I had the privilege of going to the aintitcool premier of the third Transformers movie last night; it was a pretty neat experience to actually see blogging/geek idol, Harry Knowles, and hear his funny intro to the movie. Basically, he said that he hated the previous two movies, that there was still stupid shit in the third one but that the last hour of the movie had crazy jaw-dropping 3D action that would win everyone over.
Having now seen the film the way it was meant to be seen, it's pretty easy to say that Transformers: Dark of the Moon is far and away, the best of the three movies; yet, to say that T:DM is a good movie is like giving it a commendation for not being as horribly retarded as Revenge of the Fallen.
Yes there is still stupid shit all over this film, like most of the human stuff not having to do with Shia LeBeouf's character; the writers and Michael Bay always seem to make it virtually impossible for any other human to not act as some sort of comic relief. Thankfully, the terrible human elements so played up in previous films for yucks have been minimized this time around
|I H8 you people so much.|
There are, of course, the standard giant-sized plot holes in this film as well; there is a surprise villainous turn that makes you scratch your head when you think about a certain scene in the middle of the film where that character basically had the opportunity to seize power, but doesn't because the audience is not supposed to know he is a villain.
|What plot? Douche.|
A) Hope you don't care about plot or
B) Just ignore all that mess that came before.
Thankfully, the much maligned racist twin robots are absent, though we have to put up with the antics of two of Sam's pet robots in their place. The big problem with these films is that unless you have the toys, you really have no idea who most of the Autobots or Decepticons are unless the film explicitly name drops them. Even still, your left to wonder: why most of the Decepticons speak rage/gibberish yet always choose the strategically best vehicles to turn into, why the hell are there always hundreds of Decepticons more than Autobots even after the film explicitly states that there was a second wave of Autobots (and by wave I mean like 4 of them) who, save for the red porche autobot, turn into some pretty lame shit.
Why the hell can't Optimus get some damn Autobot aeriel support? If it ever becomes financially viable, there needs to be a movie (perhaps the prequel origin story about the War of Cybertron?) that is just straight about the robots so we aren't left scratching our head if we were supposed to care about the nameless autobot that just got waxed.
|Proof that flying autobots exist. Nah, they would probably be racist in the films.|
If you manage to slog through the first hour and a half, you're in for a treat: the last hour is just one long action scene. The action looks stunning, and is definitely the most legitimate use of 3D since Avatar . I'll need to see the movie again, but from the first viewing I took away that Mr. Knowles somewhat overstated how "jaw-dropping" the action at the end of the movie was. There were bits and pieces, but the things happening on screen never registered as "amazing" - it's stuff blowing up other stuff in prettier ways.
I will admit, though, that watching the Nest team doing the "Flying Squirrel" helicopter jump has to rank up there as one of the greatest actions shots of all time (and even cooler because it was real). It's ironic, though, because a lot of the best stuff in the final act has to do with the human set-pieces, even when they are getting asploded left and right by Decepticons. The Transformer fights do have a definite edge this time out, with the Autobots getting down-right bloodthirsty; but, like I said before, they may look pretty but you'll have a hard time figuring out who's shooting at who half the time, and why the hell the leader of the autobots gets his ass kicked every movie.
There are still those things throughout the final hour that I just wish Bay could have reigned it in even further. The way LeBeouf's tiny pet Autobots destroy a GIANT DECEPTICON WAR VESSEL with absolutely no resistance is eye-rolling bad (considering the establish not 10 minutes previous that all the flying vessels are being operated by Decepticon pilots), and the final battle feels a little anticlimactic after an hour of none-stop action. Really, we couldn't have edited those tiny things out and added 5 minutes to the final battle?
|Chicago, more like Dead-Cago.|
Dark of the Moon is enjoyable as a Summer action movie, and is light years beyond the rage-inducing Revenge of the Fallen. Be prepared to still put up with some plot bullshit and Shia LeBeouf scream-talking for most of the film, at least until the final hour starts - then just sit back, turn your brain off, and enjoy. Really if your brain is still on, you'll just be thinking why the hell Michael Bay couldn't have figured out what people really want to see in this franchise sooner.