Transformers: Dark of the Moon Movie Review
Love him or hate him, Michael Bay knows how to direct action. As much as the infamous director is known for hammy dialogue, basic plots and lots of slow-motion shots, there's hardly an action fan who doesn't have at least one Michael Bay movie - let alone several - in his or her collection. With Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bay delivers another must-have action movie to the world, perhaps his best in over a decade.
Without dwelling a lot on the Transformers franchise - you're not reading this movie review if you're not well versed - we can agree that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a terrible movie, a cluttered, chaotic mess without much purpose, but a lot of obnoxious characters. Even Bay and lead Shia LaBeouf admit it was crap. With this third entry, Bay looks to make things right.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is, possibly, the best of the three movies. The first movie was entertaining, with great special effects and a simple yet well-paced story that pulled together some incredible action sequences. Dark of the Moon is much the same, except it's a bit darker and actually has some semblance of a real plot.
The typical Bay-isms still exist. He's still fascinated with curvy young things (not that we're complaining) - primarily Victoria Secret model-turned-actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who looks better than she acts but does what is required of her. The movie is still too long and a slew of slow motion shots.
The dialogue is also pretty absurd at times.
But Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the first truly satisfying blockbuster of the summer, a slick, glossy thrill ride that entertains from beginning to end. Many of the annoying aspects of the previous Transformers movies have been cut or at least subdued - there are fewer pointless characters, unnecessary subplots and obnoxious characters.
LaBeouf is still front and center, but for the first time his character has purpose; for that matter, the movie has purpose, its plot more sinister and less cheesy. If the first movie was about the arrival of the Decepticons and the second was about nothing in particular, the third signifies the point where shit really hits the fan. The evil aliens launch an all-out invasion of war; the battle in Chicago, which takes up much of the second half of the movie, makes the Los Angeles fight sequence in the first film look like a minor fist fight.
The action is great and less confusing than in the last movie; Bay not only delivers several slick sequences but sets them against a larger, world-at-stakes backdrop that makes things more exciting than ever.
The visual effects are simply stunning. With no question it deserves to win the Oscar this year.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon isn't perfect. Like the others, it's too long and suffers from the typical attributes of a Michael Bay movie. But it's one of Michael Bay's best films, a great, summer action film that will make you want to watch it again as soon as it's over.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.