I love everything Transformers. Like so many others, the shape-shifting robots played a major part in my childhood and had me longing to be Optimus Prime when I grew up. Given my obsession with all things Autobot, I expect big things whenever Michael Bay offers up a new entry for his Transformers saga, and I’m pleased to report that the latest entry in the series, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, had the little kid in me grinning from ear to ear.
Bay’s latest is a relatively straightforward affair. Unlike its predecessor Revenge of the Fallen – a convoluted clusterf*ck of a movie – DOTM remains on a relatively linear path. When I go see movies of this type, I really just wanted to see two-story tall robots beat the crap out of each other, and that’s essentially what I get here. You don’t need a particularly deep plot to make an enjoyable movie, something that’s overlooked by the majority of the critics who hang their hats on tearing Bay and his explosive, adrenaline-pumping film apart. Newsflash: this is a movie about alien robots that transform into cars. It was based on a series of action figures. If you’re looking for something intellectually stimulating, you’re probably at the wrong theater.
One of DOTM’s biggest strengths is its story arch, a much darker, more enticing affair than the convoluted, oftentimes boring story that was ROTF. Featuring most of the characters that we’ve come to know from the first two films, the movie opens with Shia Labeouf as a fresh-out-of-college Sam Witwicky, searching for a job in Washington, D.C. Frustrated that his heroics from the first two films haven’t yielded anything more than a medal and a photo with President Obama (one of the funnier running punch lines through the movie), we follow Sam on a relatively boring search to find his way in grown-up land for the first third of the movie. This is all filler, of course, as some proverbial shit eventually goes down with the Decepticons.
That being said, my single biggest complaint with ROTF makes its presence known in Dark in the form of annoying, corny secondary characters like the “twin” autobots Skids and Mudflap. Jesus, just make them go away. Too many entities in this movie – robot and human alike – are inserted in the name of comic relief, but end up weighing the entire thing down. I appreciate a good laugh as much as the next guy, but so rarely did this movie succeed on that end. And as I said before, I came here to watch robots pummel each other.
And pummel each other they do; the CGI is as gorgeous as one would expect. Expect a lot of eye
candy in this movie, including (but not limited to): every muscle car you’ve ever wanted (as long as it’s manufactured by GM!), a robot tearing apart a skyscraper and Victoria’s Secret babe Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. If you’re worried that you’ll miss Megan Foxx’s presence, a quick trip to Google images should erase any doubt.
My intense nerdome well-established, I feel like Bay did more than a serviceable job for his final foray in the land of Transformers. You’ll have to weather a handful of corny moments on the way there, but by the end you’ll be reminded of why you fell in love in the first place.