In “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” there’s a lot of explosions, camp and, well, everything but the kitchen sink. Wait, no, there’s a couple of those too.
This latest Transformers film is enjoyable enough, but feels over-crowded at times.
The third installment of the Michael Bay directed series finds Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) with a new girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), unemployed and angsty. After all he has saved the world twice, he deserves some sort of gratitude, or at least a steady paycheck. But never fear, he soon finds himself in the middle of a government/Decepticons’ coverup involving NASA and the Apollo missions.
Of course, all hell breaks loose when the trio of baddies, Megatron (voiced by Hugo Weaving), the newly resurrected Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) and their all too eager to please human accomplice Dylan (Patrick Dempsey) try to destroy earth (again) and recreate their home planet of Cybertron.
If the plot sounds familiar, then you’ve probably seen the first two films in the series. However, where this film goes wrong is where many a third trilogy film has stumbled—excess.
Too many bad guys (anything over two is a bad idea), too many characters and so on. The only thing that wasn’t overdone was the cheesy, campy and mostly self-deprecating humor that is present throughout the first two films. It all but vanishes during the second half of the movie, along with everyone’s favorite Decipticons turned good Wheelie (Tom Kenny) and Brains (Reno Wilson) who also drop off the radar after a selfless/humorous act of bravery (seriously, I’d like to know what happened to them).
Despite all of its short comings, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” still manages to entertain. Though there might be too many of them, the heart of this cast manages, for the most part, to keep us interested on a human level.
Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, and delivers more of the same. Though LaBeouf has more than proven himself as an action star, he still manages to portray Witwicky as that sweet, spazzy, overly confident and awkward hero we met in the first film.
As the Megan Fox replacement…I mean, as Sam’s new girlfriend Carly Spencer, model turned actress, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley does a surprisingly good job. Yes, there are the Victoria’s Secret commercial moments that you would expect, but it is a summer blockbuster.
A new comer to the series, Patrick Dempsey, as would be villain, Dylan might as well have a neon “evil” sign flashing overhead when he makes his entrance. You just don’t like the guy. The character feels unnecessary, and like a botched attempt to show that humans are responsible for evil-doings too (we know). Dempsey isn’t to blame, but Dylan the villain should have been left out.
Don’t despair Transformers’ fans, it’s not all bad news. As popcorn cinema goes, it’s not a bad film, and definitely worth the price of a movie ticket if you’re a fan of well done over-the-top CG animation and massive explosions. And isn’t that really what summer blockbusters are supposed to be about?
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