Monday, November 21, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Directed by Michael Bay.
2011. Rated PG-13, 157 minutes.
Shia LaBeouf
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Josh Duhamel
John Turturro
Frances McDormand
Patrick Dempsey
Tyrese Gibson
John Malkovich
Ken Jeong
Kevin Dunn
Julie White

The Decepticons take a third crack at conquering Earth. Of course, Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf), the Autobots and the guy from Sector 7 (Turturro) stand in their way. Megan Fox does not. There is another pretty face in place of hers. More on that later. Moving on, this tale actually begins with man’s first landing on the moon back in 1969. Unbeknownst to us for over forty years, during that initial lunar expedition Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldridge discovered Sentinel, who appears to have crashed landed on the dark side of the moon. He’s an old Autobot who evidently taught Optimus Prime everything he knows. The astronauts bring what they can back to Earth which includes five thingamajigs. Fast forward to the present when Megatron and company have a bunch more of these things. They plan on getting the five that somehow wound up in the Middle East, but are now possessed by the US government. Once they do that they’ll be able to reconstruct their home planet Cybertron in a place that appears to be extremely close ot Earth. Never you mind the science of any of this just know that this is the bad guys’ plan. Oh, once Cybertron is operational they’re going to use mankind as its own slave-labor force.

Essentially, we get a remake of Revenge of the Fallen. That said, there are some revisions. As you can probably tell, the main change is switching out the whatchamacallit for the thingamajigs. Next, instead of destroying the Egyptian pyramids we tear up Chicago pretty darn good. And don’t forget we trade in The Fallen for Sentinel. These changes are neither here nor there. Some others actually do improve upon its predecessor, thankfully. For starters, the two jive-talking bots are nowhere to be found. Ma and Pa Witwicky’s annoying antics are also scaled back. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of lame humor to go around. Much of it comes from the go-for-broke performance of John Turturro.

The most easily recognizable difference is we have a new damsel in distress, Carly Spencer played by model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. She buys collector items for some uber-rich dude. Yes, this turns out to be a very large part of the reason she comes to be in distress. Sadly, she can’t give Ms. Fox a run for her money in the acting department. By the way, it’s not like I think Megan Fox is ever in danger of winning an Oscar. For Ms. Huntington-Whiteley, her looks are all she brings to the table. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she won this part in a raffle where only models were allowed to buy tickets. Any one of them would’ve been just as good.

The bottom line is that Dark of the Moon is a Transformers movie. If you enjoyed the last one, you’ll enjoy this one. Robots transform, fight, knock over skyscrapers and blow stuff up. Once again, this goes on for a way too long two and a half hours. I will say that this is a step up, though. The Fallen made me want to gouge out my own eyes with a spoon and puncture both eardrums with an icepick. This one merely made me want to bang my head on a hard surface. Heres to progress!

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