Saturday, June 24, 2017

Movie Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The third installment of the transforming robot series continues to alter history, this time focusing on the moon landing. Michael Bay continues to bring spectacle with space battles and wild robot fights. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) seeks out employment while living off of a new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whitley) in Washington DC. His mom Judy (Julie White) and dad Ron (Kevin Dunn) are traveling across the country in a trailer. Bumblebee and other Autobots work with Lennox (Josh Duhamel) to stop human conflicts. In Chernobyl, Optimus Prime and his team encounter a giant snake transformer, Shockwave and find an engine part from an old Autobot ship.

Sam goes to job interviews until he is hired by Bruce Brazos (John Malkovich) though it is disappointing for Sam to be working in the mailroom after saving the world twice. Supervising the Autobots is Director of National Intelligence Charlotte Mearing (Frances McDormand). Carly works for a curator Dylan (Patrick Dempsey) who flirts with her making Sam jealous. Optimus seeks out Sentinel Prime buried on the moon. Megatron hides out in Africa ordering the assassination of anyone involved in the Decepticons new plot. A coworker Jerry (Ken Jeong) watches Sam and warns him but it's too late as Jerry is thrown out the window by Soundwave's bird spy.

Sam demands to see Bumblebee and confronts Lennox and Mearing as Optimus revives Sentinel who seeks out pillars that open a space portal. Sam seeks out Simmons (John Turturro) and his assistant Dutch (Alan Tudyk) to find out the truth about the Decepticons and the pillars. The Decepticons attack and Sentinel reveals that he made a deal with Megatron, killing Ironhide. On the National Mall, Sentinel Prime activates the pillar which transport Decepticons from the moon to Earth to rebuild Cybertron. Carly's boss Dylan is working with the Decepticons too and captures Carly. Sam has to put on a watch that can be used to spy on the Autobots. The U.N. votes to exile the Autobots on a giant spaceship. Epps (Tyrese Gibson) works on the crew managing the shuttle. 

Emboldened from the spaceship exploding, the Decepticons takeover Chicago and prepare to teleport Cybertron. Sam and Epps sneak into the city with former NEST soldiers searching for Carly. The Autobots reemerge led by Optimus to attack Trump Tower. Sam and Bumblee save Carly and they notify the military about the location of the main pillar. Hunted by Shockwave, the group tries to get into position to shoot the pillar as Lennox parachutes in with another squad. Optimus Prime takes down Shockwave as Sentinel activates the pillars. Sam fights Starscream with a grappling claw and blows his head up with the help of Lennox and Bumblebee. Optimus Prime and the Autobots beat back the Decepticons stopping Cybertron from teleporting. Optimus fights Sentinel and Sam fights Dylan to destroy the main pillar. Carly convinces Megatron to betray Sentinel. Optimus kills Megatron and Sentinel to end the battle.

Dark of the Moon was an improve from the low standard set by its immediate predecessor and the final action scene is a long drawn out doozy of a set with intense robot action for almost an hour. The spectacle of Shockwave ripping through buildings and streets in Chicago was something new to the series that helped stave off some of the lackluster repetition of the previous film. The film does continue to have a confusing plot and the action is not always easy to understand but this is probably the last time I enjoyed a Transformers film in the theater. 

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