Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Greg Says: Best of the three, but still bad.

Title: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Rating: 1/10
Date: 1 July 2011
Recommendation: Don’t waste your “Time”
Helpful: 4 out of 11 found this helpful.


I actually saw the first Transformers movie a couple days ago on Netflix. It was bearable. I saw the second film two years ago and it was terrible – the fight scenes looked like a tornado hit a scrap yard. Michael Bay appears to have learned from his mistakes and created a somewhat watchable movie this time out.

The movie revolves around young Sam Witwicki (Shia LaBeouf) who is friends with the good robots (Autobots) and his girlfriend Carly (Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) who is a stunning blonde (and replaced Mega Fox – see the Internet for details on how she got fired). The movie tries to be about relationships and really falls down on the job (with comic-relief from mom and dad (Kevin Dunn and Julie White)). And it tries to be about heroism. And it tries to be about saving the world. But in the end all it is really about is robot fight scenes.

The subtitle of the film is “Dark of the Moon” – but I bet it was supposed to be “Dark Side of the Moon” but was changed so as not to affiliate itself with the Pink Floyd album of the same name. It always surprises me when people talk about the dark side of the moon because there is no such thing. The Moon rotates on its axis same as does Earth. It’s just that it is locked in a gear-like orbit with us so only one side ever faces us. People think of this as the “light” side when in fact it goes through light and dark phases just as the Earth does. More accurately, what people should say is the “Far Side of the Moon”. But hey, who am I to complain?

Michael Bay has hijacked some of America’s greatest and most devastating moments to create a realistic feel to this film. And to his credit, he has succeeded. But I feel violated. He has retold perhaps the greatest achievement of humankind by turning the moon landing into an exploration of the moon for Decepticon (the bad robots) technology. He even enlisted the REAL Buzz Aldrin to play a cameo in which he tells the Autobots (the good robots, remember?) that all of Apollo was a covert mission to harvest robot bootie from the moon. My God! BUZZ ALDRIN! I hope they paid him a boat-load of money. I really do.

And again, later, the Autobots leave Earth in a space shuttle – Discovery – only for it to be blown up before it reaches Earth orbit. For me this was too close to the events of Challenger and Columbia. It certainly looked very much like the real thing.

And in the last quarter of the movie, the Decepticons attack Chicago – with scenes that look amazingly like the bombing of the Twin Towers.

This is just artistic exploitation. I found it foul and manipulative. I don’t have much else to say about that.

Otherwise, the film was a virtual who’s who of cameos and other talent. Leonard Nimoy voiced the sage Sentinal Prime robot (there were several asides to his role as “Spock” in the original Star Trek as well). John Turturro as “Simmons”, the conspiracy theorist. Patrick Dempsey as the human bad guy. Frances McDermand as the government agent. John-FREAKIN- Malkovich (!) as the eccentric guy who had no business in this film but to give Sam a job. Ken Juong who played basically the same character he did in “The Hangover”. Bill O’Reilly as himself. And Alan Tudyk (“Firefly”, “Serenity”) as a German uber-cyber-guy.

To his credit, Michael Bay succeeded in knitting all the robot fight scenes together with a plot. A flimsy plot, but it made some sort of sense if you didn’t dwell on it. The movie had a fair amount of swearing in it and people being reduced to ash, so I was surprised it didn’t merit a “R” rating rather than “PG-13”.

I saw this movie in 3D. It was cool. But if you do see a movie in 3D, try to sit near the center of the theater. While all movie screens have a “sweet spot” where the light is focused (and it is around the middle of the theater), 3D movies have this in spades. I sat on the left-most aisle of the theater and had a lot of parallax problems. Things on the far right were split as though I had crossed my eyes. So, please, sit near the middle/center of the theater if you pay an extra $4 for 3D. You’ll thank me.

Shia LaBeouf has said this is his last Transformers movie (actually, I read it was his last action/adventure role). Here’s hoping that it’s the last Transformers movie – period.