“Earth goes dark”
Directed by Michael Bay
Starring Shia LaBoeuf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Josh Duhamel, with the voices of Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving and Leonard Nimoy
The Autobots, now instruments of an aggressively interventionist US foreign policy, are bitched at by the Director of National Security (Frances McDormand, for fuck’s sake,) who is a woman and so doesn’t get it. Sam (LaBoeuf) and his new girlfriend (Huntington-Whiteley) stumble on some plot thing and Sentinel Prime (Nimoy) comes back from the moon. Betrayal, exile, explosions, fights, blah, blah, whatever.
God, I hate this movie.
What’s wrong with it?
Remember how I said – and if you don’t, it’s in the post right below this one – that Revenge of the Fallen was all the dumb bits of Transformers, but none of the good stuff? Well, this is the same, but of Revenge of the Fallen. After a bit of narration from Optimus Prime (Cullen,) we start as we mean to go on, with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s arse wiggling in front of the camera for a full minute. This is followed by the same sexist, racist stereotypes that Revenge had, but with some added homophobia (yay!) and getting a few shots in on Asian-Americans and the Dutch.
The plot is more apocalyptic, but don’t let that fool you into thinking we won’t have any crude comedy from Mama and Papa Witwicky, now well into their second childhood, and Agent Simmons and his big, gay (apparently ex-Dutch Special Forces) valet (played by the not-at-all dutch Alan Tudyk.)
Lots of people and Transformers die, and no-one seems to give a shit.
What’s right with it?
The robot fights are still good, just not good enough.
How bad is it really?
Best bit (if such there is)?
Pointless Carly actually gets to do something by convincing Megatron to turn on Sentinel Prime. It’s just as shame there was no build up to suggest why Megatron would even listen to her speaking.
What’s up with…?
- Megatron’s robot hobo schtick and truck form?
- No-one caring that Ironhide just got glooped?
- Ken Jeong’s bizarre appearance as a stock Ken Jeong comedy angry Chinese-American.
- The Wreckers being three Nascar racing cars with British accents and an engineering remit, and not Impactor’s Autobot special forces team at all.
- Alan Tudyk as ‘Dutch’ (Dutch by name, Dutch by defining character trait)?
Production values – Once more, there is little fundamental progression in the effects, and the addition of an all out invasion means that the screen is more cluttered than ever. 12
Dialogue and performances – Just… bad. The players are game enough – in Ken Jeong’s case, possibly too much so – but the material is poor, poor, poor. 17
Plot and execution – The plot is a paper-thin set up for the apocalyptic climax, and the characters are treated as entirely disposable, not just by the writers, but by each other. 16
Randomness – On the plus side, there’s no sex bot this time, but there is a whole lot more crap, from hobo-Megatron to Dutch to the fact that no-one talks to Sam any more for plot reasons. 15
Waste of potential – After Revenge of the Fallen, I was not expecting to be disappointed. Kudos, Dark of the Moon; I did not expect you to be this bad. 18