DVD Review – Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011)

What have Stephanie Meyer, Bill Condon, David Slade and Michael Bay all got in common? They have or all involved in the 2 critically hated film franchises in cinema history Twilight Saga and Transformers. It was back in the summer Michael Bay returned to the big screen with the third instalment of the cash cow franchise Transformers Dark Of The Moon and now Optimus Prime and his giant robotic buddies have arrived in Home entertainment.

The big burning question on the tip of everyone’s tongues is  Transformers Dark Of The Moon better than Revenge of The Fallen? The answer is yes, it’s a vast improvement on film two not quite on the same par as film one, Dark Of The Moon is still a visual treat which gets bogged down with repetitive same old tired jokes.

In Dark Of The Moon the story plays on the 1960’s Apollo 11 Moon landings suggesting the space race was actually started due to a Autobot ship crash landing on the moon. Buzz Aldrin and Neal Armstrong  weren’t just the pioneers of the American Space programme but chief investigators whose plan was to make sure the Russians weren’t the first to conquer Moon landing. Back to the present day Earth Optimus Prime is still involved in the NEST Programme becomes incensed when he learns about the Human’s knowledge  of the ships survival which could have helped in the survival of Cybertron. The Decepticons on the other hand get there hands on part of the ship which helps to create a bridge  that would bring Cybertron remains into Earth’s Atmosphere close enough to imprison the Human race to enslave them into rebuilding the planet , soon enough finding themselves at war once again with the autobots.

When I watched this at the cinema I was really curious to see how ‘bright’ the film was going to be after Michael Bay’s plea to projectionists and if the projectionists worldwide would honor that plea. I sat down with my glasses on ready to enjoy the actionfest and in the world’s of Star Trek’s Bones McCoy “My God Jim!”, oh boy this is BRIGHT! My sight in blinded by black spots, my eye! aarrrgh my eyes are burning!!! I can’t take the pain!Help! Helllppp!! I’ve died and gone to heaven said hello to Jon Bon Jovi and heaven I’ve died thank god it doesn’t look like my hometown! It’s so bright!!” But out of the blue  a little ditty popped into my head “Transformers…Robots in disguise!” Am I 10 again?No Paul! It wasn’t long until reality sunk and I realised I was sitting in my local cinema when someone from audience decided to shout out loud “I can name that tune in one!” when he let one rip big style in a flatulence version of the Tom O’Connor 1980’s Musical game show Name That Tune. What an experience! I only came here to watch Transformers 3   but ended up feeling like Tom Cruise’s character in Minority Report when he got new eyeballs and was told not to take of the bandages off. I had to take off the glasses to re-focus, this one was bright flick, sadly I didn’t get a Swedish nurse with a massive mole, just some bloke letting off musical farts.

Out of the three Transformers films the first ten minutes or so of The Dark Of The Moon will probably be some of the best storylines you’ll get in the franchise . However this film is let down by Michael Bay’s directorial style which makes this look like one of those big style music video’s he used to make before he took the switch, this was a case of stye over substance. It’s great having some style in your film but two and a half hours of it you need to have a solid storyline to keep people interested  but looking at the story from another perspective  Dark Of The Moon storyline is more  coherent compared to the franchises other films. We see this in our Robotic friends who get a lot more attention  and development , from the story arc into the actual interaction with the human characters.

On the comedy levels Ken Jeong I have no idea what his part in the film was meant to be , probably would have been more proactive if he was Mr Chow of The Hangover . As for John Malkovich an actor I had great respect for, he just looked like a overgrown oompalompa from Willy Wonka’s factory with his Towie style orange tan, pointless, humourless. Oh Sam’s new posh English girlfriend model Rosie Huntington Whitely, she is awful, she makes Pauly Shore look like a Oscar winning  actor but when your outdone by 30 foot plus animated robots, the acting community should be asking for your acting badge back. On a positive not John Turturro returning brings some balance and order to the film with his cheesy brand of humour which is perfect for afilm with this caliber, this time he has competition from Frances McDormand who play off each other like a married couple on a two week holiday to Mallorca.

You can say what you like about the Baymeister, Michael Bay if your look for explosive action scenes he’s you man . The destruction of Chicago is simply the best action scene you’ll see in the franchise, where to start explaining is impossible but the collapsing of a building which was virtually been folded in half is nothing more but spectacular. In film three we cried out for more development in the characters which the robots won the day and ask the question when films four & five are made should we have more robots less human?

Revenge of The Fallen was an attack on your hearing senses, Dark of The Moon attacked the senses you had left, your most important sense to mankind, your sight. If this film was any brighter or even had a shade of blue you could have mistaken this for Lar’s Von Trier’s Melancholia planet was getting close to the cinema screen with Mr farty pants providing the film with his windy soundtrack. Let’s be honest we are all the world’s worst critics, we constantly contradict ourselves so much no matter how much we hate the Bay behind a camera we do get excited  like a child at Christmas building our hopes up for something really special. Its action packed, corny, cringe-worthy, visually fantastic, badly acted, popcorn munching no brainer which we call the summer blockbuster. We may hate them when with family and friends but deep down we secretly adore them!

★★★ |Paul Devine

Sci-Fi, Action | USA, 2011 | 12 | Out Now | Paramount Pictures | Dir.Michael Bay | John Turturro, Shia LeBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson

This was originally posted at The Peoples Movies | 20th December 2011

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