I’m going to start this off by saying I love Transformers. Who doesn’t? Large, shape-changing robots locked in an epic battle of good and evil, shooting at each other, blowing people to smithereens. It’s awesome and I could hardly contain my excitement when the first movie hit theaters. Sure, it had its fair share of problems, like all movies do, but it was an enjoyable movie. Then, the second movie came out, and I squealed like a fangirl when I heard they were making it. Then, I saw the second movie, and by God if it didn’t just have a plot for the sake of having a plot. Unfortunately, this is more than can be said for the third movie.
Like Revenge of the Fallen, I did like Dark of the Moon… to an extent. They’re guilty pleasures. I’ll admit that, but neither one is really worth seeing in theaters more than once. Dark of the Moon is fun, action-packed, filled with cheesy lines that we all love hearing alien robots say, but nothing more. Not really. There’s no harm in liking this movie, but there’s no harm in hating it, either. On the contrary, it’s just as easy to hate it as it is to love it, if not more.
A lot more, actually.
Like I said, action-packed, humorous—well, humorous if your brain possibly died before entering the theater—it has everything one expects from a Transformers movie, but for the length it runs and the amount of time it spends showing Shia LaBeouf staring at Rosie Whiteley, that relationship could have been better developed. Granted, no one goes to see Transformers for romance, but without it, the purpose of her character is completely defeated, considering Michael Bay certainly didn’t hire her for furthering that pesky plot.
I really didn’t want to make most of this review about sexism, because there are so many other things to talk about, but if this movie succeeded in being less racist than the last one, it certainly failed at being less sexist. At least Megan Fox’s character actually did something on occasion. This new girl added nothing. She existed to get more penises into the theater. The very first shot is of her ass. Everyone eyes her, even the robots. And for the first half of the movie, I was surprised her head even appeared on screen at all since every other shot of her lingered on her body, which was always clothed in some revealing, normally white dress (her nickname is Angel, so maybe that’s why they chose white). I wouldn’t even say she’s that good of a plot device. Yeah, Sam goes to Chicago to rescue her, but the Autobots would have ended up there anyway for the battle. Not to mention, that while Sam angsts throughout the whole movie, and even snaps at her on occasion, she doesn’t forgive him for it because his being a douchebag never upsets her enough in order to forgive him. Even after the supposed break-up, the next scene they’re together like nothing’s happened. This relationship exists for the sake of existing. Why do they even like each other? What’s something interesting about her? At least Fox’s character had that whole backstory with her dad and stealing cars.
You know what? Never mind. She does do something in the movie. She gives Megatron the worst pep talk in existence and calls him a “bitch”. Apparently, he needed to be called a that in order to regain his self-confidence. This is really out of character for him. In the original shows—or at least in Transformers: Beast Wars, since that’s the one I watched—he is a narcissistic little bastard. He doesn’t take shit from anyone because he thinks he’s the man. And he thinks he’s the most powerful thing out there. And should someone more powerful come along and try to take over, he finds a way to kill that jackass. But in the new movies he’s like, “No, that’s okay.” So the incredibly short-lived speech Whiteley’s character gives him is just as pointless as the rest of her character because Megatron wouldn’t need it. And I think they were trying to develop him more this movie, but it’s so bland no one cares.
Now, this movie was made in association with Hasbro. In association with a company known for making toys for children. Yeah, so how about showing people incinerated by robots, and the robots also bleed when they’re ripped apart? Hell, the Decepticons don’t even wait to be killed in order to bleed. They just cough blood up while talking. Maybe they all just suffer from the mechanical equivalent of TB. This movie scared me. Did no one else get creeped out when the evil bird thing befriends that little girl, or when the building falls over and everyone is plummeting to their deaths? How about ripping apart robots limb by limb while they gush oily blood? And it’s the heroes doing that last one. Optimus pulls off Megatron’s head—successfully removing his spine, too, I might add—before shooting his old mentor point-blank in the face. One would think the leader of the good guys would have heard of mercy before. Holy shit, Optimus. Really? Anyone else you would like to brutally murder? You know, since you’re based off a toy designed for kids. I understand they’re at war, but was all that necessary? And of course, as he kills Sentinel, he has to have a trademark cheesy line, “No, you betrayed yourself.”
Besides all that, the movie is just long. The final battle has some pretty cool stuff in it, like that giant sandworm Decepticon, but I was sitting there the whole time thinking, “I would like to go use the bathroom sometime this month. Please end already.” I think I was most shocked by seeing Alan Tudyk in this movie. I really do have to ask why he would do this to himself. However, his character is possibly one of the few things I liked, although that just might be the Firefly fangirl inside me speaking.
As a whole, this movie is pretty spectacular… visually. It’s also pretty spectacularly bad, and I have no clue why anyone thought it was a good idea. You can probably skip this one.