Thursday, July 7, 2011

Movie Review - Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - **1/2

Directed by: Michael Bay

Starring: Shia Lebouf, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Josh Duhamel, Francis McDormand, John Turturro, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, Tyrese Gibson, Ken Jeong

Review: ‘Transformers’ as a movie franchise has long been one that panders to a specific audience.  There is a generation of men who were ages 6 ot 13 when Transformers were really popular and now they rule the lands of geekdom and come out in droves to see movies made about the favorite parts of their childhood.  There are others who don’t consider themselves in the realm of the geek, yet they still make their way to the theater on opening night to see this movie.

No great insight into the human condition is expected, women are expected to be glorified for their sex appeal in these movies, and most of all, there are going to be lots of robots and explosions.  Michael Bay makes sure he gets all of these in this movie and then some.  At roughly 2:45 minutes there is definitely no shortage of action and cool things to see and look at (not the least of which is Victoria Secret Model turned actress Rosie Huntington-Whitely, of whom I have included a gratuitous photo for the purse sake of the opportunity to do so), and then see them blow up.

This iteration of the franchise centers around a secret that has been buries amongst the annals of super-top-secret-code-black-nobody-can-know-disavow-all-knowledge area of the government.  The true purpose behind the Apollo program in the 1960’s was to investigate a crash on the moon from a ship that had sailed light years through the universe to land on our moon.  Never mind that a ship that is hurling through space at that speed and that size would probably split the moon in half, we are not here to ponder such things.  Nor are we here to ponder why the transformers still feel the need to transform when everyone on the planet knows they exist and  depends on them for protection against the decepticons.

What we are here to do is gawk at Huntington-Whitely, marvel at the over-the-top performances of Turturro and McDormand, and enjoy seeing the events we all played out with action figures come alive on the big screen.  We get all that we can ask for this go-round.  The autobots find themselves shunned by the government after the Decepticons learn of the moon crash and recover its contents.  At this point the Earth is in danger and the Autobots are blamed which leads to them being spurned by all of humanity. 

Of course, this will not stop Optimus Prime and the bunch from attempting to save the day by trying to defeat the Decepticons, no matter how many there are and how many human friends they have.  I can’t help but love these movies for the very reasons I mentioned above.  Michael Bay has a way of channeling the 13 year old in all of us, giving us the explosions and action necessary and enough skin to make us thinking maybe we shouldn’t be looking but we’re going to anyway.  This is why Bay has reached such success in his career and why he’s good at what he does, he can channel these things and makes no bones about doing such. 

I am biased, but I do say this is worth your time.  It is not a great movie by any stretch but if you appreciate the material (like I do) then it is worth your time.

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