Transformers Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark Of the Moon is one of the top grossing movies of 2011 so far, ranking behind only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. This marks the third and possibly last film by Michael Bay in the series and to say the series has been polarizing to the original fan base would be an understatement. From the very first leaked concept art of the robots to the robotic testicles this series has seen some highs and lows. Will this final outing of the Autobots and Decpticons be one for the ages or will they simply fade to black or dark as it were? If you have not seen Transformers: Dark of the Moon please be warned that this review is spoiler filled.

The series opens with a fierce battle ragging on Cybertron as a spaceship attempts to escape the battle ragging behind it. Long time fans of the series will immediately recognize that this has to be the fabled Ark. The ship which brought both the Autobots and Decepticons to Earth in the original series. The ship does escape Cybertron only to crash land on the moon after being badly damaged.  President Kennedy is then informed of this crash and directs his top brass that they must in fact beat the Russians to the moon. We then cut to the famous first steps on the moon. The astronauts under the pretense of being out of communications range while being on the dark side of the moon then make their move to the Ark. They are shocked by what they find. Giant robotic faces albeit lifeless at the time. This is impetus of the space race between the USA and the Russians.

Cut to the present day as Optimus Prime and the Autobots are now involved in covert military actions around the world. This time the targets are not Decpticons but humans. As Optimus puts it in his voice over their true enemies have been out of sight for some time now but they remain ever vigilant. While Bumblebee, Dino and other Autobots shut down an illegal nuclear facility in the Middle East, Optimus and members of the NEST team are dispatched to Chernobyl to deal with a possible threat.

Once in Chernobyl the Autobots come face to face with Shockwave. A brief battle ensues with Shockwave and his driller. Once the battle is over and Shockwave is driven off Optimus is shocked by what was left behind. A piece of Cybertronian technology that should not be there.

Sam Witwicky is man out of time. Lost adrift in life after having finished college and saving the world twice he feels he should be doing more. Where as in ROF he wanted a normal life in DOTM he’s gotten his wish. He now enjoys a normal existence with the super hot Carly played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. While Carly’s career seems to be going somewhere Sam’s does not. Guess trying to score a job with major references even form the President of the United States is still not easy. Finally he is able to land a mail room job after being interviewed by a slightly demented boss played by John Malkovich. This should be a good thing but as with all things in Sam’s world there is more here than meets the eye (corny yes, I know I couldn’t resist). We soon learn that Sam’s reversal of fortune in the job department is all due to the skeevy boss of Carly played by Patrick Dempsey.  Needless to say Sam is not pleased. Sam misses his Autobot buddies and is desperate to get back into the action.  He is then presented with information by Jerry Wang which leads him back into the conflict. Despite misgivings expressed by his girlfriend Sam rushes head long back into the action after being reunited with Bumblebee, leading them to a former agent Seymour Simmons.

In the mean time Optimus has confronted the Autobots’ human allies about keeping secrets. This leads to a trip back to the moon to retrieve Sentinel Prime the Autobot commander prior to Optimus. It is revealed that Sentinel is the inventor of the space bridge a device which can transport anyone or thing in the galaxy to any point in the galaxy instantly. It is revealed that this technology was aboard the Ark when it crashed and is now in the custody of the US government.

Meanwhile former agent Simmons, Sam and their crew seem to be on the right track as they’ve figured out that the Decpticons are indeed after Sentinel and the space bridge technology. After a spectacular chase sequence it is revealed that Sentinel has betrayed the Autobots. He kills Ironhide and then brings a legion of Decpticon shock troops who had been buried on the far side of the moon to Earth. It is also revealed that Carly’s new boss is in cahoots with the Decpticons and his firm has been for years. Making it impossible for anyone to get back to the moon through the use of shady accounting tactics. Blackmailing Sam into becoming a spy for the Decpticons by kidnapping of Carly

Needless to say things look dire for our heroes as the Autbots are forced to leave Earth in an agreement reached by the governments of Earth and the Decepticons. This is of course a ruse meant to gather the Autobots into one place so they can be blown to bits by Starscream. With the Autobots out of the way Sentinel enacts his plan of bringing Cybertron to Earth space and using the humans as a slave labor force to rebuild it.

Sam decides to now rescue Carly as he seemingly has nothing to lose. With the help of Epps and some former NEST team members Sam attempts to sneak into Chicago to rescue Carly. This of course doesn’t go according to plan as the Decpticons find them and just as all looks lost Optimus and the Autobots show up and save them, with Optimus announcing they will kill all the Decepticons this time. What ensues is one hell of a battle with both parties loosing soldiers.

Finally it comes down to Sentinel and Optimus. After disrupting the space bridge leaving Cyberton destroyed or partially destroyed. Sentinel and Optimus engage in an epic battle and just as it looks as though Sentinel has won Megatron steps in. Blasting Sentinel and proclaiming that he will rule Cybertron and Earth. This is the break Optimus needs as he defeats Megatron with one arm, beheading him and then dispatching with Sentinel. The war is finally over. The Autobots have defended their new home world again.

Final Thoughts
While this movie is better than Revenge of the Fallen, it still doesn’t quite live up to the first movie. The plot is tighter this time around and the driving force of the movie is the space race between the Russians and Americans during the cold war. This is somewhat echoed in the space bridge race between the Autobots and Decepticons. Again Megatron is reduced to being a lackey this time for Sentinel Prime which somehow feels wrong as the Megatron of the comics and cartoons of the past would serve no one. While Sentinel being voiced by Leonard Nimoy is a treat and it matches his previous role in the franchise as Galvatron, it feels as though this characters rationalization for betraying everything he believed is a bit shallow. If Sentinel Prime is simply going to use the human race to rebuild Cybertron why the plan to enslave them? Why not simply wake up kill all of the bots and humans and take the pillars and then bring the Decepticon army to Earth and invade? He was after all powerful enough to best Prime in combat and keep Megatron in line. It would seem a character that powerful and principled wouldn’t have been naive enough to believe that he could make a deal with the Decepticons. Also it is interesting that we met the visual inspiration for the Decepticon symbol in the last movie and Sentinel’s face looks a bit like the Autobot symbol. Actual Sentinel looks most like Alpha Trion.
All in all this movie is a visual spectacle as the robots look better than they ever have and in some ways this is sad as this maybe the last time we see this incarnation of the Transformers. Sad because it feels that there could have been the potential for so much more there with these movies. 1.18 Billion Worldwide is about as big as you can get and so this franchise comes to an end or so it would seem on high note. Pick up Transformers: Dark Of the Moon as it’s a fun summer blockbuster filled with eye popping special effects.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

 

 

 

 

 

Transformers: Dark of the Moon