For me, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is what summer movies are all about. It’s a movie that has you at the edge of your seat at times from pure excitement. Just like the other Transformer movies, there was a lot of humor and tons of action, with intervals of lower-key scenes allowing the plot to continue. As expected from a Michael Bay film, there are some over-the-top action shots which aren’t that believable but are very sweet to watch. I do love how, once again, there are shots prominently showing red, white and blue and some patriotic little speeches, the best of which plays at the end with Optimus Prime giving his final words and Bumblebee standing in front of a torn and tattered U.S. flag, still waving free despite the battle’s destruction. There’s also a nice scene of Air Force wing suits.
Basically, you will enjoy this film if you go looking for an extremely enjoyable summer movie; if you go expecting an Oscar winner, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Warning: Spoilers if you continue.
The film starts with an alien spaceship crashing on the moon in 1961, and we find the Apollo mission’s real objective is to explore this ship, setting up the modern-day plot which is mostly coherent and sensible. The Autobots currently work openly and very closely with the U.S. Military through the fictional NEST organization, commanded by Colonel Lennox (Josh Duhamel). They’ve just successfully taken out an illegal nuclear facility somewhere in the Middle East (honestly one of my favourite parts), and then the story proper begins with a Decepticon encounter at Chernobyl. Coming back from Chernobyl, the protagonists meet with an agent named Mearing (Frances McDormand) and Optimus gets a visit from former NASA space program members, including the actual Buzz Aldrin (another highlight) who fully explain the film’s “real” history of the moon landing.
Sam (Shia LaBeouf) returns as the series’ human element; he’s now living in D.C., trying to find that elusive first job in today’s poor economy. His new girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) Carly’s role gets a little exposition, though we never find out exactly what happened to Mikaela (Megan Fox); all we learn through the whole movie is that she and Sam broke up. Sam ends up working for an eccentric mailroom manager, Bruce Brazos (John Malkovich) who’s as odd as you’d expect from the iconic actor. Sam’s relationship gets a little drama, as he become jealous when he sees how Carly is treated by her boss Dylan (Patrick Dempsey).
The movie continues with rising action, with some twists (mostly predictable, but at least one that’s definitely unexpected), until Chicago is all but destroyed during the final battle and Sam once again matures to find what really matters in life.
John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Glenn Morshower, Kevin Dunn, and Julie White all reprise their various roles from the previous films well. Some great additions to the cast are Leonard Nimoy and Alan Tudyk, whose character Dutch is rather awesome. Speaking of awesome, Scott Krinsky from Chuck appears, and Bill O’Reilly even makes an appearance as himself.
There are some parts of the plot which didn’t make sense to me, like why Wheelie (“I follow warrior goddess”) and Mikaela’s junk yard dog Bonecrusher are still with Sam, though she’s moved on. Also, the twin Autobots who contributed so much to the slapstick humor of Revenge of The Fallen were missing, as well as Mojo and the Arcee motorcycles.
The good news for haters and fans alike is that this seems to be the last movie, and Michael Bay appears happy to wrap up the series as a trilogy.