I went to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon during its opening weekend. Based on the massive ticket sales numbers being reported for the movie ($400+ Million worldwide), it would seem that the rest of the free world did the same thing. The third of Michael Bay’s Transformers films, Dark of the Moon was one of the most anticipated films of the year, with fans wanting to see if Bay could avenge the shit sandwich that was Revenge of the Fallen. Still wincing from how badly Michael Bay had mangled that film, I walked into the theater half-expecting, and hoping against, Dark of the Moon being a similar hack job. After seeing the movie, and reflecting on it for a day, I’m happy to report that Transformers: Dark of the Moon wasn’t just a good movie, it was the best Transformers movie yet.
With Transformers: Dark of the Moon, director Michael Bay did a lot of things right. For starters, the story behind this movie was probably the strongest of any of the other Transformers movies. Additionally, Bay seemed to give fans things that they’ve been screaming and begging for since the first Transformers movie came out; Shockwave, more from Starscream, more Soundwave, Laserbeak, and Optimus Prime being a huge bad ass (and, for once, not dying at some point during the movie). Additionally, reversing the trend set with Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon had more action and less wacky, over-the-top attempts at humor. Perhaps the best part of the movie was the fact that The Twins weren’t in it.
Dark of the Moon also brought with it an intensity that wasn’t at all matched by the first two Transformers films. The battle scenes in this movie were intense. The Decepticons were presented as being more ruthless, cunning, and dangerous than ever before. After watching them destroy Chicago, slaughter most of the city’s residents, and conduct a series of cold-blooded executions, we learn just how evil of a force the Autobots are up against. Additionally, Dark of the Moon pitted Autobots and Deceptions in a brutal fight to the death, with heavy casualties on both sides.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the movie was that, unlike everyone had expected, Shockwave wasn’t the main villain in Dark of the Moon. And neither was Megatron. For the sake of not giving too much away, I’ll just say that Michale Bay took some creative license with some characters and, as a result, managed to deliver a surprising plot twist and a new bad guy in the process. And while die-hard loyalists may take offense to how Bay uses a character that has a fair amount of established history in the Transformers lore, the whole thing was done in a way that was, at least, believable. The end result is that we are presented with a threat that Optimus Prime and all of his Autobots are completely unprepared to deal with.
Before I mistakenly leave the impression that this film was perfect from top to bottom, I do have a few gripes that I’ll address here. For starters, Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, and supposedly the most feared of them, came across as an irrelevant, passive, pushover. For all the hype surrounding Shockwave, and for all his potential, he only appeared in like three scenes. Can we stop giving Sam uber-hot, walking pieces of sex for girlfriends, please? For as much as he whines, and he spends most of Dark of the Moon acting like an entitled little bitch, there is no way that any woman, let alone strong, intelligent, supermodels would find him attractive. No Dinobots? AGAIN!?! Fuck you, Michael Bay.
That rant aside, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a good, solid movie. With so much to make for from Revenge of the Fallen, Michael Bay probably did the best that he could have with this movie. And while, yes, there are a laundry list of things that could have been done better, most of them were minor and overshadowed by the overwhelming amount of things that were done right. Transformers: Dark of the Moon isn’t the best movie ever made (though it may well end being the highest grossing of all time), but it is the best Transformers movie ever made.
Filed Under: Film and Television