Last night I was invited by Pinoyexchange to watch Solar Entertainment's press screening of Transformers: Dark of the Moon at IMAX, SM Mall of Asia. Truth be told, it was my first to watch a movie in 3D since I always resisted watching movies in that form because it's expensive haha! So I'm glad my 3D movie experiencing is for free! Anyway, here's my review of the movie which can also be seen at the Movies subforum of Pinoyexchange.com
Michael Bay has already said that Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the last of the movie franchise (of course there’s still a possibility of a reboot or another sequel in the future with another director at helm) and while this trilogy (intended or not) is not a well constructed one as a whole, the third Transformers movie served as a fitting end to the franchise.
Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) struggles in his transition to adulthood and has been longing for the days when he felt that he mattered. After helping save the world twice, Sam feels like a total loser as he had difficulty landing jobs after graduating from college and what’s worse, his new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) is basically supporting him. He finds a job later on which is somewhat degrading but this job led him to discover the brewing conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons which will endanger the lives of the human race.
The movie takes on an alternate history which involves the 1969 NASA moon landing and the way they told that story is contrived (the alternate history its trying to tell is muddled as well) but it’s serviceable. In Transformers: Dark of the Moon the Autobots and the Decepticons take center stage, yes Sam is still a prominent character but this time around the robots are not just there to deliver those action sequences but their characters in this movie have more substance and has purpose. And this not limited only to Optimus Prime and Bumblebee as almost every robot (even the little ones) left a strong impression. The Decepticons were nastier and scarier too.
LaBeouf did fine as Sam transitions from awkward teen to a mature young man. Sam still has those annoying childlike qualities (his screams for example) but he steps up in this movie and is not just an accidental hero who was only trapped by circumstance. Megan Fox’s replacement Rosie Huntington-Whiteley did okay, unless you are easily distracted with her accent and her lips then she shouldn’t be a bother. You could still somehow feel that Carly is really just Mikaela with the way her relationship with Sam is developed plus how Bay treated her character (despite being in the middle of an apocalyptic battle she’s still clean and gorgeous and she was running and getting thrown while wearing high heels at that). I didn’t like the movie’s attempt for humor though as it was unnecessary and was just simply annoying. Ken Jeong’s character was a great example to that, the character has a real purpose but choosing to play the character with toilet humor diminishes his credibility.
The action scenes and visual effects are good and there are a lot of insane sequences here which translated well on screen. However, there were really a lot of things going on that you could easily lose track on what’s happening already. And while the action sequences are fun to watch it was dragged on too long and could have been tightened even more like lessen the use of the slow-mos and better pacing. It’s a hot mess.
Overall, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is an entertaining ride, it has a great but not perfectly polished visuals but this time around it has a story that is functional that drives the story to a point with more dynamic characters carrying the movie. 7 /10