“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, and Frances McDormand. Released on June 29, 2011, the film has the Autobots facing their biggest challenge yet when they discover Cybertronian technology on the Earth’s moon.
The film is directed by Michael Bay, and it is the third installment in the live-action Transformers film series. The Transformers train is still chugging along, and we’re nearing the release of Transformers: The Last Knight. I’ve been waiting to talk about this film for a long time. Now that I got to it, it’s time for me to talk about it. This was supposed to be the film that completes the entire trilogy until Hollywood decided to make a fourth film in the form of Age of Extinction. I will get to that later. I watched this sequel multiple times, including twice in 3D (a first for the live-action series), and I just couldn’t get enough of it for several reasons. Yes, it still has its share of flaws like the last two Transformers films, but there’s something about this film that keeps me coming right back to it.
Most of the cast once again reprised their roles as their respective characters, along with some new actors joining in on the fun, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Sam’s new girlfriend, Carly. If you’re wondering what happen to Sam’s old girlfriend from the last two films, well, let’s just say that when you compare someone to Adolf Hitler, there’s a good chance that you’ll get the boot. Shia LaBeouf’s portrayal as Sam was a bit better than his performance in Revenge of the Fallen because of his character’s attempt to be more than just a messenger and his tolerable use of humor. The rest of the performances from the cast were also decent enough for me to give them a pass. Peter Cullen and the late Leonard Nimoy were proper standouts as Optimus Prime and Sentinel Prime, respectively. For someone as wise as Sentinel, I thought they made a perfect choice in casting Nimoy in that role. One of the reasons why I liked this more than Revenge of the Fallen is the mixture of comedy and story. The story in this one has plenty of stuff that you got to pay attention to, and it is also a bit more darker than its predecessor. The best part of it is that the humor doesn’t get in the way of its storytelling. Yes, there were some moments that were either inappropriate for younger kids or a bit annoying, but they only happen when they need to be. This was one of the mistakes that Michael Bay made for Revenge of the Fallen, and I am glad that he managed to fix that mistake for this one. The visual effects also made a few upgrades for this installment, along with some more detailed designs on the robots, and they’re absolutely impressive from start to finish, and its use of 3D really helped the experience feel more epic. Like the last two installments, the running time is still an issue here as it clocks in at around two and a half hours, with the Battle of Chicago sequence being the entire third act of the film. That sequence alone is still one of my favorite moments in the franchise, but I can see the fact that the film can leave other people feeling exhausted before it gets to that sequence. There were also a few plot points that might be a bit confusing or ridiculous for people who are new to the live-action series, but when you look at it as a Michael Bay Transformers film instead of an Oscar-worthy action film, you might be fine.
Overall, aside from its plot issues and its two and a half hour running time, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is a nice improvement over its predecessor due to its visual effects, some decent performances from the cast, its tolerable blend of comedy and storytelling, and its eye-opening action sequences. Once again, it’s not going to impress a lot of die-hard Transformers fans since they’re really picky, but it might impress those who wanted to see some robot-vs-robot action. If you’re a fan of the live-action films for what they were, this third installment may or may not suit your needs.