By Kate Rodger
Michael Bay is the Hollywood director people love to hate for his big dumb action movies. But love him or hate him, Bay knows how to make movies which make money, truckloads of money, movies which appeal to a mass audience who just want to watch stuff blow up.
This he does with relentless intensity in his Transformers movies, and the third one, Dark of the Moon, is his biggest bang yet.
Much to my surprise at the time, I was part of the cheerleading squad for Bay’s first Transformers film; I loved it. I was also among the disappointed masses when Revenge of the Fallen dropped the ball. But despite a drubbing from the critics and many fans, the film still grossed NZ$1 billion globally, writing Bay’s ticket for more where that came from.
All eyes are now on Dark of the Moon, the first to be delivered in IMAX 3D, increasing its Box Office value even more.
For the uninitiated, the Transformers franchise is based on the bestselling Hasbro toy, and is essentially an ongoing story about good robots and bad robots (transformers) from outer space who are now resident on planet earth and who fight each other, alot.
Humans get mixed up in the fighting too of course, and lots and lots of stuff gets blown up.
To round the movie experience off, and given the Bay target market of teenage boys of all ages, we, of course, require eye candy.
The first two Transformers turned Megan Fox into a pin-up screensaver superstar, until the Bay/Spielberg powerhouse swapped her out in the third for British Victoria’s Secret supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (keep an ear out early on, as Bay takes a swipe at Fox via his scriptwriters).
You may also burst out laughing, as I did, with one of the most memorable objectifications of the female form in recent cinema history, as Bay introduces Carly (Huntington-Whiteley) to Transformers audiences by way of a tracking shot, up stairs, from behind.
So gratuitous to be hilarious, any feminine outrage at a Michael Bay film so obviously a pointless exercise in futility (what was I expecting?).
Let us ponder the premise for a moment. Tying the story together this time around is the idea the moon-landing wasn’t as it appeared, with an Autobot crash-landing on the moon in the 1960’s, leading to the space race.
Fast-forward to now, and our human hero Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is trying to readjust to real life after saving the planet in the last movie, he’s dumped Mikaela (Megan Fox), and is now in love with Carly (Huntington-Whitely). He’s also job-hunting, that is until a Decepticon take-over is launched (the bad robots) and Optimus Prime, Ironhide, and the rest of our loyal Autobots (the good robots) leap to our defence. All-out war breaks out and Planet Earth could be part of the collateral damage unless Sam and Optimus Prime save the day yet again.
There are a few new characters and transformers, with Bay even managing to call up class acting talents John Malkovich and Frances McDormand for a mini-break from their usual fare. Watch out too for a classic cameo early on.
And that’s about the sum of it. Again, while Bay gives this story more time to breathe, it still suffers from muddiness and silliness, and at two and a half hours this movie was way too long!
As a fan of the first Transformers, neither the last one nor this lives up, but there’s no doubt Dark of the Moon is an improvement. Some of the IMAX 3D action sequences are insanely good fun, making this one of the few movies released lately worth the extra ticket price.
So you get the picture, Transformers does what it says on the tin. It’s big, it’s brash, it’s loud, it’s dumb and it’s mostly entertaining if that’s what you’re up for. Yep, it’s your quintessential Michael Bay movie.
Three and a half stars.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
:: Director:Michael Bay
:: Starring:Shia LaBeouf, John Malkovich, Josh Duhamel, Hugo Weaving, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, John Turturro, Frances McDormand, Alan Tudyk
:: Running Time: 154 mins
:: Rating:M - Contains violence and offensive language.
:: Release Date: June 29, 2011
:: Trailer: Click here
source: newshub archive