REVIEW: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

28 06 2011

 

Oh, Michael Bay, what on earth are we going to do with you?  The director’s latest venture, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” reminds me why I use his name metonymically to represent all that is wrong with modern Hollywood filmmaking.  I have come to believe that the director’s ambition is to make movies akin to hitting your head against a wall: that is, both should be experiences to kill a massive amount of brain cells.

To call the movie thinly plotted is a vast overstatement; it’s a jumble of events that gives Bay an excuse to blow stuff up.  In fact, using the word plot is insulting to the craft of writing.  If there was any sort of story to the movie, I couldn’t make it out amidst the deafening noisiness.  All I picked up on was some sort of Apollo 11 conspiracy that brings back more villainous Decepticons, thus allowing Bay to unleash the Autobots to fight them for prolonged periods of time while Shia LaBeouf’s Sam Witwicky runs around like he just escaped from an insane asylum and the new Megan Fox, Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitley, stands there looking hot while managing to still have a perfectly unscathed face amidst the disaster around her.

It’s hard to believe now that this series used to be good.  The first “Transformers,” which came out four years ago, was a fun mix of action, humor, and excitement.  Since it did so well at the box office, Bay seems to have assumed it was only because of the action and dialed down every other aspect of the series to make the one non-stop.  I don’t mind watching buildings explode or bullets fly, but it gets old when you get pounded by it ceaselessly.  For this reason, the first sequel “Revenge of the Fallen” was a total disaster and one of the worst movies released in 2009.

Unfortunately, Bay learns no lessons from the movie which he himself even called a flop, leaning even further away from what made the original so great.  The action, even in 3D (which is unspectacular despite being shot in the format), is a total bore.  The climactic battle sequence is just as simple as destroying a pillar atop a Chicago high-rise balcony, something that would take no more than 10 minutes in the hands of a Spielberg or a Lucas.  Bay, on the other hand, finds a way to make this battle a virtually self-contained movie in itself.  The battle lasts over an hour, and tacked on to the bloated 90 minutes leading up to it, the movie totally overstays its welcome.

It really isn’t that hard to make a coherent action sequence, yet this seems to totally elude Bay’s direction as non-sequiturs, implausibilities, plot holes, and just a general lack of awareness abound in this shellacking of visual effects.  Nearly $200 million went in to making the movie, none of which must have gone to keeping Bay’s crazy teenage pyromaniac at bay.  If the movie hadn’t been blasting sound into my ears at frightening decibels, I might have fallen asleep.  After about ten minutes, my brain just shut down and stopped caring; then, it just stopped registering anything my eyes were seeing.

So in case I haven’t persuaded you not to go near a movie with a 39 1/2 foot pole, at least leave your brain at home.  If you try to stay engaged, it will feel about as painful as Michael Bay personally giving you a lobotomy.  Because if “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” can be called artful in some sense of the word, it would be how shockingly palpable it makes brain death feel.  D / 

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3 responses

29 06 2011
Fitz

I could not believe how willing Michael Bay was to go into genocide-is-the-only-option-Americans! symbolism. WAY too over the top.

1 07 2011
CMrok93

For me, I enjoyed myself so much because the story may start off slow, but as time goes on, the action is amazing and just happens non-stop to the point of where I left, I was just totally worn-out thanks to Michael Bay. Good Review! Check out mine when you can!

7 07 2011
fogsmoviereviews

Dude. I had to look THIS word UP.

“metonymically”

Damn.

Meanwhile, this movie stank out loud, but if people ever want to see it, they should see it now, in theatres. As soon as it hits small screen it will lose the only elements it has going for it.

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