It goes Boom!

WARNING: May or may not contain spoilers!  You have been warned!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Show of hands, how many of you liked Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (T:RotF)? Uh-huh… 1, 2, 3,… Yeah. LIARS!  T:RotF was a lousy movie. It was victim to the typical sequel formula: Take whatever we had in the original movie and double it! More Transformers, more explosions, more jokes.  Guess what? That doesn’t work (e.g., The Matrix Reloaded, Ocean’s 12, Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay).  I saw T:RotF only once, in the theater, because I had to (more on that later).   Judy Witwicky getting high off of a special brownie, a female Decepticon that looks human making out with Sam, and the whole “Don’t tell my mother” line are just a few of the ridiculously horrible parts of T:RotF.  I refuse to buy that movie. However, if someone wants to send me a copy…

Fortunately, certain sequels (e.g., Matrix Revolutions, Ocean's 13, Star Trek VI) realize that mistakes were made previously and were rectified.  T:DotM falls into this category.

Ok, so I was “forced” to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon (T:DotM)*.  My niece (not that one, the other one) is a mad, crazy Transformers fan.  So much so, in fact, that I (along with my other sister) took to see the first Transformers movie when she was about 2 years old.  Aside from a quick run to the restroom, she was so well behaved that we actually both enjoyed the movie.  After the movie, she wouldn’t stop talking about “Oppimus Prime” and that it was her “favorite movie of all time”… all two years of her life.  When the trailers for T:RotF started showing up on TV, I got a call from niece asking me when I was going to take her to the movies to see “Optimus Prime”.** So I (along with my other sister) took her to see it.  That was the first and only time we saw it.  Fast forward to 2011, my other sister calls me up and tells me that tradition demands that we take my niece to see T:DotM.  Well, since tradition demands it, who am I to mess with tradition…

Loved it!  Absolutely love it!  The NASA prologue (aside from the factual errors) was really a clever way to incorporate fact and fiction.  I love the way it explains why we went to the moon in the first place and, as seen later on in the movie, why we haven’t gone back.  And yes, that is a cameo by Buzz Aldrin. 

Yes, it is a fact. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley can’t act.  Is she as bad as all the other reviews say she is? No, but she is pretty stiff.  But let’s face it, she really isn’t there for her acting chops.  She’s there to make co-star, the MB SLS-AMG, look good. Personally, I would have loved to seen Gemma Arteton or… no, actually that’s it, just Gemma Arteton.***

There are a couple of nice surprises, although they didn’t seem so nice at first (or they were nice at first and then it surprised us when it turned into a not-so-nice surprise).   Patrick Dempsey (aka McDreamy) plays a low-key but, ultimately, big player and the guy you love to hate.  In fact, when he does get it, the audience began to cheer.  Leonard Nimoy joins voice greats Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving as Sentinel Prime.  Mr. Nimoy has got a voice that rates right up there James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Dennis Haysbert and Tony Todd.****  The fact that Brains (or is it Wheelie) says “this is the episode where Spock goes insane” while watching and episode of “Star Trek” should have been clue to what was going to happen.  I didn’t pick up on that till I saw the movie a second time.

The comedy, which was way over the top in T:RotF, has been toned and left to the experts, Ken Jeong (who is the only person I know that can see Deep Wang with a straight face) and John Malkovich (who can do just about anything with a straight face).

Oh, and look for Terry Tate, Office Linebacker (You know you need a cover sheet on your TPS report, Richard! That ain’t you baybee!)

In response to all the reviews stating that Optimus Prime has become a “sociopathic idiot douchebag” or blasting the slow motion, explosive style of Michael Bay I say…


Let’s remind you of something and make it perfectly clear… This is a movie based on TOY and CARTOON from the 80s!  Aside from Madonna, what other pop culture icon from the 80s is still making money?  That's a pretty short list, no?

So, is Optimus a “sociopath”? Well, let’s see:

  • You’ve lost your home planet.
  • You’ve lost countless friends on said planet.
  • You’re on a backwards planet where the natives are technologically behind and most don’t trust you.
  • You’ve lost friends (Jazz, most of the Autobots from T:RotF, and Ironhide) on said backwards planet.
  • You’ve been betrayed by someone you thought was your best friend.
  • Finally, you were asked to leave the backwards planet of bending over backwards to protect the idiot natives… only to get blown up as you’re leaving.

Does that make Optimus a sociopath? Nope. Does it make him really, really mad? Yep.  Should he have shown mercy to Sentinel Prime? Nope.***** Did Optimus really need to rip apart Megatron’s innards?  Yeah, he did!  I’m sure he got tired of taking out Megatron over and over again. Had to make sure he stayed dead this time.  Did he have to shoot Sentinel in the head when it was obvious he was dead? Duh! The dude had just ripped Optimus’ arm out of his socket!

As for Michael Bay’s particular style of filming… What were you expecting? The English Patient?  Seriously?!?!?  Let’s take a look at Michael Bay’s movies:

  • Explosions… Check
  • Slow Motion Action… Check
  • Lots of guns… Check
  • Explosions and Slow Motion Action together… Check
  • Crazy, ridiculous fighting sequence… Check
  • Slow motion, rotate camera around the heroes in their most desperate hour… Check

You know exactly what you are getting when you see a Michael Bay. Don’t slam him for it.  Although I do agree that they could have cut down the time a little. It is a solid two hours and at times it feels like it.******

This movie is a good way to the end the duology.  Yes, I said duology and not trilogy. You can actually skip T:RotF and watch T:DotM immediately following T:RiD.  In fact, I recommend doing it that way.

Overall rating:  Full-Price Movie.  You can’t fully appreciate the explosions unless it’s on the big screen.  I’ve seen it twice and will probably see it one more time in the next couple of weeks.

Here's the title card from Michael Bay's next movie:******* (Last one, I promise.)


*- Yes, I am going to add abbreviations for the movies. No way am I writing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Dark of the Moon a dozen times.

**- Actually, she had stolen the phone from her mom and figured out how to call me.  Imagine her mom’s surprise when she saw her talking on the phone.

*** - The ONLY redeeming value of “Clash of the Titans.”

**** - Hmmm, notice all the voices are of black actors? I wonder if that means anything.

***** - Did Spock show mercy to the Romulans in Star Trek (2009)? Nope.

****** - There is no point to this footnote. I just wanted to put a bunch more asterisks in here.

******* - I was originally going to photoshop Gemma into some kind of Transformers scenec, but the "Explosions" one just seemed right.