Wednesday, July 6, 2011
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (2011)
Directed by Michael Bay
Shia LeBeouf - Sam Witwicky
Josh Duhamel - Lennox
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley - Carly
The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.
I'm going to go ahead and admit that I really liked the first Transformers movie,both the animated one from 1986, and if you haven't seen it yet you should, as well the Michael Bay one. The Michael Bay one did have problems, there was no doubt about that. One being Sam Witwicky through most of it, the other is John Turturro's Simmons. Then came the second live action movie and what a piece of shit of a jumbled mess that was. The one good point of it was Optimus Prime going all bad-ass on Decepticons before he was killed half-way into the movie (I'm not even going to talk about the whole balls thing.............). So here I am getting ready to go and see the third one, this time in 3D, just hoping that the script isn't dumbed down and ghettoized like the second one (don't believe me, look at Skids and Mudflap. Discussion over with, and don't try to argue the point!) So the third Transformers movie has a lot to prove and to improve due to the terrible taste the second one left, yet does it?
I'm going to start with what I didn't like with Dark Of The Moon. John Malkovich playing a fucking idiot and fanboy is one. Another is Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She is just there for eye candy plain and simple. True she did have one decent scene in the movie yet the rest detract from it. And no I'm not talking about he slow walk up the stairs. And since when would Megatron take advice from what he considers an insect. Never happen. Another problem I had with the movie was that it slowed down to much halfway through. Now that's not a bad thing sometimes, yet for a movie like this for it to slow down for about 30 minutes, that's to much time that could have been spent building back up. Unfortunately this movie doesn't do that until the whole 30 minutes was up. That's not to say the whole script was terrible. In fact it wasn't. It was actually a vast improvement over the first and second movie. Shia Lebeouf's Sam is still the main character in the movie, but unlike the other movies isn't so much of a scaredy cat and actually has a spine in this one. Unlike the first two, Lebeouf's character actually runs head long into danger instead of running away from it which helps his character out, yet also shows that he can't live without danger in his life now. In fact he craves it. And thank God the writers actually gave John Turturro's Simmons something other to do than act like a idiot in this one. I can even say I like his character now even though he does act wacky every so often, yet for the most part it's calmed down and he's one of the more interesting characters now thanks to Turturro eating every scene he's in.
Now that my main complaints about the movie are out of the way, I'll go ahead and say that I wish the movie spent more time on the opening sequence that takes place on Cybertron. That whole sequence which shows the civil war on that planet is just amazing to watch and brings back childhood memories of the original cartoon series. And for the first time in all the movies you have Optimus Prime acting like Optimus Prime should. He kicks ass and takes names and actually controls the Autobots as a military leader should, including splitting the team up to take on different missions and actively looking for trouble spots. Just seeing Optimus swoop down and hack death unto a street full of Decepticons is a joy to see and behold as it actually has a kinetic energy to it as you see giant robot arms and legs go flying in a shower of sparks and oil. As for the last hour of the movie, it is action for actions sake. It's like watching a live action anime! You can tell that Bay knew he dropped the ball on the last one and wanted to give the audience an apology letter for the screw up,and thankfully he made good.
This probably Bay's best movie by far action wise. The reason for this is more than likely due to it was filmed in 3D. Which basically meant that Bay had to slow down on his action shots and think about how they would be filmed instead of doing it on the fly which causes the action to be jumbled. You can actually see what is happening in full detail for a change for the most part. Yes, it has the usual Michael Bay downfalls such as forced crying from the characters, overly dramatic speeches, shallow characterizations, and racist jokes. Yet Bay does what he always does, he creates escapist movies where you can just enjoy what is going on and you don't have to think to much. But damn, did I have fun in it. This is one of those movies where you shut down your brain and enjoy the ride even with all the fucked up science (how come the Earth wasn't crushed by the shift in gravitational pull). But I don't care, this is "B" movie goodness where things don't always make sense and you're taking for a ride for 2 1/2 hours of fun the most part fun. So just sit back and enjoy the ride for what it is. An escape.
Even though it's one of the Decepticons, it would be the one that gets it head punched/shot off by way of an uppercut from Bumblebee.
Why do the Decepticons always get the good shit?
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the screenplay for the previous two films, declined to work on this film due to schedules with other films and because they "risked getting stale." More like Bay got smart and fired them.
A Decepticon attack leaves Simmons in a wheelchair. This is a homage to Chip Chase, a wheelchair-bound human from the original Transformers cartoon from the '80s.
Optimus Prime's trailer bears a resemblance to the original one from the original Transformers cartoon with the decorative stripe running along its side.
The Wreckers take the alternate modes of NASCAR Chevrolet Impala automobiles, resembling those of Juan Pablo Montoya (#42 Target), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#88 AMP Energy/National Guard) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe's/Kobalt).
The Autobot Wheeljack's alternate mode in the original Transformers cartoon was a Lancia Stratos sportscar, but this was revised to a Mercedes-Benz E550 automobile as well as being renamed Que. His head is also luminescent, in homage to his appearance in the series where two bulb-like appendages on his face regularly lit up. As a side note he was my favorite as well when I was a kid!