2011’s most anticipated summer blockbuster has finally arrived and boy oh boy, do we have much to spill!
Alas, we can finally (and very, very sadly) bid goodbye to Optimus Prime, Ironhide and the rest of the autobots in this final installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers series.
The movie begins with a really cool “re-enactment” of NASA’s men first landing on the moon in the Apollo 11. Despite the slight disproportion, Mr Ravenous totally digs this opening scene because of its realistic imagery and some actual footage of JFK. (Even the actual Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin makes a guest appearance later on in the film)
In 1961, a spacecraft known as the Ark, crash lands on the moon thus, alerting NASA to swing by luna. The Ark, piloted by Sentinel Prime (Optimus Prime’s former mentor), is sent far away from Cybertron after a war breaks out among the giant robots. This particular ship carries secret cargo known as “The Pillars”, a technology that could save Cybertron’s fast-decaying state.
Back to present day and during a mission in Chernobyl, Optimus Prime discovers a fuel cell from the Ark, which the Soviet Union had attempted to use as a power source. Optimus then goes out to retrieve “The Pillars” as well as revive Sentinel Prime using the Matrix of Leadership.
A space bridge can be created using the five (out of hundreds) pillars remaining to bring Cybertron down to Earth. Therefore, it is vital for the Autobots to keep such technology hidden from the Decepticons. Little do they know that this is all a master plan to “annihilate” the human race and restore Cybertron to its original state with Earth’s natural resources.
Sam Witwicky, played by youthful actor Shia LaBeouf, is more serious and mature (but still funny) in this film. His fidgety and antsy-pants ways are over as he nestles down with the girl of his dreams a.k.a Carly Spencer, played by MAXIM’s Hottest Chick 2011 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Surprisingly, their chemistry isn’t too bad considering how Rosie is the latest addition to the set.
And for those of you who aren’t too happy about Megan Fox not being involved in the series anymore, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. It definitely feels awkward (and SAD) to be watching someone else play Shia’s love interest. Nonetheless, Rosie does a good job at distracting us from all the bombarding of action and combat.
For a rookie actress, she sure does deliver some impressive and convincing acting. Despite this, she lacks the whole “edgy” look which Megan Fox has brought to the series. And for that, I’ll have to say that Megan is more suited for the role as Sam’s girlfriend.
Some new additions to the cast include Patrick Dempsey, who plays Carly’s accountant boss Dylan Gould (watch out for him guys) and Autobots such as Mirage (a.k.a Dino) and Wheeljack (a.k.a Que).
Existing Autobots have been given a slight refurnish. Ratchet is now green and white instead of his previous Hummer H2 yellow shade. Sideswipe, who originally transforms into a silver Chevrolet Corvette Centennial, is now an even sleeker upgraded convertible. Optimus Prime has been redesigned to look more heroic and a trailer, which augments his ammo with enhanced weapons, a shield and flight gear, has been added for maximum ass-kicking!
Lets not forget about the very well-equipped Decepticons as Megatron and Starscream are accompanied by Soundwave and Shockwave to pound an apocalypse upon planet Earth . Shockwave also ropes in his pet known as the Driller, who resembles an electronic/robot version of the Kraken. Most of the Decepticons are daunting and menacingly huge as always. Quoting Epps in the film, “Why do the Decepticons always get the good shit?”
Tyrese Gibson does some fieldwork once again and this time, he’s calling the shots. Although he’s still pretty comedic at some points, we feel that he just isn’t frontman material.
I totally miss Lennox being the main field soldier with Epps (Tyrese Gibson) as his trusty sidekick. Josh Duhamel, Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox have always been the (human) highlights of Transformers.
John Turturro returns as Simmons and he is delightfully funny as always. Simmons’ intimate relationship with his sidekick Dutch (played by Alan Tudyk) and the undisclosed relations with Charlotte Mearing (played by Frances Mcdormand) are hilarious.
Veteran actor John Malkovich and Hangover star Ken Jeong also provide some really funny lines. They add a little lightheartedness to the movie before all the action and drama are turned up.
Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock in the Star Trek series, voices the very robust (but not so saint-like) Sentinel Prime. Initially, Sentinel comes off as a really heroic and charming character. We won’t be able to reveal much here but lets just say that Megatron isn’t the exactly the main antagonist.
One of the film’s major highlights? NEST soldiers skydiving in wing suits against Chicago’s landscape. A really spectacular shot, especially in 3D!
Another commendable facet is the elevation of human action in this installment. Plenty of human stunts involving Sam and Carly to keep the movie realistic in a sense. The free-falling from a tilted building scene is darn well heart-stopping, especially in 3D!
3D technology does add pressure on filmmakers because seeing how almost every single shot is prominent, effects have to be of optimal quality. Gladly, the visual effects in this film are stunning. Slow-motion effects of giant robots using their weaponry really give the action sequences an added boost. The film does live up to its 3D standard and this is a big thing for me to say, considering that I absolutely cannot tolerate 3D!
Optimus Prime proves himself to be THE Autobot as he commands his team with such heroic and valiant capability. He is able to hold his role really well and clearly does not take bulls**t from anybody. Props to Peter Cullen, the original voice-actor for Optimus Prime. His caricature of Optimus is brilliant.
For a robot, Optimus is actually pretty hot.
Lastly, Linkin Park’s Iridescent playing in the atmosphere of an apocalyptic battle can actually bring out the softer side in you. Most definitely, this installment is much darker and more emotional than the previous two.
My expectations for this final installment were over-spilling all the way to the cinema. I wouldn’t say that I was thoroughly disappointed with the film but oh well, I had my expectations since it was the grand finale to such an amazing trilogy.
That being said, it was definitely much better than the previous installment (Revenge of the Fallen) in terms of action. Although I would have to say that Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon did have its downfalls, especially in the whole progression of the film and how its sequences weren’t gradual enough.
The script felt impervious and I wouldn’t have cried if it weren’t for Shia’s highly-emotional connection with the Autobots. Human drama was very much downplayed here and audiences had to rely on their connections with the Autobots to discern any form of emotion throughout the film. Shia LaBeouf stole the show once again and most of the human beings in the movie felt slightly unimportant. The movie probably wasn’t as lighthearted due to it being an “apocalyptic” era but I appreciated all the cute dialogue by Shia, Turturro and the Autobots.
Fans of the Transformers franchise can rejoice as references to the original Transformers Generation 1 cartoon are very much evident in the film. Star Trek references also add a touch of nostalgia! In case you’re wondering why the Star Trek implications, please refer to the Characters section above.
The ending was definitely too abrupt and even felt indifferent, unlike the previous two installments whereby Optimus Prime ended off with Tumblr-worthy quotes and splendid “F*** YEAH!” scenes. The film’s running time was just nice for me although many would argue that it ran a little too stretchy.
On a final note, I’d just like to add that the first Transformers installment would always remain as the jack of all trades.
Overall, Dark of the Moon is a wonderful round-the-clock action movie, with stunning visual effects and breathtaking stunts. Any action movie fan will be quenched 120% with the massive amounts of explosions, car chases and Autobots/Decepticons battle scenes. Indeed, the film is light on plot and heavy on action. The film’s few plot holes with the addition of an indifferent tone surrounding the script, prevent me from giving a full 5 stars.
Till then, Mr & Mrs Ravenous ROLL OUT!