Transformers Dark Of The Moon 3D
- Director:Michael Bay
- Cast:Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whitley, Shia LaBeouf, John Malkovich
- Release Date:June 29, 2011
- Running time:152 minutes
- Film Worth:$8.50
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Admittedly better than its predecessor, Michael Bay still hasn’t learnt that impressive action sequences don’t make up for woeful acting and no character development.
The original Transformers was a meat-headed bit of robot-porn for explosion fetishists. However it was like The Godfather compared to the skull-crushingly awful sequel, Revenge of the Fallen. So where does this latest chapter fall in terms of quality? Somewhere between the first two. It's certainly better than the previous chapter but that's hardly a lofty claim.
The film starts promisingly enough with an entertaining little ‘what if' riff on the 1969 NASA moon landing. Cut to present day and we get an exposition-laden reintroduction to Sam Witwicky's (Shia LaBeouf) life and his latest squeeze (and Megan Fox substitute), Carly Spencer (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).
Just to be clear, Huntington is laugh-out-loud awful; delivering woeful lines very much in the manner of an underwear model who has trouble with dialogue (which is exactly what she is, to be fair). That said she has way too much screen time and makes you yearn for the subtle nuance of Fox's performance. Seriously. There isn't a single vaguely decent female character here, which is sad, but probably won't affect the box office.
Things start to sink back to Revenge of the Fallen territory with John Turturro's sad return and cringe-inducing cameos from a slumming John Malkovich and Frances McDormand (is Bay stealing all of his bit players from the Coen Brothers' back catalogue or what?).
Laboured plot points multiply until we switch gears into a "Decepticons Invade Earth" story. Then, as if waking from a 90-minute slumber, Bay seems to realise he needs to put some real action in this damn thing and treats us to an hour-long, action-packed, pop-corny but muscular robot versus robot versus soldiers blast fest.
Keeping all the central Transformers in frame for once, some of these sequences are downright jaw-dropping. It's also a surprisingly robust use of 3D that, while dim-witted and jingoistic as always, actually showcases the technology in an effective and engaging way.
One gets the feeling that if Bay could stop including people in his films altogether we'd all have a much better time with this franchise. We certainly wouldn't have to hide through Patrick Dempsey telling Huntington-Whiteley how "smart" she is or watch dear Alan Tudyk reduced to ‘hilarious German man' shenanigans.
Ultimately Transformers: Dark of the Moon is 93 distinctly average minutes combined with 60 pretty good minutes. Better than expected but for the money spent and talent involved, it's still a fairly dodgy outing.