15 – 157mins – Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi – 29th June 2011

Our summer of sequels continues with the Transformers returning to the big screen with their third outing. After the rather disappointing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen I have to say that my hopes were not particularly high for this one.

Dark of the Moon is set several years after the second movie where Sam (Shia LaBeouf) is struggling to get a job and return his life to normal and yet this still hasn’t stopped him from bagging the most attractive girl in the city- Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). At the same time, the Autobots discover that a Cybertronian spacecraft crash landed on the Moon during the 1960’s and race against the Decepticons to reach it first and protect the secrets that it holds. The two storylines overlap and voilĂ  the plot is born.

As always the visuals impress and are the best in the franchise so far but I ended up asking myself how is this different from the previous two and it led me to this answer- there isn’t that much of a difference at all. Bay has upped the ante somewhat in regards to the amount of CGI he has crammed into the movie so expect more fighting, more action and a whole lot more slowmo. While many will think great more action, I see it as part of the problem though. There is only so many times that I can be impressed with a vehicle transforming into something else, in slow motion, before it becomes repetitive and I felt like I reached my limit in this film.

Aside from the first 10 minutes which dealt with the space race of the 1960’s, it took a while for the film to get going. For the last hour or so though, I was enjoying what the film had to offer where it took on a Black Hawk Down kind of persona during battle scenes in the city.

Several issues I had: at 157 minutes the film tended to drag in several places and led to a rather rushed final scene that should not have been; the comedy element was greatly reduced despite a cameo from Ken Jeong aka Mr Chow from The Hangover; the new love interest did not impress with her acting skills at all and was more than likely brought in merely as token eye candy for the viewers, which she did succeed in; and most importantly, the plot had more holes in it than a Swiss cheese being used as target practice on a shooting range. And that is an understatement. Also there has been zero continuity between the trilogy of films so far which does not go down well with me.

I was more impressed than I thought I was going to be but as I said expectation had been lowered due to the extremely poor second film. I have to be careful here because I think the impressive graphics have partly blinded me to the rest of the cracks that appear in the film. All I can say is if you enjoyed the first movie or like good visuals then you will enjoy this one and if you didn’t or want an involved and interesting plot that develops itself and the characters as the movie progresses then you won’t get that here.

Rating: B-

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