Transformers: Dark of the Moon – A Review

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Dir: Michael Bay; *ing: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Turturro

 

The people over at Roget’s Thesaurus really ought to consider adding the name Michael Bay to their exalted pages, as a synonym for orgiastic explosive mayhem involving oversized machinery ; as in ‘Omigod, did you see the footage of the mutiny at the giant robot factory, it was totally Michael Bay in there!’ It’s only fair and fitting; after all, the man has done more for the cause of mindless cinematic disorder and destruction than messrs. Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Statham put together. Here in Transformers 3, he goes all out to make sure no one, but NO ONE, will ever attempt to wrestle away from him the hard-earned mantle of cinema’s prince of pandemonium, and the result is so over-the-top that it could well frazzle everything in and around your occipital and cerebral regions if you’re not careful. But hey, who cares about a sautéed brain when Bay makes it so much fun!

The question is, though, that is it, is it really? No, this is not the start of some pointless tormented soliloquy debating whether Transformers is of any intellectual value to society – it’s a bunch of ugly shape-shifting robots hammering each other, not King Lear – but one must at some point consider if the film acquits itself even solely as a piece of entertainment. It certainly tries hard enough, there’s even a plot of sorts: a Cybertronian spacecraft is discovered on the dark side of the moon and the Autobots, working with the top secret agency NEST here on earth, must race against time to get to it and its secrets before the villainous Decepticons get their filthy metallic mitts on them. Naturally, whatever secret the spacecraft holds translates to a recipe for the enslavement of humanity at the hands of Megatron and co, especially when hitherto good guru-bot Sentinel decides to chuck it and fall in with the bad kids because they’re cooler. Along the way, human Sam Witwicky (Labeouf) and his blonde not-Megan-Fox girlfriend Carly (Huntington-Whiteley) get involved and try to save the world from ruin by jumping out of buildings and blowing stuff up. Dempsey is also on hand as a sniveling Benedict Arnold who offers his full cooperation and resources to the bad guys and is then all incredulous when they don’t want to play nice –   they’re called DECEPTICONS, moron. As for poor Earth and her people, for some reason the battle for her future is being staged in Chicago, perhaps to give Oprah a better view from her mansion now that’s she’s retired.

As always, Bay gives you much to ponder as you watch the film: do the bots self-propagate or are the female bots just kept out of sight tending to home and hearth? Are Carly’s fuck-me pumps super-glued to her soles, since those babies don’t leave her tootsies come hell, high water, or sentient crap smorgasbord? Should one stop stuffing one’s ipad with stupid, meaningless apps before it comes to life and gets medieval on one’s ass? More importantly, perhaps, are all the repetitive, monotonous action set-pieces worth sitting through? During the neverending final battle sequence, I certainly found myself wishing that the bots would take a tea break already, but if that sort of thing is your cuppa, then Tranformers is obviously right up your alley so who am I to argue? Be warned though, this is still Bay playing robots so there’s next to no room for the human angle, despite the star-cameo heavy cast and new addition Huntington-Whiteley whose British accent makes a valiant effort to add some brain to her eye-candy status but Bay and company are having none of that and simply proceed to encase her in yet another clingy white dress while looking gormless or/and horrified.

Mr. Bay, you’ve still got the crown but your slip is showing.

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