Let’s start the way the movie starts: a bunch of explosion-based exposition followed by some exploitation. Dark of the Moon was a brain-crushing, eye-melting, overwhelming, draining, exhausting, soul-sucking experience. To say it was action-packed would be an extreme understatement, and to use understatement would go against everything Transformers stands for. There was, in fact, so much action that I became entirely incapable of rational thought. Then, 40 minutes later, when there still hadn’t been a break in the fighting, even irrational thought was lost to me, and soon I was reduced to a twitching, drooling husk of a man. By the end I couldn’t tell if my overwhelming nausea was due to eating an entire bucket of popcorn, the uncomfortable 3D conversion, or just because that was Michael Bay’s intended effect.
Luckily for me, beautiful women are one of the things that make me feel better (the only time I’ve ever ended up in the ER, I was instantly cured by a busty blonde in a nurse outfit—and I’m pretty sure she was a nurse), so I was hopeful that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley would be able to help me out. If there’s one thing you can count on in a Michael Bay movie—well, besides explosions and over-the-top action, and I guess poorly crafted characters, and, ok, let me rephrase this. One of the things you can count on in a Michael Bay movie is a lot of sexy shots of sexy females, and yet, after the opening close-up of Huntington-Whiteley’s ass, we get nothing! And trust me when I say it’s not because Bay has suddenly gained some respect for women. On the contrary, this film treats the fairer sex with nothing but contempt, and when I notice that a movie is being chauvinistic, it must be truly reprehensible. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s character (Carly, whose name is almost never spoken) does absolutely nothing in the film except to, at one crucial point, sow dissent. Literally her only active role is to make another character jealous. Ugh. The only other female character in the entire film is a totally unreasonable bitch who constantly gets in the way. If you’re going to treat women poorly, at least have them take their clothes off. That’s all I’m saying. Or better yet, portray them with tact and still find a way to get them naked. I dunno. I’m sure it’s doable.
Also, normally I’m into blondes (Blake Lively, anyone?), but Huntington-Whitely just wasn’t that foxy (joke alert!). Even still, she was hot enough, which makes me wonder why she’d end up with Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky. I don’t remember him being particularly annoying or unbearable in the earlier movies, but here he’s nothing more than an entitled asshole. He spends most of his time whining about how unimportant he feels and how he can’t get a job. And when he’s not whining, he’s yelling at people for basically no reason. I mean, I can relate to the being unemployed thing, but I still find it in me to be a somewhat decent human being. It’s not that hard, Sam.
When LeBeouf finally does get a job, it’s a crappy one in the mail room of a company run by John Malkovich, a character whose role in the film is, uh, I don’t have any idea actually. The job serves almost no purpose, but it does allow for the villain to derisively spit “You’re just the messenger” and have it be technically accurate, though he’s referring to Sam’s relationship with the Autobots, a relationship to which the quote doesn’t apply at all. Oh, and it gives Sam the opportunity to have a totally kick-ass pre-mortem one-liner: “I’m just the messenger!!!!” Oh wait. That’s not even slightly cool.
You know what else isn’t cool? The way nobody accomplishes anything and nothing makes any sense! At one point early on, Bumblebee (the friendly Autobot!) is training soldiers to land on the backs of Decepticons and take them out that way. Then, during the epic, 2-hour climax (and who doesn’t want one of those?), there’s this great scene where some ground troops distract the bad guys while paratroopers prepare to swoop down from above and destroy them. Except the ground units are incredibly effective, killing the Decepticons with ease. Even still, I was excited to see the paratroopers jump out of the building and kick some ass. I watched them fly through the air, plummeting with purpose, pulling their chutes, and then landing on the ground? What? They didn’t do anything at all except become more ground troops. Yaaaay!
And though I couldn’t tell any of the transformers apart (except there was Optimus Prime, and I think a green one), even I knew that the Autobots were tragically outnumbered. The Decepticons’ plan allows them to teleport in hundreds of their brethren, and there’s like 8 Autobots. Since the human soldiers do jack shit, I don’t really understand how those 8 defeated the entire Decepticon army.
Oh wait. I remember. It’s because NO REASON. That’s right. Kind of like how the Decepticons’ plan is to teleport their entire planet next to earth and then use humans as a slave army to rebuild it. The thing is, I kept having this weird feeling that an advanced robotic species should know enough about gravity to realize that having a second, gargantuan planet closer to earth than the moon would cause the two celestial bodies to crash into each other and explode. I mean, Cybertron was well within the fuckin’ Roche limit.
Whether or not it made any sense, at least we got one good line. As Sentinel Prime, voiced by Leonard Nimoy, explains the physics-defying teleportation device in all sorts of technobabble, the bitchy director of the transformer program explains “It’s like some sort of teleportation device!” Thanks, Sigourney Weaver.
Don’t get me wrong, though. This movie was ok. The main problem was that it was stupid and the writing sucked and that I couldn’t handle the intensity of the action. But despite all that, it was sort of enjoyable. For one, the cinematography was notably impressive. There were a lot of very cool sweeping shots and other things I noticed but don’t remember because the rest of the film fried my brain. My brain was also able to determine that the stakes were high. At one point all the Autobots are dead, and the Decepticons are taking over the world and killing a crapload of people. All the heroes basically give up, and everything generally sucks. That was good.
But probably the best thing about this film was Patrick Dempsey a.k.a. McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy. I never quite understood why he was such a heartthrob on that show. Sure, he’s attractive, but I always felt that something was just a bit off. That’s why he’s perfect for Transformers. McDreamy was born to play villains. Still as charming, but he uses it for evil rather than sex, or I suppose in addition to sex. I loved hating that slime ball.
As this review draws to a close, I’m realizing that I didn’t explain what actually happens in this movie, and you know what? I think that’s pretty fitting. I mean, I just watched it, and I certainly don’t know what happened. I walked out of that theater significantly less intelligent than when I walked in, and I literally spent the next hour groaning because my brain hurt so much. I didn’t hate it, exactly. It was just plain bad. Therefore, I give Transformers: Dark of the Moon:
Score: 1.5/5 ¢
Alignment: Unbearable Crap
Alan Tudyk’s gayish butler/bodyguard/former super soldier is incredible. Is there anything that actor can’t do?