Michael Bay promised the people a good film after the horrible Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He blamed everything on the writers’ strike and said that the third film will be the best one yet, full of explosions and thrills and while he didn’t lie in the explosions department, he did lie in the quality department. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is not a good film, but I wouldn’t call it a terrible one. It’s the definition of a big summer blockbuster that goes great with popcorn. The acting is acceptable, the story usually makes no sense but the visuals are breathtaking, jaw dropping even. Bay knows how to film action, especially expensive action unlike anyone else working in Hollywood today, but he couldn’t tell a story if his life depended on it.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon picks up sometime after the second film. Our main character Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is trying to find a job after graduating college and saving the world countless times with the help of his Autobot friends. He’s ditched his old girlfriend and replaced her with a smoking hot model named Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). This new girl is dumber than the last with even less purpose, but Bay isn’t interested in forming relationships or strong characters, he just wants a woman that looks good in a tight pair of jeans when all the chaos starts up and Huntington-Whiteley sure does look good!
Anyways, while Sam is busy being a complete douchebag, the head Autobot named Optimus Prime is helping the world out by protecting it from those evil Decepticons. Space is kind of a popular topic right now so the story revolves around an Apollo mission that was apparently a cover-up. The reason we didn’t go back to the moon was because the first time we landed there we found a massive space ship that contained scattered remains of a robot alien race. Naturally we were scared shitless so we covered it up and went on with our lives. Now, a plan is revealed that involves the Decepticons getting a hold of pillars and opening up a gateway that links their world with ours.
Sam and his trusty robot friends must protect Earth from the Decepticons and there bag of tricks. The first hour plays out like a really dumb comedy aimed at children with attention span problems and the second hour slowly eases into the grand finale of destruction and mayhem. Like I said before, Bay knows how to shoot action, but not dialogue or any forms of story, which makes Dark of the Moon kind of a chore to sit through. I was more willing than most because I enjoy a harmless action film every now and again, but I fully understand why most dismissed Dark of the Moon.
We’re 3 films deep now and we honestly shouldn’t have to sit through this kind of garbage just to get some neat special effects. Maybe the first film really was a fluke because I enjoyed that one a lot. I thought it was paced just right and had a charming story wrapped in metal and sparks flying in every direction. The second film was such a drag and while the third film is a little better, it’s still got a lot of problems. Most of the problems are in the first half of the film that introduces a few new characters that serve absolutely no purpose other than being a moderately big name in a big summer movie. People like Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Patrick Dempsey show up for a few minutes here and a few minutes there, an easy paycheck I’m sure.
Ken Jeong is the worst addition to this new comedic cast. Every single line he has is so obnoxious and flat out dumb. He sinks the ship early on, but luckily Bay keeps brings it back to float with his barrage of special effects. The only people I really didn’t hate this time around were Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel and Shia LaBeouf. Well, I kind of hated LaBeouf, but I also thought that was the point. By the time he was having a little tantrum outside of a secret government location I was on the ground laughing. His character felt like the only needed comedic relief for the whole film. If they would have kept bitchy LaBeouf and gotten rid of the rest of the clowns then perhaps Dark of the Moon would have been a little more tolerable.
In the end it doesn’t really matter. You either like the Transformers films or you don’t. I enjoy them for what they are, but I won’t be putting the films anywhere near my top 100 list of all time. If you can stomach the slow opening of Dark of the Moon then you will be given a first class ticket to the ultimate action sequence. The ending truly does feel epic, if only it had some connection to the story though.
Click here to read my full theatrical review of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Video: The 1080p video transfer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon is flawless, impeccable and downright remarkable. It’s one of the cleanest and most detailed transfers I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. One positive thing worth noting in regards to the Transformers films is their video transfers. Each film manages to top the previous in terms of how crystal clear and stunning the picture is. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the very definition of eye candy. Its super crisp and full of vibrant color.
Audio: Okay, I lied, there are actually two positive things that the Transformers series has going for it. The first being the video and the second being the audio. Transformers: Dark of the Moon comes blasting on Blu-ray with a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio track. Not a moment is missed with this powerful audio track. Every piece of action and dialogue is heard loud and super clear. This is pure ear candy. Usually the front channels are only for dialogue and the middle and rears are simple effects, but not with this one. Literally every speaker is constantly active. Dialogue does stick to the front channels, but the mid and rear channels are constantly spitting out sound, another top notch transfer from Paramount.
Unfortunately Transformers: Dark of the Moon lacks in the special features department. The combo pack only includes the Blu-ray, a DVD and a digital copy. Inside the package there is a coupon for 10 dollars off on the future release of the Ultimate Edition which promises tons of special features as well as a 3D version of the film. So stay tuned for that one!
Like I’ve said numerous times, the Transformers series isn’t for everybody. For those of you looking for some really well done special effects surrounded by a lacking story and annoying characters then check out Transformers: Dark of the Moon. For everyone else this will no different than the past two titles. Dark of the Moon is better than Revenge of the Fallen, but only by a hair. I enjoyed it more mostly because of the final showdown and the good use of 3D (in theaters). The Blu-ray contains one of the best video and audio transfers I have ever seen/heard, but the lack of special features and knowledge of a future Ultimate Edition really makes it hard to convince anyone to spend money on this particular release. If you enjoy the Transformers films and don’t care about special features than pick this one up without hesitation. Otherwise this might make for a harmless rental.
Movie – 7/10
Video – 10/10
Audio – 10/10
Special Features – 1/10
Click Here to buy Transformers: Dark of the Moon from Amazon.com