Sunday, July 10, 2011

Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Year: 2011
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Patrick Dempsey, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich

Plot: When the Autobots learn that the Apollo 11 moon mission was to investigate a crashed Cybertronian spaceship, they race there to retrieve its cargo before the Decepticons do.

Review: Just about everyone remembers how bad Revenge Of the Fallen was, though personally I thought it was cool, save for a handful of very annoying characters and scenes. Michael Bay remembers it too, which is why he sought to make this Transformers instalment better than the last one. To some extent he succeeds.

Firstly, he dispenses with Sam Witwicky's annoying friend as well as the two Autobots Mudflap and Skids. Then he reduces the screentime for Sam's overbearing parents. Then he gets the screenwriter to pen a better plot, which has a couple of neat twists thrown in. All this, added to some really awesome battle scenes, make Dark Of The Moon quite watchable.

But Bay loses one of his best assets: Megan Fox. Admit it, if you're a straight male, you'd want her back, and thanks to Spielberg, we won't get to see her here. In her place is newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who does a decent job as Sam's new girl Carly. Granted, she doesn't get to do much other than run and scream, but her performance here will do just fine.

LaBeouf, Duhamel and Gibson all do their respective roles as good as they did before, though LaBeouf still has to maintain his sometimes super intense, sometimes manic personality, which can be really grating after a while. Patrick Dempsey acquits himself well here as Carly's boss, and plays an important role when the third act kicks in. John Turturro plays Simmons a little more low key this time thankfully, and shares some good rapport with Frances McDormand, who steps into the role of the unsympathetic government officer.

However, Dark Of The Moon still has its fair share of stupid human comedy, and it comes in the form of John Malkovich and Ken Jeong. The former wasn't too annoying, but Jeong.....will someone please tell him to go screw someone else's franchise? Last but not least, Alan Tudyk gets some nice humour in as Simmons' assistant.

Actionwise, this film has plenty. It takes a while before you actually feel the film shifting into a higher gear, and it's when the plot turns in the last third, but it's well worth the wait. The final scene takes place in Chicago, which pretty much looks like a warzone at the end. You've got huge robots going at it, from old ones like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Megatron to new ones like Sentinel Prime and Shockwave. In the last 45 minutes, it's just slam bang action nonstop which, as many critics have said, is easier to discern compared to Revenge Of The Fallen.

I had a great time with Dark Of The Moon, as I have with the last two Transformers films. I certainly hope the rumours of Jason Statham taking over future instalments aren't true, I'd hate that. (4/5)

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