Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon [ Movie Review ] ★★1/2

In a strange revelation of sort, Michael Bay and Shia LaBeouf had actually publicly acknowledged that the second installment of the Transformers movie series was bad and they promised that the third one will be an improvement. Some suspect that it's just a scam to lure movie goers into trusting Michael Bay and company while there were early "reports" buzzing that the third installment was really an improvement. But Michael Bay is Michael Bay, can he really change his methodology to give us a Transformers movie that will finally do justice for the robot toys?

Transformers Dark of the Moon turned out to be much better than the first two movies but that doesn't necessary mean that it's a good movie. 

It's still plagued the same problem with Michael Bay trademarks (or Bayhem).  Convoluted plot, plot holes, quick fix solution, low brow juvenile humour and his love for military action were just some of the things that went wrong for Transformers Dark of the Moon.

The problem is further compounded by the fact that the actors were tasked to act with subpar characterization material. The Autobots and Decepticons were so poorly characterized that hardly anyone cares when they died. Last but not least, Shia LaBeouf's attempt at acting was simply annoying and whinny.

Wingsuit Basejumps
But then again, there are stuffs that I enjoyed in this loud barrage of noise, visual and bad acting. First and foremost, the action sequences are much clearer now. Michael Bay had finally fine tune to the right amount of slow-mo and clarity to allow viewers (like me) to get a better understanding of what actually happening in the gigantic robots bawl. It also included impressive action sequences such as wingsuit basejumpers gliding through collapsed skyscrapers.

Underneath the loud mess, I also saw potential with the plot of Dark of the Moon. It felt as though they gave a new spin to all that had been established in the first two movies.  It's not exactly done with finesse but it showed that it's plausible to craft a real Transformers movie out of Michael Bay's pseudo Transformers movie. The whole turn of the tide for the defeated Deceptions and betrayal among the ranks of the Autobots were some stuff that I love to see explored for a Transformers movie. But of course what little that's good in this movie had to wrestle with Bayhem inclusion of the gung ho military participation and a peekaboo at Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's short mini skirt while she is coming out from a sports car.

Badass Optimus Punisher Prime Kills with No Mercy
Last but not least, the reason why I was entertained in a pretty dumb and long movie would be that it's the darkest installment of the series. It's so violent that the movie is filled with decapitation and limbs flying all over. Optimus Punisher Prime and the other Autobots aren't shy to shoot their arch rivals in the head anymore. On one hand, the violence were stylishly portrayal, on the other, it wasn't very Autobots like. It seemed like Optimus Punisher Prime is strangely missing a sense of code of honor and suddenly capable of throwing tantrums that felt very unlikely of a respected leader. It's not the Optimus Punisher Prime that I grew up with but Michael Bay's Transformers hadn't been anything like the Transformers that I am familiar with so I am going to let it slide and simply enjoy the style over substance on this. 
The funny thing is that watching this movie is like going to a loud flashy party filled with pretty things to see and getting drunk. It felt kinda fun at that moment but the morning after, I woke up with a hangover and little recollection of what was good or make sense. The more I think about it, the more I hated it but I can't shake away the fact that I remembered clearly that I enjoyed watching it. 

Beyond the Movie

If you ever try to figure out how did the events that occurred in the three Bayhem Transformers movies could be piece together in a coherent way, check out this forum post at Hardwarezone.

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