Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Static Mass Rating: 4/5
Paramount Studios 

Release date: June 29th 2011
Certificate (UK): 12A
Running time: 154 minutes

Director: Michael Bay
Music: Steve Jablonsky
Producers: Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Don Murphy
Writers: Ehren Kruger

Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Patrick Dempsey, Hugo Weaving, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Frances McDormand, John Turturro, Alan Tudyk, John Turturro

It’s funny how some historic events seem change each time they’re told about and Transformers 3 (aka Transformers: Dark of the Moon) is no exception. Like Watchmen (2009) and X-Men: First Class (2011) before it, we’re presented with a different view of world history. This time round, it’s the moon landing.

We learn that Apollo 11 had another agenda altogether. In 1961 when NASA detected something on the dark side of the moon, they raced to get a manned shuttle out there to find what it was before the Russians. It turned out to be the wreck of spacecraft from Cybertron, piloted by Sentinel Prime and carrying technology that could save his planet.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Skipping ahead to present time, the Autobots finally learn what NASA has kept from them but now the Decepticons want to use the technology not only to rebuild Cybertron but also to enslave mankind.

Dark of the Moon brings back Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who’s as cocky as ever, but he’s now a graduate and struggling to find a job. He’s also unhappy because he wants to be recognised for his efforts in saving the world twice before and his current un-occupation isn’t helping. When he learns that the world is in danger once more, he doesn’t hesitate in stepping up to the challenge and finding his friends Bumblebee and Optimus Prime.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Standing in his way is Charlotte Mearing (Frances McDormand), the United States Secretary of Defense who refuses to give him clearance or acknowledge his previous efforts, believing that he’s just a boy messenger and nothing else. There are some friendlier and familiar faces though – U.S. Army Lt. Colonel William Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and USAF Chief Robert Epps (Tyrese Gibson) are back to help Sam as well as Agent Seymour Simmons (John Turturro) who adds some comic relief to a film that is incredibly action heavy.

As the battle gets underway to save Earth from Sentinel Prime and the rest of the Decepticons, Bay ups the ante on what an action epic is all about. Giant ships, freeway carnage and collapsing buildings don’t even begin to cover it as the adrenalin surges while watching these scenes and I have to say, I was more than impressed.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Dark Of the Moon is everything a film in this genre should be and more. The score composed by Steve Jablonsky is certainly evocative of TRON: Legacy (2010) and Inception (2010) in terms of its orchestration and deep resounding strings. Watching and hearing it in a theatre you really feel as if you’re in the midst of all that action and falling debris.

That being said, there were a few awkward moments, especially with one of Sam’s co-workers, Jerry Wang (Ken Jeong). His off-beat character felt a bit too off and the way he was played seemed redundant given the off-beat character already being played by John Malkovich as Bruce Brazos, Sam’s boss. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast as Carly Spencer, Sam’s new girlfriend and while she gets better towards the end, her acting still leaves a lot to work on.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

At times the film seems a little bit too long and I felt it could have wrapped up at least 20 minutes earlier than it did. Still, this all feels minor compared to the epic scale of the film.

The moon landing isn’t the only event that’s given an alternate history; during the course of the film you’ll also find out what really caused the Chernobyl disaster. I thoroughly enjoyed the action and the way these events are woven into the film and even though Bay has commented on this being his last instalment to the series, I’m pretty sure it’s not the last time we’ll see Sam or the Autobots.

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