The third installment of the Transformers franchise broke the mold by using unique cameras and effects to produce the movie in 3D. Michael Bay’s expertise gives you sequence after sequence of clashing machinery and warring robots.
A massive improvement from part two, Dark of the Moon tries to justify the violence with a flimsy storyline. The death and destruction transform the city of Chicago into a burning heap of metal and glass. Still, the movie tests your patience with its extended runtime.
1. Quick Review
There is not much happening as the flimsiest of conspiracy theories and dialogue tries to provide a reason for this war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The plot is linear and mundane, and no one cares about the puny humans caught in the crossfire between these majestic war machines.
The movie was a massive summer blockbuster that sent glass and wood flying towards you in 3D and paved the way for further films to be shot in the medium.
The voice acting from Leonard Nimoy and Peter Cullen is commendable, as are the visuals and special effects.
2. Is It Worth Watching?
Despite not being the most emotionally resonant or a well-crafted thriller, Transformers Dark of the Moon was a massive box-office success. The movie, which was produced on an enormous budget of nearly $200 million, went on to fetch total revenue over $1.1 billion globally.
The Transformers franchise is not known for its great plotlines and storytelling. Still, the film’s initial moments do an excellent job of setting up the events.
The movie outdoes the conspiracy theory that the moon landing was fake, showing that the Apollo missions were planned to examine an alien aircraft that had landed on the moon.
Three years after the last movie, the Autobots have been working with the US government and thwarting terrorists and Decepticon plans around the world. The Autobots discover that the Decepticons are searching for technology onboard the crashed ship, the Ark.
They reach the moon to find five space pillars and an unconscious, Sentinel Prime, the Autobots’ previous leader. The Autobots bring them back to the Earth, and Optimus Prime uses his Matrix of Leadership to revive Sentinel.
Sam Witwicky is frustrated that he cannot work with the Autobots but discovers that the Decepticons are killing people involved in the Apollo missions. His investigation determines that the Decepticons had already raided the Ark and had left Sentinel and the five pillars for Optimus to find because they couldn’t revive him.
Will Sam be able to warn the Autobots about the impending catastrophe and save the Earth from destruction, or will it become the next Cybertron?
II. Visuals & Music
Industrial Light and Music were responsible for creating rendering the special effects for the movie.
They are undoubtedly the best part of the film as Dark of the Moon gives us highly detailed automation and robots with smooth transformations from vehicles to robots. The highly detailed designs which show every gear and piston whirring are amazing to watch in 3D.
The Battle of Chicago, which was shot on location, mixes the city’s real landmarks with CGI-induced destruction. Massive buildings topple, and glass and steel fly everywhere as the Autobots and Decepticons go all-out to defeat each other.
Steve Jablonsky, who had composed the score for the first two Transformers movies, returned for the third installment. His score is gripping and keeps you engaged during the stretched-out battle sequences.
III. Cast & Characters
Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, the nerd who is the chief confidant of the Autobots. He has graduated from college and has upgraded from one hot girlfriend to another.
He is bothered by the relationship between his girlfriend and his boss and frustrated that he can no longer work with his robot pals.
When a co-worker gets murdered, Sam investigates and finds his link to the Apollo landings, and the Ark’s crashed Autobot ship. Working with recurring fan-favorite John Turturro as the Sector 7 agent Seymour, he races to warn the Autobots about the Decepticon master plan.
Due to criticism and conflict between Megan Fox and Michael Bay, she was fired from the movie. Rosie Huntington-Whitley replaced her as the token female lead. Like Fox, she is in the film for the sex appeal and has minimal dialogue. In fact, her first shot is a close-up of her bum.
The spotlight is stolen by Leonard Nimoy, who is the voice of the captivating and majestic Sentinel Prime. An Autobot leader who even Optimus respects, Sentinel has a hidden agenda and orchestrates his plan beautifully.
This was the last movie Nimoy worked on before his death, and it’s a masterful performance.
4. Final Thoughts
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a massive improvement from the shoddy second part. The animation and CGI are the best in the business, and the 3D viewing experience is worth your money. Although most of the movie is a metal-on-metal slaughter-fest, it is still an entertaining watch.
While the movie was a summer blockbuster, it lacks the emotional appeal from the original. With Bay blowing things up left and right, one can only sit and marvel at the effects playing out on the screen.