Transformers: Dark of the Moon

(2011)

Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transcript for Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
We're starting out this week's show with nothing less than the future of the universe at stake. It's the third film in Michael Bay's epic and mind-numbing Transformers series, "Dark of the Moon." Shia LaBeouf must once again save humanity with the help of the benevolent Autobots -- but especially his new girlfriend, played by Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

CLIP 1 -- Duchess. Shia, Rosie and Patrick Dempsey in sleek, white building.
 
That's Patrick Dempsey as her boss, and he's one of many new additions to the surprisingly strong cast, which includes Frances McDormand and Leonard Nimoy as the voice of the old-school Autobot Sentinel Prime. The evil Decepticons want to take over the Earth using technology that's been hiding on the moon, of all places.

CLIP

But the hunky and trusty Josh Duhamel is there to lead the humans into battle.
 
CLIP 3 -- Wing suit jump. Buncha military guys jump out of helicopter to attack robots.
 
"Dark of the Moon" is big and loud and idiotic, and way too long at over two and a half hours. At its core, like the previous two films, it's about giant, talking chunks of metal slamming into each other. But it does allow Bay to show off all his tricks -- which are surprisingly crisp and impressive in 3-D. The destruction of Chicago is just spectacular -- complete and convincing, with visceral use of sound. If Bay had only given as much attention to the human beings involved, I might have been able to recommend the latest Transformers movie, but instead, it's thumbs down from me.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Christy, Christy, Christy if giant robots fighting eachother across a roughly geographically-accurate section of Chicago for forty-minutes while they shout Libertarian jibberish at eachother isn’t art, I serioulsy do not know what is. I mean…

CHRISTY:
They love freedom. Optimus Prime loves freedom.

IGNATIY:
You know, the characters in this film, sure, they are really flat because they’re not really characters. This is really just all about color, it’s about movement, it’s about using 3D and it’s frequently quite beautiful.

CHRISTY:
Yes, but you have actors who can actually act. We have John Malkovich here in his own weird, little one note over-the-top performance.

IGNATIY:
Still, for me, the best thing about Malkovich is that sudden zoom in on him behind his, you know, his desk in that yellow room. Which looks real, that movement looks really amazing in 3D. This is maybe the best looking 3D movie I’ve seen this year.

CHRISTY:
It does look good in 3D and that whole big hour long set piece of blowing up Chicago, the whole thing was shot as if 3D were actually in mind at the time. As opposed to so many films that are shot in 2D and converted to 3D.

IGNATIY:
You have to admit you like this. You like this.

CHRISTY:
I like that one hour long section of it and I like…

IGNATIY:
It’s an hour that could easily be a feature.

CHRISTY:
Right, but a two and half hour long movie. I like Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s hair blowing in the breeze in slow motion as stuff is like blowing up behind her. It’s like a parody in itself.

IGNATIY:
I mean look it’s a, it’s bone-headed but at least the images are very smartly put together. There’s nothing dishonest about this movie. It knows exactly how silly it is.