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Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Verdict

Transformers: Dark of the Moon was originally titled Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, but changed, apparently due to copyright arguments from Pink Floyd. If this is the reason as to why the name had to be changed, that’s just ridiculous and the  members of Pink Floyd need to lighten up – the ‘dark’ aspect of the Moon is pretty important in the movie’s storyline. But moving on, Dark of the Moon, is the third installment in the Transformers movie franchise, this time, travelling back to the year of 1969; in particular, the day of the Moon landing, to explain the story of an Ancient Cybertronian item which has been hidden there for some time.

The U.S. President at the time, JFK, pushes astronauts to land on the Moon before Russians, in order to find and reveal the unidentified object, which is in fact a spacecraft, known as The Ark, which was piloted by mentor to Optimus Prime, and original leader of the Autobots, Sentinal Prime (Leonard Nimoy), which the Autobots believe will help them win the war against the Decepticons. And from this flashback, through the use of brilliant CGI and clips of the President from the 1960’s, the back story to the initial discovery of the Transformers was given, before the movie pushes forward back to present day.

The storyline is average. Of course, it is a bit ridiculous and corny, but it is imaginative and interesting enough to keep you paying attention throughout the whole of the movie. As usual, like in the first 2 movies, Transformers (2007) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), the storyline is quite a linear one; and you pretty much know where it’s going to lead, although there are still some enjoyable twists along the way. However, the addition of the back story, dating all the way back to 1969 with the first Moon landing, does add to enjoyment, appealing to the ‘conspiracy-loving’ sides of our minds, what with the Moon landing having been a cover-up in order to investigate the strange object which crash-landed there.

However, as many of you who know about Transformers and have seen the first two installments know, these movies are mainly all about the action…and of course Megan Fox, though not anymore. But I’ll come back to this later on. I was expecting the action sequences to be great, what with the great action scenes in the first two. However, I have to say that they actually exceeded my expectations. The action scenes were brilliant, involving large amounts of Transformer battles, destructions of car, buildings and landscapes, stylish guns and swords, plus more. It was pretty much all the action you could want from a movie, with a lot of it even managing to build up suspense within me, which I was impressed with.

These brilliant action sequences are, of course, tailored by the special effect visuals, which, even though were great before, appear to have improved even more so. The special effects were outstanding; from the attention to detail, in every nook and cranny of the robots, to the scenes with huge battles and massive buildings being destroyed. Also, the beginning scene in particular, displays some of the finest special effects of the movie, and generally, to date. If you’re a fan of movies with brilliant use of special effects, then you need read no more, because I can tell you right now, it’s worth the watch. But it would be nice if you read on anyway; I have carried on writing after all…

Action and special effects aside, I’m sure you know that there is a reasonably large element of humour to the Transformers movies. I particularly enjoyed this humourous aspect in the first movie, although I felt they got a bit too carried away in the second one. In Dark of the Moon, at first, I was beginning to feel the same as I did about the second movie – that they were trying to hard to make it a funny movie, and it just didn’t seem comical. However, as it progresses, the comical scenes do become more genuinely comical. This is particularly helped with the appearance of Ken Jeong, more commonly known as Mr Chow, from The Hangover 1 & 2. In fact, I actually found his scenes funnier than many of his scenes as Chow in The Hangover. However, the reprisal of the character Simmons (John Turturro) was the most consistent and entertaining source of humour for me in this movie, with almost everything he said being funny, along with his Dutch assistant, Dutch. The small role from John Malkovich was also an enjoyable and comical one too, with him seeming crazy in a funny way, as usual.

The one part of the comical aspect which I was annoyed with was the miniature Transformers that they had running around, which most of the time, weren’t really funny, and eventually got quite annoying with their “‘funny” moments. Although, they did have some moments which were kind of funny, but no match to the rest of the comedy.

I also managed to find some emotion in this movie, too, with one of the scenes in particular seeming quite emotional; and this was helped by a pretty impressive musical score from Steve Jablonsky. Although, at one point in the movie, I’m pretty sure I was watching Inception for a whole scene. Those of you who have seen this movie, along with Inception, will understand what I mean. Generally though, I enjoyed the musical scores, with their tones of suspense, and outbursts of suitable emotion suiting the movie reasonably well. The general soundtrack wasn’t too bad either, including the likes of Linkin Park and the Goo Goo Dolls, suiting the relevant parts of the movie relatively well.

One thing which pretty much consistently pissed me off about this movie was the lead female role being portrayed by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as new love interest, Carly Spencer. Sure, she’s stunning, she’s enjoyably to glare at and think about – but from a performing aspect, her acting is terrible. It remained relatively monotonous throughout most of the movie, showing little emotion or good acting ability. It just seemed that she was added to the cast solely due to her good looks, with the makers hoping that we wouldn’t notice that she can’t act. But we did. It’s the fact that she’s great to look at that calmed me down. It’s a shame Megan Fox didn’t reprise her role, as she at least had somewhat better acting abilities (and is also fun to glare at). The performances from the rest of the crew however, were reasonably good.

One small thing I noticed about this movie, which I’m sure other sci-fi geeks will have noticed, were the space references, considering the movie was largely related to space; in particular, how they showed an episode of Star Trek on the TV for a second or two, showing a scene with Spock (Leonard Nimoy). There were also other little references. See if you can spot them.

In the end, though, I pretty much enjoyed this movie. Despite it pretty much being focused mainly on action-packed scenes and great CGI, it very much appeals to the side of me which happens to love action-packed movies. It’s a great watch, and if you do decide to watch it at the cinema, I would definitely recommend doing so in 3-D, as this only enhances the brilliant special effects and action scenes, making the movie a lot more enjoyable, which I can’t say about many 3D movies. A great piece of work from Michael Bay, with the help of Steven Spielberg, I would recommend this to fans of epic action movies in particular, but generally to everyone. Just don’t expect any brilliant or extraordinary dialogue scenes or clever plots; just sit back and enjoy what it has to offer.

And, by the way, Optimus Prime is badass, as usual.

iHartMovies rating – 4.o/5

By Manpreet Singh

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One Comment on “Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Verdict”

  1. I personally thought the movie was awesome. Although most people seem to despise the Michael Bay Transformers films, I think he did an excellent job of making them different, with a real heavy metal style of action. After all, I didnt go to see them for the mythology…


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