There are no surprises anymore. Not here, anyway. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” returns us to the Autobots and the Decepticons as they battle it out to save planet Earth. Megatron (Hugo Weaving) thankfully isn’t the sole antagonist this time but that hardly makes things what the suits call “interesting”. Shia LaBouef is back as Sam Witwicky, the focus of the film despite his inescapable irrelevancy. I suppose I should say something like “I loved the special effects!”. I also love tea, but God forbid you serve without milk.
We are lovingly taken to LaBouef’s room by an incredibly courteous disembodied arse. In said room lies a bewildered LaBouef, feeling depressed due to his inability to find a job and pay for his half of the rent of his arse’s house. He misses the glory days when he was working with the Autobots, for which he recieved a medal in person from the President. the destruction of Earth’s landmarks really touches the hearts of the American people after all, and it isn’t as if the planet isn’t aware of the Transformers at this point. Energon detectors have been placed outside the worlds cities so that we can expose the various Transformers before they wreak havoc. Don’t worry, the detectors are useless, havoc is still wrought.
It comes to light that the Apollo 11 mission wasn’t just to get to the moon, but also to survey a crashed ship on the orbiting rock. Fast Forward to the present day and Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) is none too pleased that the humans have hidden this information from them, which is mostly aimed at the Director of National Intelligence (Frances McDorman). McDormand’s character insists initially on leaving Labouef out of the affairs of the Autobots but he somehow worms his way in. I’m struggling to remember most of this I really am, the first half of the film that is said to build some sort of plot was endured by me, not enjoyed.
Needless to say, the Autobots arrive at the moon to scope out the situation and they happen to find a comatose Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy) and five pillars. Sentinel is the old leader of the Autobots and precursor to Optimus, and it turns out that these pillars are just a few of hundreds that will combine to form a space bridge that will bring the Transformer homeworld of Cybertron into Earth’s orbit. I don’t remember what the benefit of bringing the planet over was, I’m sure someone said something about it but it managed to elude me.
Useless characters make a comeback, these are in the form of John Torturro as ex-FBI agent Simmons (who is supposed to be a comic relief character, apparently) and Josh Duhamel as Lennox, the soldier that shot stuff the first time, shot stuff the second time and graces us with his presence by shooting stuff the third time. I’ve spent a total of 7 and a half hours with this guy, and IMDB had to tell me his name. I don’t really understand why anyone would miss him, so why bloat your script by including him? Admittedly, there is precious little of what one might call a script, and what there is quickly descends into hit-or-miss (with an emphasis on the latter) comedy that again feels as though it is added to fill up time. Michael Bay isn’t funny, every movie of his fails to persuade me otherwise.
So most of the humans are boring, well except for LaBouef’s parents that is. Say all you like but I find them at least somewhat amusing. I also find them needless and tacked on, but amusing. Shia’s character himself though? Nothing new except the aspiration to be “worth something” again. He screams, he shouts, he lets it all out, and he doesn’t return for the next film. I’ll stay quiet now lest he makes a hasty return just to spite me.
Where the humans are boring, the Transformers are indistinguishable from one another. Only Optimus, Bumblebee (IMDB tells me he is voiced by Mark Ryan, despite the character speaking in radio broadcasts?), Sentinel and Megatron are readily identifiable and this is only because of their colour schemes. There was one scene in particular which inolved a Mexican standoff between Autobots and Decepticons, and I couldn’t tell who was who. You’d think that if I was going to be spending most of the movie watching two sides in battle, that the movie would have the common decency to at least inform me of who to root for.
The action has improved since “Revenge of the Fallen” but this isn’t a feat to get excited about. The final hour of this film is completely action and it’s just not fun. Sure I can now tell whats going on vaguely cause bay didn’t film every sequence by rolling the camera down a hill, but it’s still just robots throwing punches and spouting one liners without wit.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. Things crash, things clank, things die, things boom, things happen, what happens? I usually didn’t know, and I always didn’t care, that is your summary.
* Wait, there was a Rosie Huntington-Whiteley attached to that arse? Are you sure? Yes… and she played a character? A human being with emotions? Could have fooled me.