Let’s be honest, fans of the Transformers films could care less what professional film critics, let alone myself, have to say about Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I, naturally, found it to be a headache-inducing waste of time and money, but if Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro made Taxi Driver 2: Bickle Bites Back, I’d be the first in line, regardless of what critics or my peers said.
So instead of diving into an all out bash, it seems more appropriate to try and gauge if fans of the Transformers franchise will enjoy this third installment. At my half-capacity, 3D showing, the crowd seemed more or less into it. Tween laughter was evoked from Shia Labeouf’s incessant mile-a-minute banter, and from the aimless, politically incorrect dialogue delivered by the couple who play Labouf’s parents. Kids seemed interested in the (few) action scenes, and the general consensus murmured as everyone left the theatre was that “it was better than the last one.”
Me, I just don’t get it.
Good robots work with humans to fight off the bad robots who want to take over Earth and enslave all its inhabitants. I don’t get why it takes two hours and 40 minutes to deliver on that very simple plot. I don’t get why the characters are forced to talk endlessly using dialogue that no one could possibly fully understand, or why the first action scene doesn’t commence until an hour and 13 minutes into the movie.
I also don’t get how the characters can leave Washington, D.C. then get attacked by robots moments later on a highway near… Chicago. Then, in the next scene, be back in D.C., as if 20 minutes have passed in real time. (This is no exaggeration. They leave a D.C. apartment, and are suddenly attacked on a highway with street signs to Aurora via route 39, then they outrun the bad robots and are instantly back in D.C.) I can’t be the only one who notices this stuff, right?
I’ve made no secret in labeling the second Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, one of the very worst films I’ve ever seen. A great deal of my lambasting was due to that film’s laborious running time, and director Michael Bay’s apparent disregard for gender equality. Well, Transformers 3 is not only longer but it’s just as crude. Maybe I’m being nitpicky, but don’t women get offended when Bay introduces a major female character, he often does it with an extended tracking shot of their half naked ass?
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is, I suppose, better than the second; which is the faintest praise I can give. It isn’t, as Bay and his cronies have suggested to the press, “the most spectacular visual experience ever seen.” Its 3D isn’t flashy (which is a good thing), but it isn’t the Avatar game changer Bay thinks it is.
And, for me, therein lies the problem. I can fully enjoy movies like Piranha 3D, The Expendables, hell, even the Saw films, because they don’t pretend to be anything more than the pop garbage they are. But Michael Bay, I sincerely believe, thinks that the best movies aside from Transformers 3 are Transformers 2 and Transformers 1. He thinks he’s a masterful filmmaker because his fighting robot flicks make more money than they cost. Well, that’s absurd, and this guy needs to be put in his place. If not, I’ll be reviewing Transformers 6 in a few years. D-