View Full Version : Transformers 3 - Quick Review - Read This Before You See It [Untagged spoilers]

06-28-2011, 09:18 PM
I won't bore any of you with an overly long review of the movie. I saw a 9 PM showing of it tonight in my town on Tuesday evening.

First off, when the credits roll, feel free to leave the theater. There are no bonus scenes during OR after the credits. Being that it has been stated that this is the LAST film in the franchise, there is no reason to have any hooks or hidden scenes for another sequel. So when the credits roll, don't waste your time waiting for any scenes because there aren't any. There was a huge line outside the theater for the midnight showing, and I did my best to let those people know not to waste their time either.

Ok, unlike the second film, there were no crude jokes like robot testicles or John Turturro's naked butt. Though it did have its share of humor. But I could have done without Ken Jeong (of the Hangover films) though. He was only in it about a few minutes, but it was a few minutes too long.

Megan Fox's replacement,....let's just say she's no Megan Fox. The way they wrote her character off was she simply dumped Shia's character "Sam."

Star Trek alumni Leonard Nemoy provided the voice of autobot legend Sentinal Prime. He did a fabulous job providing the voice, and though it was great hearing those Vulcan chords, watch out for this guy. And if any of you are Star Trek fans, listen closely, he belts out a line from the Trek films that any Trekkie will recognize instantly. And die hard....hard core Transformer fans might start recognizing a storyline from the original 1984 series within this movie, but just know it doesn't end the same way.

Ok, finishing up here. From the first time I saw the trailers, I was voting no to this film, thinking it was just way too overly exaggerated. And in a way, it is. I'm referring to the particular scene you see where the machine is tearing up the high rise building. But I will say this. If you like action films, if you're an action junkie, then the last 45 minutes of the film, mainly the climatic scene, will leave you on the edge of your seats. And once its all said and done, you will know there is no room for another film.

Should you spend the money to go see it? I will leave that up to you. I will say this though, DO NOT spend the extra money to see it in 3-D. Because I saw it in 3-D and there were a few times where I could take off the glasses and watch it just fine without them, and there were no distortions. So if you really want to see it, then see it in 2-D if it is available. If you want to see good action, then go see it. If not, wait for it to come out on dvd.

06-29-2011, 10:17 AM
To say my expectations going into Transformers: Dark of the Moon were low would be a tremendous understatement. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was so embarrassingly bad I could hardly fathom it; but I ended up going to the new movie against my better judgement, primarily because I wanted to see the trailer for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol up on the big screen (which did not disappoint by the way, Brad Bird's live action debut looks amazing). To my surprise, though, Dark of the Moon was not terrible, and all things considered was actually pretty good.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon picks up roughly where Revenge of the Fallen left off and Sam Witwicky is living in Washington, D.C. with his unrealistically gorgeous girlfriend (who thankfully is not nearly as grating as Megan Fox) looking for a job and frustrated that the Autobots are out on missions around the world while he's stuck begging for office jobs. As I mentioned, the Autobots are working with the American government helping with military missions, all the while searching for any sign of a Decepticon uprising. Their search leads them to Chernobyl where they find some form of power supply taken from an Autobot ship. After the first big action sequence of the film, we arrive back at base to see a very displeased Optimus Prime demanding to know why he was not told of this until now. Apparently the entire space race between the United States and the U.S.S.R. was in response to an Autobot ship crash landing on the moon, a ship that carried some form of technology that was vital to the war on Cybertron, as well as Sentinel Prime, Optimus' mentor. A team of Autobots go to the moon to recover both and through a series of events I won't spoil the technology gets into the wrong hands and all hell breaks loose.

So when it comes to critiquing a Michael Bay film, you can't really treat it like anything else. There's a certain level of expectation that comes with one of his movies, and that involves a lot of explosions, and not a lot of plot. And when it comes to explosions, giant robots, and epic action sequences, this movie does not disappoint, however, for a Michael Bay film, Dark of the Moon is surprisingly talky and I'm still not sure whether or not that's a good thing. The first two acts of the film contain relatively few big action set pieces, and mostly attempts to set the stage for everything that happens in the film's final act. On one hand I appreciate that this film actually attempts to tell a story rather than Revenge of the Fallen's method of "look, here's robots fighting in China for no reason! Ooh, and now they're fighting in Egypt for no reason!" but on the other hand the film kind of drags at times in the first two acts because none of the characters are particularly compelling. Normally I would not criticize a film for spending more time on story and characters than on eye candy, and I do commend the filmmakers for telling a coherent story this time around, but they could have easily trimmed some time from the first two acts and focussed more on the battle for Earth between the Autobots and Decepticons.

