This summer has had it’s fair share of awesome summer blockbusters with many more still to come! TRANSFORMERS 3: DARK OF THE MOON, directed by the insanely bad ass and talented Michael Bay (THE ISLAND, ARMAGEDDON), can easily be added to that list! THIS is what going to the movies in the summer is all about people! The story is admittedly straightforward and the characters are all a bit flat but that really does not matter when it comes to a Transformers movie now does it? CITIZEN CANE this is not. Instead what we get is a surprisingly funny movie, due to its quirky cast, that is full of some seriously bad ass moments involving robots kicking the shit out of one another for hours! The human cast is great and is wisely downplayed this time, the robots look cooler than ever, the action is almost nonstop and the movie as a whole is just plain fun!
One of the first things I noticed while watching this movie was its improved sense of humor. It was a pleasant surprise to hear the entire theatre actually laughing at the jokes and characters. This is mainly due to the wonderful array of quirky characters including John Malkovich (RED), John Turturro (THE BIG LEBOWSKI), Frances McDormand (FARGO), Patrick Dempsey (ENCHANTED), Alan Tudyk (SERENITY), and Ken Jeong (THE HANGOVER). In past movies, the comedy was always a bit awkward and forced. This time, due to the new cast additions, it felt genuine and helped guide the movie along when we were not watching the robots battle.
Our main player Shia LaBeouf (DISTURBIA, EAGLE EYE) returns as our hero Sam Witwicky for his third go around and does a fine job delivering some laughs of his own and being a little more bad ass this time around. The main female lead has switched from the bad girl next door Megan Fox (JENNIFER’S BODY) to the Jason Statham loving Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in her first ever role…and it shows. While she serves her purpose as the tall blond piece of eye candy, she delivers little else in the form of character to make audiences care. We also have the return of Josh Duhamel (WHEN IN ROME) and Tyrese Gibson (FAST FIVE) as the tough-as-nails soldiers who help the Autobots kick ass against the Decepticons. In short, there are a crap ton of characters in this film that all do a great job making this movie fun.
The overall story in TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is nothing spectacular or overly engaging. What we have is basically the story of the first Autobot leader named Sentinel Prime coming back from cybersleep to help protect a collection of artifacts that will bring the robot home world of Cybertron to Earth. Once here, the world will be taken over by the robot race and they will use humans as slaves to help rebuild their race. While the plot is seemingly simple, it does do a great job of making the movie much easier to follow than the previous installment AND it creates a narrative that lets the audience get straight to what they are paying for; non-stop robot on robot badassery!
Make no mistake, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is all about the robots and the action. Bay has proven to be a master of action and I firmly believe he is the only director who could have tackled a trilogy of this scope so wonderfully. I am not a huge Transformers cartoon buff and a lot of the robot character references are above my nerd knowledge. I do know that we get the return of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, the battle worn Megatron, and Starscream along with a slew of fresh robot faces that all have at least one cool moment to shine. The addition of the menacing Soundwave and Shockwave adds a lot of awesomeness and Sentinel Prime voiced by Lenard Nemoy (STAR TREK) is pretty epic! Sometimes it’s hard to follow what robot is kicking what robots ass, but that is a minor nitpick because the action is so intense and constant that it really does not matter. I especially enjoyed watching Megatron on his last legs after the events of the two previous films and there are a few scenes with Bumblebee that were simply jaw dropping.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is a non-stop action heavy ride of a movie that is filled with awesome robots and stunning action. This time around the humans are up for the fight too. Since Earth is threatened by the coming robot apocalypse, humans join the main battle here and kick ass along side the Autobots to stop the Decepticons and other evil robo warriors. Humans steal the show often this time around in amazing scenes including some skydiving gliders, an escape out of building being torn in half, and a few human vs robot battles that had me on the edge of my seat. There is also a scene with Sam and Bumblebee that was too cool to believe. It was obvious that this may be Bay’s last Transformers movie due to the fact that he seemingly went all out this time. I have never seen a movie where the last half (seriously like an hour and a half!) was dedicated to one large scale battle. A sight to behold and oh so cool.
Some shortcomings and nitpicks aside, TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON was a fun summer movie filled with enough action an awesomeness to please my inner nerd child. I had such a fun time with this one from start to finish. The characters were fun to watch, the robots looked cooler than ever, the narrative was easy to follow, and the action was over the top in all the best ways possible. Bay has created one of the most awesome action trilogies I have ever seen and this installment was a great conclusion to it all. If you keep your expectations in check for this one you are in for one hell of an amazing action ride! Highly recommended.
Final Score: 8 out of 10