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Transformers 3: Why Can’t These Movies Be Good?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Directed by Michael Bay
Written by Ehren Kruger
Paramount, 2011

Despite the fact that Transformers: Dark of the Moon cuts out some fat from the previous versions, Michael Bay has constructed yet another 2 1/2 hour robot-fighting extravaganza that is again overly confusing and dumb.  I’ll attempt to discuss this long-ass movie’s plot in one paragraph:

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) gets a medal from the President for all his “great work” from previous robot-fighting.  He’s not banging Megan Fox anymore, it’s Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), who works for an asshole (Patrick Dempsey).  A ship known as The Ark crashed on the moon and that’s why we went there in 1969.  From that excursion they took Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy), who got all powered off during the crash.  Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) revives Sentinel because a power source known as The Pillars are in danger of being taken by the Decepticons and used for evil purposes or something.  Sentinel decides to be an asshole himself, wanting to use the pillars to take over Earth and enslave humanity.  Then there’s a huge, long fight in Chicago.  No Cubs are harmed.

Now I’m going to discuss some things that don’t make sense, and why the Transformers movies suck in general.

I have no idea why Chicago is picked in this enslavement of the world, but it appears to be the only city where the robots want to do any damage.  There’s a full-scale invasion of Chicago here, and all the while I thought, well I guess they don’t care about Los Angeles, New York, or Ann Arbor this time.  Literally no other cities matter in this invasion.  Well, I guess some city in India that isn’t Mumbai is involved.  But if it isn’t Mumbai I don’t care.

The point of the invasion is to enslave humanity, but the Decepticons spend a lot of time wiping out the workforce, going to great lengths to try to find any of those cockroach humans that might be lingering around after, oh, the whole city is blown up.

There’s a big set piece in the film where our heroes are in a building that constantly finds itself on the wrong side of physics.  It’s bending over, crumbling, and our heroes have to find a way to avoid falling to their deaths.  I’ll forgive the fact that most people would be dead in this situation, especially when Megatron (Hugo Weaving), at least I think it’s Megatron, commands some snake-like robot to crush the building all over the place.  What I don’t understand is, when Optimus Prime comes running to the rescue and yells, “I’m coming for you, friends!”  What the fuck was Optimus Prime so occupied with in the first place?  He wasn’t doing jack shit.  I’ll tell you why it takes him so long…because Michael Bay would not have been able to put a scene where a building crumbles and blows up and has a robot snake going around it.  Actually, one little scene explaining that Optimus is getting beaten mercilessly by some bad robot, or is out doing blow, would have helped.

Seriously, Chicago is fucked in this movie.  You ain’t rebuilding that.

I spend three-quarters of the time watching a Transformers movie saying to myself, “Where are they going?  What are they doing?  Why are they doing that?”  And when the robot fighting action occurs, I ask the same three questions, and caress a pistol I carry with me.  I think about Shia LaBeouf and how movies starring him have made a combined $1,774,120,631 domestically, and almost none of them are good movies.  Go ahead, go to Box Office Mojo and add it up.  I dare you.  He’s going to be a $2 billion (domestic) earner by the time this movie does its irreparable damage at the box office and to the blackening heart of 8-year-old Timmy from Tucson.  $2 billion since 2003.

I will continue to scratch my head and wonder why Michael Bay, who in a great commercial once remarked, “I demand for things to be awesome!” can’t make anything awesome.  There’s entirely too much going on in most of his movies for him to keep up with.  I think it would have been cool if the whole movie was just Decepticons going around blowing up big cities, and the Autobots having a hard time defending the cities until….MegaOptimoColossa Prime awakens and blasts his billion-turreted chain gun that fires nuclear missiles and sharks, flies into every scene chomping a cigar and screaming, “I’m going to give you Decepticons quite the download!” before crapping robot debris on their heads.  And we would laugh because we just saw Shia LaBeouf slip MOC Prime an Ex-Lax before the fighting began.

Follows: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


Comment from Jonathan
Time: June 29, 2011, 4:32 pm

I hope they keep making “Transformers” movies just to read your reviews of them. I do somewhat enjoy the first one; it’s the only Bay film I can even stomach other than “The Rock” of course (which has not aged all that well). You should check out the review of “The Rock” at http://www.criterioncollection.blogspot.com. Brilliant site all around, but their is discussion of Michael Bay’s insistance on targeting certain demographics with his use of set-pieces and sequences. It’s quite interesting.

I do have enough of a morbid curiosity to check this out but I can wait till DVD. I don’t like 3-D due to wearing glasses so that does not appeal to me at all. And as far as Shia Lebouf joing the 2 billion dollar club, it is what it is. I saw a list of the 25 top grossing actors the other day (just based on box office not salary) and Orlando Bloom was on there due to “Pirates” and “Lord of the Rings”; it’s all relative. Ian McKellan was also on there which is pretty damn cool. There was also a recent “Details” article where LeBeouf talked about banging Megan Fox on the set of one of the first two movies after she had started dating Brian Austin Green, so at least we know he’s classy.

Comment from The Projectionist
Time: June 30, 2011, 2:19 pm

Yeah, there’s something about Transformers…you almost need a movie like this to get creative writing done. I won’t be angry if another one comes out.

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