Wednesday 29 June 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Review

You know when you know that you shouldn't like something?  When every part of you knows that it won't be cool to like this but you do anyway?  That.

Except bits of this movie ARE cool.  The opening scenes set during the 1960s space race to the moon are brilliantly crafted.  The moon landing and subsequent re-imagining of events are done tastefully, almost believably.  The robots, naturally, are what the movie really hangs on (sorry it was never about Megan Fox) and they are, by definition, cool as fuck.  Sorry, they just are.

However the second movie had them too and was a bit of a mess.  There were a couple of great scenes with the afformentioned robots but the plot was all over the place and there were too many attempts at playing it for the kids.  This time around Michael Bay keeps things tighter, the plot is pretty simple really and the film is much much darker.  The final hour, as the Decepticons (bad guy robots) decide to teach the humans a lesson, is an unrelenting barrage on the senses.  Set piece follows set piece and for once the 3D completely justifies its inclusion.  It's not the silly 3D of the last Pirates movie, this has a surprising subtleness to it, adding depth and scale to events. And what events.  Believe me you'll be shocked at just how beaten down the good guys get here.

Megan Fox's absence is only felt in terms of her replacements acting abilities, at times Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's delivery is just painful, no matter how easy on the eye she might be.  The rest of the cast are more than adequate but the robots are the stars and more than ever before they just shine.  The CGI that brings them to life just sings at times.  They're so solid, so believable that the action sequences have an added vitality that was lacking in the previous movies.

The story is actually pretty good.  You can't help but care about the Autobots (good guy robots) as they battle for survival against a seemingly unbeatable foe.  Topping the explosive last hour will be tough, although who'd bet against a fourth instalment.

Michael Bay has his critics, but when it comes to making movies, you know, proper blockbuster summer movies, he knows how to nail them.  I get this won't be to everyones tastes, but sometimes you want to just sit in a cinema, with your jaw slack, having your senses pummelled wondering how they just did that.

Not cool.  But really fucking cool.

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