Saturday, 25 June 2011


Paramount Pictures
Now Showing

Finally a film that lives up to expectations. And by 'up', I, of course, mean 'down'. I have half-jokingly mentioned online that I had pencilled in Transformers 3 as my worst film of 2011, but thanks to ever-reliable director Michael 'more is more' Bay, I can now erase that scribble and ink it in.

Transformers 2 was my least favourite film of 2009 - and, indeed, the decade - and I'd be surprised (and disappointed on several levels) if there were a bigger, dumber film this year than its sequel, Dark of the Moon.

That's despite opening with a clever reinterpretation of the history of the American space race (which would have been even more clever had Doctor Who not performed a similar but far better conceit with its 2011 season opener). But Bay quickly lapses back into his old ways: the very next scene opens with a shot of a tiny heiny strutting up a staircase: from the Moon to a moon. Subtle, Mr. Bay, subtle.

Those buttocks belong to Rosie Huntington-Something O'Rather, a Victoria's Secret model and Megan Fox's replacement as, inexplicably, the girlfriend of Shia Labeouf's Sam Witwicky. How this everyboy attracts the babes I don't know, and he doesn't seem to care. Despite her scantily clad advances, Sam spends the first half of the movie pissing and moaning about no longer being involved in the US government's defence operations with the Autobots (the good guy Transformers in case you forgot, or simply forgot to care).

But it's not too long before Sam, hero of the first two films, is caught up in another battle royale between the Autobots, once again led by Optimus Prime, and the evil Decepticons. They plan to bring about the downfall of man by bringing their home planet, Cybertron, through a wormhole (or something) using technology which was cargo on a ship which crashed - you guessed it - on the moon in the early 1960s, hence the Americans' sudden eagerness to get a man in space.

All of this stupidity comes to a head in Chicago in a sequence which runs at least half an hour and bored me to tears. Then again, that may have been the large coffee I consumed at the beginning of the film and, from about the two hour mark onwards (Dark of the Moon clocks in at 154 minutes!), threatened to do to my bladder what the Decepticons had done to the windy city.

One of the (many) problems with the Transformers films is the indistinguishable nature of the alien robots. Call me an automotive racist but they all look alike to me, even more so when they're doing battle. Surprisingly, the 3D employed for this instalment doesn't muddy the visuals but, as always, is completely unnecessary.

Also unnecessary is the likes of John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and John Turturro (obviously not as ashamed as the rest of us of his appearance in Transformers 2) prostituting themselves for the hefty pay cheque a Hollywood blockbuster delivers. Come on, guys, you're better than that.

But Michael Bay isn't. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is Bay at his best/worst: bombastic, gung-ho and dumb as all fuck. And yet the film will make squillions at the international box office - there's no accounting for taste. Then again, anyone willingly forking over money for this is getting exactly what they deserve.


  1. Haha great review man. I laughed a number of times. I also have pencilled this in as one of the years worst. I think Revenge of the Fallen was atrocious in every way. 154 minutes! Dude I don't think i could get through this...

  2. Thanks for the comment, Andy. Glad to have given you a laugh or two ;) The film probably will, too, though unintentionally. And yes, it's a long, hard slog of a film; take provisions.

  3. They should have handed out earplugs with the 3D glasses. I might sue Mr. Bay for giving me tinnitus.