When we finally do get to the good stuff in the final act, the action and the scale is certainly epic, but parts of it feel hollow. What we're seeing is cool, but none of it carries any weight; what should be a rousing finale to a series rings a bit flat because there was not a proper build up to it. Yes, this movie spent a long time setting up the finale, and they did it as well as they could, but for the kind of impact they were clearly going for the series needs to build up to it from the get go. This is my biggest problem with the film, it's not the shallow characters, the massive plot holes, or the annoying comic relief characters; those are all par for the course with a movie like this. My biggest complaint is that Transformers did not have the ambition or the foresight to build any sort of arc into the trilogy. Almost nothing from the first two films has any impact on the events of this film (the second film is particularly overlooked). This does not feel like Transformers 3, it feels like Transformers: Yeah, We Did Another One. When you make a trilogy like this, it's essential to have a narrative that ties them together. The reason Return of the King is so powerful as a conclusion because the rest of The Lord of the Rings builds up to it, the same goes for the Star Wars trilogy, even the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy creates an arc for its story and its characters so that the ending feels like the culmination of everything, not just another ending of another movie. In my opinion, that is the biggest area where Transformers: Dark of the Moon fails, that it does not build on any established narrative, but instead goes in an entirely new direction and therefore feels less satisfying than it could have. Again, though, this is Michael Bay's Transformers, so to expect that kind of foresight to go into it is a bit silly. So let's shift gears and focus on some things I did like.

This movie, has far less embarrassingly juvenile humor than either of the previous films (THANK GOD!). Oh, there's still some in there, but we don't have anything as facepalm worthy as masturbation jokes, Bumblebee peeing on John Turturro, Mudflap and Skids, or "I'm underneath the enemy's...scrotum." Outside of the juvenile humor though, there are some things are actually legitimately funny John Malkovich has a fun, albeit brief, role in the film, and Shia LeBeouf has some great interaction with a character played by Patrick Dempsey. I was also impressed that there were one or two plot twists in this film that actually managed to surprise me. It was nothing super heady, but the script was at least intelligent enough to keep you on your toes, even if just a little bit. And of course the visual effects work by ILM was amazing, and is a shoe-in for the VFX Oscar this year.

I normally don't address this much in my reviews, but considering the widely publicized enhancements that Michael Bay made to the film to ensure that the 3D look as good as it could I think it's worth taking a minute to talk about that. The biggest thing that was talked about with all of this was addressing the infamous issue of 3D causing a dimmer picture, Bay reportedly printed the film in such a way to ensure that it was as bright and crisp as it could be and worked with theater owners to make sure that the projection was top quality. I saw the film at the local Cinemark XD theater and I did not notice any drastic difference in brightness. It was still a step above a regular theater's projection, but a step down from IMAX 3D, as has traditionally been the case. However, what I did notice was that the 3D really popped a lot more than it normally does. A lot of times when watching a 3D film you'll settle in and start to not even notice the 3D effect until an action scene comes up and grabs your attention; in this, though, the film was always very obviously 3D. It didn't resort to cheap 3D tricks, but it certainly had a very deep picture the entire time and often had elements extending into the audience space. I would not say that the 3D benefitted the film as much as it did on films like How to Train Your Dragon, TRON: Legacy, or even Avatar, but I'd say it's worth seeing it in 3D unless you're just really opposed to it.

So all in all Transformers: Dark of the Moon was an enjoyable film. It vastly exceeded my expectations based on what we got with the last film, and while not as satisfying as it could have been still had plenty of cool action sequences and fun moments. If you liked the first Transformers at all I would recommend it, if not, than this isn't going to change your opinion on the series at all.


07-03-2011, 10:16 PM
So when the credits roll, don't waste your time waiting for any scenes because there aren't any.

If people aren't interested in watching the credits, that's fine, but it's NOT a waste of time to watch them. Some of us are actually interested in seeing who's involved in making the films.

I'm also not sure why you wanted people to read your post before they saw the movie, considering you gave away quite a few spoilers. I'm glad the mods saw fit to tag the thread to warn people.

Alex S.
07-05-2011, 08:30 PM
My Twitter review leaving the theater (paraphrased because I don't want to look it up):

Add together amount of suck in the first two movies (and there was a lot) and double it. Transformers 3 still sucks harder.

My longer Facebook review was less family friendly so I won't share that one.

Yes, I know I didn't like the first two so why did I go to the third one? Because I like to be aware of the big movies and I find bad movies interesting and instructive (though not fun) as well. Also, a friend I strust on such things told me he thought it was better than the first two. He was wrong.

07-05-2011, 10:15 PM
Overall, I enjoyed this latest installment, (big improvement over part 2) Frances McDormand & Patrick Dempsey are fun to watch, I wish John Malkovich had a bit more screen time. The girlfriend role was meh... To put it another way, i would rather watch this again over Cars 2. ouch

07-08-2011, 11:04 AM
It's funny. I'm a huge Transformers fan and haven't had any desire to see any of the films. They just didn't do anything for me in the trailers.