Side of the Moon. Up until this very moment, I thought it was “dark side of the moon.” This makes me like the movie a little less. “Dark of the moon?” Ridiculous, just like most of Michael Bay’s newest installment in his “Cars, Robots, and Babes” series.
There are definitely some things to like about Transformers 3. The effects are (mostly) pretty cool, though it falls into the same pit trap of #2, where you can’t tell what the hell is going on in the action scenes. The robots look amazing but you can’t tell where one ends and another begins. They did a new thing in this movie, where they featured more oil(?) that simulates blood, so you kind of know when a transformer is killed. I don’t know if this helped or just beat you over the head with ISN’T THIS ACTION CRAZY? I’M MICHAEL BAY!
What else is good? Shia is charismatic in the same way he always has been. His parents are funny and they’ve been given much less screen time, which works to their advantage. Small parts for both John Malkovich and Ken Jeong were interesting and for the most part enjoyable.
Some of the new Decepticons are pretty cool, especially one of the larger ones, Shockwave, who can use this giant like… Have you ever seen Dune? Or maybe Beetlejuice? This thing reminded me of some sort of sandshark, tearing through buildings. It was pretty incredible.
Now… what didn’t work? A lot, unfortunately.
Like I said earlier, most of the really cool action scenes were ruined because of shaky cameras and opponents that looked identical. Only when it would go into super slo-mo would you even notice who was fighting. The scenes that involved chases though, were pretty awesome, especially a chase down a major freeway which was probably one of the highlights of the film.
Also… They introduced some amazing Decepticons. But on the Autobot side, they introduced a bunch of weird cheap knock-off bots. There were two English robots that served as (kind of) comedic relief, though they weren’t as annoying as the duo from Transformers 2. One of the English autobots had like a beer belly.
What!? I don’t really understand why Autobots turn into cars, since they’re from another planet. Why don’t they all turn into spaceships or jets? But then why does this autobot have a beer belly? What sort of purpose does that serve?
There was also a few new autobots that were pointless and I don’t even think it mentioned names for a few of them. There are some tragic moments that are supposed to be pretty intense but it’s hard to buy into them when you’re like “Who is that?”
Also, some of the transformers look ridiculously bad. Like… Horrible.
What is going on up there? It’s like Michael Bay wanted them to look horrible. I can’t even tell what is what. And Jar Jar Binks is a pretty solid character after enduring two and a half hours of these weird and confusing bots.
And then there’s the big controversy of Megan Fox’s replacement. Well, I don’t really like either of them. This new girl is just as flat and uncharismatic as Fox. When Shia makes some sweeping romantic gesture and says he loves her before heading off to some adventure, I don’t even believe him. I think someone in the audience even yelled, “You just met her!” It wasn’t believable at all and I didn’t care at all about her.
So, should you watch this movie? It’s no masterpiece, but you know already if you’re a fan of Bay’s work. If you want mindless explosions, somewhat predictable storytelling, and some cool scenes with robots doing robot things, you’ll at least enjoy this. If you are expecting some sort of Shakespearean drama, look elsewhere. I thought it was mediocre and still failed to meet the bar set by the first Transformers, but a lot of you will likely still enjoy it.