This is a spoiler-free movie review from Bruce Simmons of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, aka Transformers 3 or TF3. This is a working man’s movie review where I don’t get special invites to sets or early screenings. I go to the theater with you. I experience it with you.
With that said…
This third installment of the Transformers film franchise was directed by Michael Bay and starred Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, Alan Tudyk, John Malkovich and a cadre of old and new faces in the rest of the cast. It’s distributed by Paramount Pictures.
I watched it in 3D in XD large format at my local Century 20 movie theater. It clocks in at 2 hours and 27 minutes, but it didn’t feel like it.
Transformers 3 was a well thought out Transformers story from both the human and robot sides of the movie. It felt like the franchise had matured to this point in time. Points in the movie were pulled from the history of the franchise and expounded upon. There was back-story to help present this movie and other details that didn’t seem to contradict anything from the previous two movies. Plus, I think dads will love taking the kids to see the movie (I’ll explain later) and the spots of humor injected into the story-line are well placed and not over done. I think Kids will love it .I think fans of the franchise will really enjoy it.
A Bit About The Movie
We learn that the space race that was ignited by the Kennedy administration because they detected the Arc crashing on the moon and we needed to get there at all costs to discover this new event or technology. It was a well kept secret and later Optimus Prime learns about and investigates.
From there the story progresses with plot development and character twists that keep you busy throughout. The first half of the film focuses on developing everyone towards that last hour of non-stop butt-kicking action. Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) trying to land a job, he’s been dumped by his past girlfriend and is now shacking up with the easy-on-the-eyes Carly (Huntington-Whiteley).
But all Sam wants is to be working with his Autobot buddies, but they’re off doing their own work, now fully entrenched into society and working for the government.
I won’t say much more about the story. It’s more fun to see it unfold before you so you can have that fresh experience.
Shia LeBeouf is Sam Witwicky, as he always is. Just a bit older. What I will say is that if you remember that one high-pitched scream from TF2 that Shia gave us, we get another one and that’s pretty funny. I’ve seen pros and cons about Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s portrayal of Carly. I don’t get the cons. Plus all the preview images I’ve seen of her didn’t do her justice from the movie. Without meaning one bit of disrespect, I thought Rosie’s character was a step up from Megan Fox‘s old character and seemed to be more integrated into the developing story and it didn’t distract.
The last time I saw Frances McDormand was in Fargo. She was awesome here as Charlotte Mearing. She’s a very realistic fed in charge of dealing with the Autobots and not caring what the civilian Witwicky wants.
Patrick Dempsey pulled me fully into his character and, well, he triggered some good emotional responses from me.
John Malkovich plays Bruce, and Turturro plays Simmons. (I had to point that out, in that order. Sorry.)
But I have to say that with the background of my own Joss Whedon/Firefly fandom, I loved watching Alan Tudyk pull off his right-hand man to Simmons role, as Dutch. Yet another wonderful example of his expressive and versatile nature as an actor.
Alongside being pulled into the characters plight within the scape of the story, Michael Bay did say that there will be deaths that no one comes back from. That forced me to actually start to worry for the Autobots and I was fully invested in the well-being of the Autobots. (Yes, Bay kept his promise and I hated it.)
I went with an associate from my day-job and he found the film boring and he felt that Green Lantern was a better movie. I almost made him walk home. (I drove!) He also wasn’t that enamored with the first film and did not see the second movie. And yet, despite is supposed not liking it, he also said it did not feel like it was two-and-a-half hours long. That said enough to me.
With me, it’s another story. I enjoyed the first Transformers movie and after a while, the second one grew on me… if you look at it in the right light. I came into Transformers: Dark of the Moon expecting very little. Knowing that this is probably Michael Bay’s last gig in this franchise, I was looking to see how he will close out his trilogy and leave the characters at the end of the movie. I was also headed out to see some incredible giant alien robot action. I wasn’t disappointed.
For me, there was a slightly subdued feeling to the energy, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It felt like it was well thought out and a more mature presentation, if that makes sense. And for the last movie of a trilogy, it still rocked, unlike other sequels.
If I were to toss a movie score out there for Transformers 3, I think I’d have to give it a Cinema Static popcorn 9! It was pretty fun and seeing it in huge 3D definitely was worth it. If you are trying to decide what movie you might want to try checking out a 3D experience with, I’d suggest the natively filmed Transformers: Dark of the Moon.