Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 2 out of 5
I no longer fear death because I sat through Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
The Transformers franchise has been an incredibly disappointing one. As a child, I loved the toys and the cartoon series and when it was announced it would get the live action treatment, I was overjoyed to see Optimus Prime in realistic, non-animated (well, non-cartoon anyway) glory. And, after the ashes fell on the third film in the series, seeing Optimus like this is one of the only saving graces the films had.
I'm slightly disturbed by the fact that seeing Optimus' trailer in this one was actually one of the film's highlights.
When the first movie was unleashed by the director who puts explosions before story (Michael Bay), it was disappointing to say the least and adequate to say the most. Once the movie was over, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of complete and utter, "meh." Every single scene that contained the Transformers was amazing and seeing them come to life brought me back to my childhood. However, the true horror rested on the human characters that filled in the scenes not occupied by giant robots. Led by Shia LaBeouf, every sequence was a chattering mess of nimrods flopping around with no direction, screaming their lines in-between anus puckering comedy sequences. But all this was forgiven to create a mildly entertaining film because you had Optimus Prime (voice by original voice actor from the animated series Peter Cullen) kicking ass and taking the names of the Decepticons with his fellow Autobots.
Robots in disguise... but they can't disguise the shame they feel about this film.
But all that changed when Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came out.
When this one came out, I became convinced that Michael Bay was not only out to destroy my childhood memories of the Transformers but viciously rape them, set them on fire and piss on the ashes. Revenge of the Fallen will forever remain in the annuls of the worst films I've ever experience. The film literally had absolutely no redeeming qualities as it was a raw and visceral assault on all of the senses--and if mankind had any paranormal senses, the film would have attacked them as well. I don't know if it was, once again, the bad comedy and shitty acting or the offensive and racist depictions of African-Americans in robot form or the fact that one of the Decepticons had--*sigh*--testicles but Revenge of the Fallen is one of those films that is better left unsaid--or in this case, unmade.
I don't doubt that Michael Bay was high fiving everyone in the room when he came up with this idea.
Michael Bay clearly hasn't learned his lesson as, going against all better judgement, went ahead with a third film and it is just barely better than the last one (Revenge has the honor of having a 20% on Rotten Tomatoes and Dark received a 35%--hey, that's a 15% improvement!).
John Malkovich is looking for his once respectable career.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is, hopefully, Bay's final insult to the awesome toy line that made my childhood such a pleasant one. My heart can't take another trashing. The film is once again about Autobots fighting Decepticons. However, in an effort to try and bring some story to the films (something Bay didn't try in the previous two) the Decepticons are trying to steal the resources of Earth and bring them to their dying planet of Cybertron. While doing this, all hell breaks loose and the war that destroyed the robots' homeworld is brought to our planet in a big way--right on top of Chicago.
"Stuttering is acting!"
Everything that doesn't work from the previous films is brought back--minus robo-testes and racist-bots. Teeth clenching bad comedy is here in spades and Shia LaDoucheBag is still a stuttering idiot who barely is able to get his lines out in-between screaming like a woman and screaming for Optimus (he's either stuttering or screaming, that's all you can hope for from Shia in these movies). Then, as if to prove to the world that he is an evil, evil person, Bay makes this movie insanely long--157 long minutes. Just when you think the horror and the beating this crapfest is giving you is over, you realize you still have another hour to go.
Okay, Ken Jeong is a funny guy but who decided to put him in this one? Michael Bay is just fucking with us now.
This movie needs to come with a warning label. Pregnant mothers should not watch. People with heart conditions should not watch. Nursing mothers should not watch as it will make you breast milk dry up and those suffering from depression or have suicidal thoughts shouldn't view it because after the first 20 minutes, you'll be scrambling over yourself to find the nearest sharp object you can find. In fact, I can't think of a single person who should watch this film.
They could have replaced Megan Fox with someone who could act because I barely noticed the difference between her and this girl.
I tried--really tried--to find some redeeming value in this film but when I could barely make it through it with my sanity intact, finding anything of entertainment in this vomit-flavored mush was nearly impossible. In fact, I started this movie several days before writing this and after 45 minutes, I had to turn it off and take a break from it. Hell, even coming back to it days later, I had to take breaks every so often because I felt so incredibly insulted by what Bay put on the screen--That's what he thinks America is looking for in their entertainment?!? In fact, while watching it, I decided that I would take a break every time the film cut away from what I wanted to see (robots fighting each other) to some inane comedic sequence that's more likely to result in spontaneous explosive diarrhea than laughter. And the sad reality is, that this break in the action happens so often in the film, I was taking breaks nearly every 10 minutes--on the dot!
Bill O'Reilly hates Autobots...yep, that seems about right.
Alright, I'm going to ignore Shia's stuttering, the annoying characters of the parents returning and making me wish for a root canal in order to get out of every single, solitary second they're on screen and the fact that the ugly slut from the previous two films who made me worry that just by looking at her I could contract an STD has been replaced by an equally untalented, unattractive female and I'm going to try and focus on the few (too few) things I actually enjoyed about this movie and caused me to give it a 2 out of 5 instead of a more deserving 1.
"Hi, I'm that smug douche from Grey's Anatomy. I'm here to further ruin the film."
First off, this isn't part 2--so, that's already a point in its favor. Secondly, the first 10 minutes of the film are genuinely entertaining. The sequence shows why we really went to the moon as a Autobot spaceship crashed there. Despite some very creepy CG that brought JFK to life, this portion of the movie was actually cool but ends up creating false hope for the rest of it. Also, this sequence allows for a scene later in the movie where the real-life Buzz Aldrin shares a scene with Optimus Prime and that was just plain fucking cool!
Buzz in Transformers was actually a pretty sweet scene. I mean he's Buzz "Fucking" Aldrin.
Thirdly, the movie brings in a great small role played by Lester Speight. Okay, the role wasn't what was cool but the fact that Speight, who plays the insanely awesome Cole Train in the epic thrid-person shooter series Gears of War, was in it was enough for me. However, this aspect only goes to show how truly shitty this film was--I was excited to see a guy who does a voice on a video game and his character in this movie only has 10 minutes of screen time.
Cole Train is in this? Almost makes this movie worth illegally downloading. Almost.
Finally, the last redeeming factor this movie had going for it was having Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime. That's it. That's all the movie has going on and, to be honest, it isn't enough to watch this film. Alright, the special effects are great and the action sequences out-do the previous two but terrible storytelling and bad filmmaking make these two elements worthless. Sure Bay tries to make you care about these characters (some of them because the scripts overloads the characters like they were having a "buy-one-get-a-dozen-free sale) by putting them in some life-gripping trial complete with emotional music and slow motion but when only moments before this scene you have Shia LaWhyDoIHaveACareer bouncing around the screen in an embarrassing attempt at humor, it's really hard to have any emotional response to what's going on.
Spock as Sentinel Prime. Sometimes Michael Bay succeeds.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is, I can only hope, the final nail in the coffin that is the Transformers series. While the franchise started with some promise that, in the hands of better actors, writers and a competent director, could have been epic. However, there's no point in would-of, could-of, should-of because the damage done by Bay has already been wreaked and the barren wasteland left behind looks like the sets he uses in his movies. One can only hope that another sequel will NEVER be made and, after the debacle that was this trilogy, a reboot is something that will never be considered.