Transformers: Dark of the Moon

  • Directed by Michael Bay
  • June 23, 2011 (MIFF) / June 29, 2011 (US)
  • Based on Hasbro’s Transformers toy line

The Autobots and Decepticons battle for a powerful technology stored on the moon.

Dark of the Moon is yet another Transformers movie where the Transformers are supporting characters in an explosion filled, spinning combat fueled mind rot fest. Yet because it is essentially an action-packed video game put on the screen it’s very watchable. It shouldn’t be, but it is. As bad as it is, it’s also very good. Truly a Schrodinger’s cat of movies. While you are watching it’s good. When you’re not watching it’s bad. It is schlock of the highest caliber.

Turns out the moon landing was a mission to investigate the crash of The Ark carrying a device that would save Cybertron. How would it save Cybertron? Bringing it into Earth’s orbit. How does that save Cybertron? No clue since apparently at one point the Cosmic Cube would fix things or blowing up the sun would fix things. Did they really think this film universe’s mythology out or did they just wing it?

Creative accounting at the behest of the Decepticons kept the cost too high to go back to the moon yet they never got around to rescuing Megatron before the events of the first film. Patrick Dempsey is rich jerk Dylan Gould whose dad fudged the numbers at NASA in the 60s and employs Spike’s (Shia LeBeouf) latest bit of eye candy Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). To go any deeper on the character of Carly is pointless. She has Megan Fox-level chemistry with LeBeouf, and this is not a movie that relies on the characters or well crafted plot.

I’m not sure why Sam’s parents needed to be in this movie, but Sam’s parents come back in. They contribute somewhat to the romantic sub plot with new girlfriend but their whole thing is to act as comedically as possible. They contribute nothing important to the story. But then again, Sam doesn’t do much either. He just shouts a lot and fumbles around in his action moments.

Only Transformers could get John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, and Francis McDormand in one movie. This is certainly a paycheck film for at least two of them. Given the bad comedy and poorly done characters they are certainly slumming it. I am not even sure what true purpose the characters of the first two were in connection to the plot. Jeong certainly gave comedy cred to things with Malkovich giving a general implication of quality as did McDormand. But what they did mostly was covered by other individuals.

The level of comedy in Dark of the Moon is excessive and makes the sheer devastation and scale of destruction that occurs in this movie lack any punch. And there’s a lot. Is this a comedy? Is it an action film? Is it an action comedy? Is it largely an animated film with all the CGI? You be the judge because I have no clue because the tone fluctuates.

The Ultimate Doom

From the start the Transformers films have picked and chosen bits from the G1 era to allude towards or even directly rip-off. Sometimes it was a line and sometimes it was a brief scene. The story used is probably the most blatant homage of the movies to this point. In the G1 series, there is a multi-part episode called The Ultimate Doom. The plot of THAT episode was that the Decepticons were bringing Cybertron via a massive spacebridge into Earth’s orbit and harvesting the energy released by the devastation to recharge their planet. Here they are bringing Cybertron into Earth’s orbit to save Cybertron because it will help save Cybertron for reasons. What reasons? I do not know.

In the past Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy) had piloted the Ark (but not THAT Ark) to Earth. Was he aiming for Earth or would any planet do before he crashed on the moon? Don’t know. The Ark contains a new technology which would end the war and save Cybertron. It is a spacebridge. But the Transformers already have built in spacebridges (apparently) as shown in the last film so it is not new tech. How will this fix everything? I don’t really know. How exactly does moving save the planet? Nobody thought this out and you won’t think too deeply about it either because all the big explosions and action will make this movie go down smoothly.

Why did was it necessary for the Decepticons to trick the Autobots into building a spaceship to go and retrieve Sentinel Prime? Admittedly they needed the Matrix to revive Sentinel, but they came up with this plot to keep man off the moon before they knew where the Matrix was. I am thinking if they knew where this stuff was they could have gathered it all and figured something out without going through all the extra steps they did. After all Transformers can fly through space.

The plot twist of Sentinel making a deal with Megatron and the dialogue between them seems to ignore the Fallen from the last film. Probably because he was a one-off character and this fictional universe has little thought in it. Contrary to some assertions by individuals (among those the late Leonard Nimoy) canon does matter. Adhering to the mythos and logic created is necessary as it aids in the suspension of disbelief. Ignoring previous info because it is inconvenient to whatever you feel like doing is just bad storytelling.

Dark of the Moon is a movie that if you think about too deeply will quickly unravel. It is based around cool visuals and not a good story. This being a part of a continuing series creates questions in connection to what they do here. But as I said, this is a Schrodinger’s cat of movies. When observed it’s good. When not observed you feel it’s bad. It’s watchable, but it’s something you’ll regret watching but you go back and do it again.

I cannot recommend Transformers: Dark of the Moon because I don’t want you to become trapped in that self-flagellating loop I now find myself in. But it is entertaining.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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