun film.

Grade: B

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