Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011) Review

Transformers Dark Of The Moon Review

Emboldened and empowered by the success of the first two films, there’s nobody involved in this production now who’s willing or able to restrain Michael Bay so “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” is an exercise in lavish, indulgent excess. Aside from the grammatically irritating title, this is properly the film where the franchise jumped the sharkticon. It’s lumbered with so much unnecessary baggage that rather than find a clever way around it, the script just has the characters talk about it, as if that will make everything somehow magically cohesive and plausible.

The first problem the film has is there is no reason – none at all – for Sam Witwicky to be involved in the adventure. He has no relevance to the plot whatsoever and is there because devoid of better ideas, sole returning writer Ehren Kruger believes that more of what was done before is better. So we get more of Labeouf’s hyperactive angst and fast-talking neurotic ‘comedy’ schtick; more of his increasingly inappropriate and embarrassing parents; more of the painfully unfunny slapstick, pratfalls and big-name cameos. He frequently bemoans his lack of relevance and his inability to get a decent job and more than one character expresses entirely understandable scepticism over his ability to score not one, but two smokin’ hot girlfriends.

“Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” also takes one of my favourite Decepticon characters (Shockwave) and robs him of any significant impact. They do give him a gigantic mechanical Arrakis Sandworm though, so that’s pretty cool I guess. The tie-in the moon landings is actually pretty clever (and Buzz Aldrin’s cameo is a delightful touch) but the premise is wasted and once the big reveal takes place about halfway through, the ending is as predictable as it is long-winded and repetitive. Yes, the battle of Chicago is visually impressive, for the first twenty minutes or so then it just becomes an unending cacophony of crumbling buildings and viciously dismembered robots. All the flash and noise in the world can’t disguise how empty the tank is and how forced the human characters from the previous film’s involvement is. Time for a rethink? Time for a [partial] reboot!