My almost entirely spoiler-free review of Transformers: Dark of the Moon
I usually don’t write reviews but seeing this movie just triggered a fountain of frustration and snark and appropriate uses for the word ‘fuck’ so it had to be done.
First, here’s the short version:
(That was me for close to 3 hours.)
now for the tl;dr:
There is no plot.
There kind of is a plot… but not really. Autobots are good, Decepticons are evil, Humans are stuck in between. Everything else is a toss up. Some scenes feel unnecessary and almost all of the characters are inconsistent. The story is just an excuse to get from action scene to action scene.
But all of this is okay. If you give up the need for a comprehensible plot then you’ll feel right as rain.
Michael Bay is the Busby Berkeley of our time.
The action scenes themselves are like a fucking ballet — I have no idea what’s going on in them but they’re fucking beautiful. I want to go back and watch (and listen) to some of those sequences over and over again. Seriously — Punchdrunk, the troupe behind Sleep No More, needs to make a show just out of the Chicago set pieces.
Action movies are the Busby Berkeley musicals of our time — giant choreographed feats of technical skill and ingenuity that may make no sense but no one cares. They’re awe-inspiring to look at.
Musicals started being corny a long long time ago. That’s because they’re unbelievable. Nobody spontaneously breaks out into song unless Charlie Todd puts them up to it. Meanwhile, violence seems more plausible than ‘Glee’. Gun fights and car crashes are the new dance numbers. They are our spectacle.
The Wikipedia that exists in the Transformers’ universe must be AWESOME!
Transformers’ retconning of American history continues to be hilarious. I once went to school with somebody who thought the love story in Titanic really happened. So part of me gets scared of the people who see shit like this and might actually fire the synapses that make them believe that the wrong parts of the events shown in Transformers (and X-Men First Class) might be real. I mean, for fucks sake, they have Buzz Aldrin playing Buzz Aldrin playing Buzz Aldrin. I look forward to the Wikipedia edits on that article.
Rosie Huntington Whitley (The RHW) is my favorite actor in this movie. I mean that.
My hypothesis going into this was that the most realistic CG robot in this movie would be The RHW (pronounced like the ‘GZA’ or the ‘RZA’.) I was so fucking wrong. She was probably the most human, most sincere character in there. The things she did and said in the non-action scenes kind of made sense. The RHW was nowhere near as passive or mute as she seemed in the trailers. Unfortunately I do think her character is partially deaf as she spends the rest of the movie being COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO THINGS BLOWING UP BEHIND HER!!!
No, seriously, Rosie — LOOK OUT!!!
Oh well. She’ll survive.
Every big name comedic cameo gets their Eddie Murphy moment.
Eddie Murphy famously ad-libbed much of his lines in Beverly Hills Cop, a movie so successful that filmmakers allowed him to ham it up whenever he was on camera (see The Golden Child). In Transformers 3, John Turturro, John Malkovich, Alan Tudyk, and Ken Jeong get to do the same.
When they’re on camera they own the screen. For the most part it is entertaining even if makes no fucking sense.
There’s not one but two half-Jar Jar Binkses.
Why the fuck are there metal muppets in this movie? They’re not on screen long enough for me to really hate them but I can’t stand them all the same.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the greatest American movie ever made.
I’m going to have to think about that statement for a while but I think I mean it. It’s a giant wall of color correction and sound. There’s enough military in there to do some serious damage on the cultural front of the War on Terror. Show this movie in Islamabad and no one will want to fuck with us or our robot car friends. Also, there’s lots of talk of disappointed expectations and Freedom. It objectifies its lead female and has issues with stereotypes. It trips over its own product placement. And it’s already brought in $645 Wajillion Dollars. Welcome to the era of peak-Bay.
I really did not like this movie. And not because of some intellectual filmmakery meta-bullshit but b/c it just didn’t do a good job telling a story.
On the other hand I recommend that you go see this motherfucker as soon as possible.
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