Explosions, car chases, a conspiracy that goes back forty years, big robots kicking butt, Chicago decimated and sexy Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) replacing smokin’ hot Mikaela (Megan Fox)? What could possibly go wrong? Well, that depends. If you really loved the first Transformers movie and enjoyed the nuanced balance of hyperkinetic CG action and amusing geek-does-well romance, if you could stomach the second installment, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen which, well, had the exact same ingredients, then you, my friend, are going to really enjoy Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
On the other hand, if you want a story, if you want a plausible sequence of scenes where characters don’t just randomly show up and vanish without explanation, then you’ll be wise to wait until the Blu-Ray can be rented at Blockbuster for $0.99/night.
My frustration with Transformers 3 is that it starts out truly awesome with a fascinating conspiracy that reaches from the early 1960’s, explaining why President Kennedy was so gung-ho about getting America to the moon with the Apollo project, why it was all shut down, and even reaches to Russia to offer a pretty slick explanation for what really happened at Chernobyl with its catastrophic nuclear meltdown. Then that particular scriptwriter must have been fired because the film collapses into the sarcastic wisecracks, sexual innuendo and cheap homophobic dialog that also marked the previous installments of the series.
The story is something about the Autobots (the good guys, in case you haven’t seen one of these films) having a final chance to save their civilization, a series of “pillars” that, when you find out what they do, don’t seem to have anything to do with saving any darn civilization, but, um, whatever. Their potential savior is Sentinel Prime, who ends up crash landing into our moon. The Decepticons (the bad guys) really want this secret weapon, which which they can have ultimate power and take over the Earth for their own nefarious purposes. No, really, that’s the plot.
Enter our bumbling geek of a hero Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) who might have a medal of honor from the President (a funny sequence) but still can’t get a job. That’s okay, though, he’s rather inexplicably sharing an oddly retro apartment with the incredibly hot Carly (Huntington-Whiteley) and suffering through a visit from his annoying parents Ron (Kevin Dunn) and Judy (Julie White). Lucky he’s not working as a barista at the DC Starbucks, though, so he can jump into the mess of a storyline when the Decepticons show up and everything flips into super high gear.
Y’know, it’s the heat of the summer, movie theaters are air conditioned, and it’s fun to see a film that’s focused on entertainment sometimes. So in that spirit, forget about story, forget about what an awful actor Huntington-Whiteley is, forget about the cheap homophobic jokes and just go see it because, well, damn, there are big explosions and breathtaking visual effects. It’s fun. Seriously. Just turn off your brain and enjoy!