June 29, 2011
Transformers 3 is a Patriotic Powerhouse of Summer Excitement!
At any given point in a "Transformers" film there is a situation where Optimus Prime gets into fighting stance and issues some tough guy (robot?) line along the lines of "Let's rock" or "Let's finish this Megatron!" If you buy the fact that there is a talking truck with a weapon in the middle of a street getting his John Wayne on then chances are the other stuff (sensical plot, "acting") is secondary to the thrill ride. And boy is "Dark of the Moon" a wild ride.
Shot in 3D by action cinema God Michael Bay the film follows the friendly American Autobots as they fight another Decepticon attack. This new threat involves NASA cover ups, evil human counter-parts on earth, and the invasion of Chicago. Watching the incredible action in the film, it's clear that Michael Bay saw "Avatar" and said....."Ohhhh yeah that's pretty cool Jim...but you know what audiences like better than blue aliens in 3D...Optimus Prime fighting Megatron in 3D!" Bay is already an incredible technical director and even though this is his first time directing in 3D...visually the film is breathtaking. The sound design is chest rattling as well.
What makes the film enjoyable though is the fact that Bay clearly took what didn't work from the previous films and fixed them. Shia who in the past films was kind of passerby to robot insanity, now has to deal with another human who is on the decepticon side. The commandos who in the past just looked good and yelled now have some awesome sequences where they fight (and win) against the robots. And finally the robot battle scenes with the bots are easier to follow and have some real stakes with notable characters dying surprising deaths (lotta robot blood here).
Ultimately though the film wouldn't exist without director Michael Bay. This is the film where he really comes into his own not only as a director, but as a true cinematic auteur. Themes of patriotism, courage, and peace through superior firepower are rampant. There is the obligatory spinning camera shot, the shot of the babe in the midst of the chaos, and rapid fire but still comprehensible editing. Simply put the guy is a legend, the movie kicks ass, and if you want to be entertained go to the multiplex, get a coke and popcorn and enjoy it. When you get it out....enjoy the 4th of July....it's what Michael Bay and Optimus Prime would want you to do!