Optimus is back and still the center of attention

Transformers 3 is here!

Okay so being as big of a transformers fan as I am, I can’t tell you how excited I have been during these past two weeks; as I have awaited the release of Michael Bay’s third installment to the popular 80’s cartoon.  Yesterday the big day finally arrived and I am happy to say that the wait was mostly worthwhile.  I’m here to tell you my friends that Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon is an entertaining piece of work in more ways than one.

To get this review started let’s start with what you may already know from the trailers.  As stated time and time again, Dark of the Moon centers on a Transformer ship that crash lands on Earth’s moon, which catches the attention of the United States space program.  In a matter of minutes the famous astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong are assigned the task of scouting the ship and collecting as much evidence of their close encounter with alien kind, which is classified as top of the line top secret.  Years later the Autobots received hints about this mysterious ship and how the humans have been hiding this secret from Optimus and the gang, which is always a grave mistake.  A quick trip to the moon recovers the alleged cargo contained in the ship, and the journey and excitement unfold.

Now that you have a little backstory, let’s start the review by looking at the acting of the movie.  Shia LaBeouf plays his typical role of Sam Witwicky, complete with his typical soiree of sarcastic comments, his outspoken rebel attitude and his typical surprised at anything screams.  However in this movie they have added a few more features we haven’t seen in the past few films: such as sadness and actual emotional attachment to his girlfriend, the incredibly beautiful Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley).  Despite what a lot of critics say, Whiteley plays her role well and actually gives Sam’s girlfriend a little more character other than being beautiful.  Instead of playing that rebellious biker chick like Megan Fox played, Whiteley’s character actually feels more like a real person as she actually has a job, a life, and a personality, which is a plus.  Yes she’s not the greatest actress, but she provides some new spins to the movie.  Seymour Simmons (John Turturro) returns to the mix as well, playing that arrogant, goofy, adventurous, and skill lacking agent we’ve seen in the past.  However the agent doesn’t play as big a part as we have seen him in the past, which was a little disappointing to me.  Fans of the tag team soldier style of Lennex (Josh Duhamel) and Epps (Tyrese Gibson) may be disappointed for a good portion of this movie, as their roles have been significantly scaled down from what we have seen in the past.  Near the end of the movie they fall back into their normal roles of being true blue soldiers that fear no Decepticon.  Other actors in the movie such as John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, and Alan Tudyk also make an appearance in this movie each providing their own talents to an already well rounded cast.  While Malkovich and Tudyk provide mainly laughs and catchy one liners, Dempsey still plays that suave, sophisticated, and calm role that we’ve seen a hundred times before in Grey’s Anatomy.   If that doesn’t rope in some extra fans to the series, I don’t know what will.

Despite the large and diverse cast of characters, you may be asking yourself, “Robbie is this movie worth sitting in a theatre for close to 3 hours!?”  I believe the answer to that question is yes, because the movie doesn’t feel like 3 hours, at least not to me.  The pace of the movie moved at a quick pace and didn’t really drag anywhere, with the exception of a few scenes. In fact I would say that there were more places where Bay and company actually sped through the story a little too quickly, leaving out some details that may have helped explain the motifs behind the actions.  However, I wasn’t too bothered by this, as the humor from every character helped keep people’s interest into the movie.  Every character, and two of the Autobots Wheelie and Brains, played a large role in keeping the audience laughing.  The comedy had a wide variety of styles that was sure to make you laugh at least once during the movie.  Fans of the Twins however will be disappointed as Bay decided to pull the two quarreling brothers from the movie due to a majority of the fan base hating them.  If you liked the comedy they provided, then I’m sorry but it’s not there, however Brains and Wheelie make up a lot of that lost ground.

Comedy however is not the sole means for helping keep the pace of this movie fast.  No my friends, just as you expected there is plenty of action to keep this movie going strong.  Bay and company have once again made the fast paced robot action look good as the same kind of detail and special effects fill screen.  Exciting chase scenes, laser shooting, sword wielding, and robot karate perform smoothly without any glitches as all.  The adrenaline I felt with these action scenes really kept my attention on the movie, and I was again impressed by what Dreamworks studio had done, again pushing their limits as to what the Transformers can do.  However being as big an action fan as I am, I must say I was a little disappointed in the action scenes this movie had.  Don’t get me wrong the graphics were amazing and the camera work was pretty good, but I was still expecting more than what I saw.  Part of the reason was because I had read the book of this movie and my overactive imagination tends to make more action packed sequences then probably possible.  One other reason though was that Bay and Company still only focuses on Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and mainly Optimus in this film.  I know they are everybody’s favorite duo, but honestly there should still be a way to integrate the other Autobots into this film.  In the first film they had all five Autobots equally participating, but in this one I still feel that only Optimus and Bumblebee had the major action screen time.  I also wanted more screen time for the Transformers taking on the Decepticons instead of the human race, which seemed to be the more effective fighting force.  Regardless the action is still good and fun, and in my opinion much better than the previous installment.

Okay I’ve dabbled on long enough.  Overall I think Dark of the Moon is a step in the right direction and much better than its predecessor.  However I think that Bay and company need to take a step back on the comedy and instead work on balancing transformer screen time.  The camera work, acting, and voice work are fun and entertaining and the soundtrack still complements the sequences nicely.  Overall I will give Dark of the Moon a solid 8.0-8.5, but again I emphasize more robots and less humans.  Maybe I’ll get my wish if they make a prequel about the War on Cybertron.  So until then my friends keep on enjoying the movies!.

 

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