Saturday, July 9, 2011

Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

I wonder if the fellow who came up with the idea for toy trucks and cars to turn into butt kicking robots from outer space gets a monthly royalty check.  It is highly doubtful and I feel sorry for the poor guy.  Who knew?

Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon is the third installment of the adrenaline fueled series.  To call these films mere action flicks would be like saying the sun is a little bright.  Director Michael Bay does not stray from the successful formula that worked so well in the first two movies.  The storyline is patiently introduced and developed before kicking things into high gear.  Some time is spent getting to know Sam Witwicky’s new girlfriend and working her into the plot.  As with most of Bay’s efforts, Dark Side is all about the effects and the action.

In one of the most head scratching career decisions, Megan Fox passed on Dark Side.  She evidently forgot what she is – eye candy – and how she got there.  Instead, Sam is once again dating above his class.  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, the former Victoria Secrets model, plays Carly Spencer.  She’s no worse an actor than Fox and no less attractive and she pulls off the damsel in distress just as easily. 

If you liked the first two movies, you will like this one.  Simple as that.  The action in the last hour and a half is non-stop.  Terrific CGI effects make the science fiction action sequences look almost real and there are few dull moments.  The plot is plainly laid out and easy to follow, with a surprise villian.  The early moon landing footage blends well as an introduction and leads into the meat of the movie easily.  LaBeouf maintains his likeability and the cast, other than Huntington-Whiteley, is veteran and top notch.  Appearances by John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Ken Jeong,and McSteamy himself, Patrick Dempsey are added perks.  John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Dunn, and Julie White reprise their roles from the earlier films as well, although in seemingly smaller capacities. 

I love this kind of suspended reality, just plain fun, crazily action packed, summer fare.  Someone once told me they didn’t like this kind of movie because it wasn’t realistic.  Well, duh!  It’s science fiction.  It’s about alien robots that turn into cars.  Come on, people.  What are you expecting?  Grab some popcorn and settle in for a heck of a ride.  Don’t expect Sir Anthony Hopkins quoting Shakespeare - just a heart pounding pace and a whole lot of summer blockbuster fun.  Cheer for the heroes and root against the evil Decepticons and nothing else matters.  Remember, the plot, the eye-candy, and sometimes, even the actors themselves, are just backdrops to the real stars, those butt kicking alien robots.

How kid friendly is Dark Side?  Well, like its predecessors it has some inappropriate material.  The opening present day scene starts with a close up shot of Huntington-Whiteley’s rear end clad only in (Victoria Sectrets?) panties, going up some stairs.  It also seemed to me that the on-human violence was maybe a bit worse than the earlier films.  There is no blood splatter but only you know how your child will react to disintegrating bodies flying around.  It is probably all right for some of the older pre-teens, if they are used to this sort of stuff.  You may want to watch it before taking any kids younger than 9 or 10. 

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