Directed by: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson
I can’t say I truly hate a lot of films, although there are plenty out there that I sincerely would not recommend, even to those I’d confidently deem my enemies. To say that the select few titles I’ve come to vehemently loathe over the years have been directed by one Michael Bay? That would be 100% accurate. The only man in the history of filmmaking that’s successfully managed to ruin countless promising concepts with many an unnecessary pyrotechnic eyesore, leaving millions deaf, blind and in some cases dumb, has also done the unthinkable in tarnishing my once fond childhood memories of those glorious robots in disguise.
The first two Transformers films weren’t by any means solid, although Bay did do the unthinkable in at least getting off on the right foot. Flawed as it may be, the initial film in the trilogy did a fine enough job in establishing itself as a mediocre-at-best origins story, even if the central storyline itself inevitably became muddled and mostly irrelevant as unnecessary subplots and noise galore very unsubtly took the wheel. Revenge of the Fallen was at best an unintentional laugh riot, but not because of its inane sense of humor. The film was not only horrifically unfunny, but racist, incompetent in every sense of the word and even taught us that robots can somehow grow facial hair and exhibit signs of aging only humans are supposed to sport. In other words, it was (and still is) a cinematic abortion.
This brings us to Bay’s latest entry in the series, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Sure, the incorporation of the Space Race that took place in the 1960s between America and the Soviet Union is intriguing enough to the point where we might be fooled into thinking the series is headed in the right direction. False. No more than thirty minutes into the film do we realize that this gimmick has only been employed to outline the inevitable: the Decepticons merely want what they want in an attempt to establish world domination. The Autobots, not ones to let Megatron and his lackies get away with such a thing, then venture out to stop them. BING BANG BOOM.
Half a dozen unpolished and entirely senseless plot strands later, we become aware that the script itself is not only scatterbrained as they come, but offensively unfunny and littered with incongruencies. Even if you can somehow look past all of this, the only thing we’re left with as viewers is our potentially lingering curiosity surrounding Dark of the Moon‘s presumably predictable conclusion or, if you fit the bill, how eye-popping each drawn-out action sequence is after the next. If neither, then perhaps how Rosie Huntington-Whiteley manages to keep her wardrobe so clean even after being thrown from crumbling skyscrapers for over ninety minutes.
If there ever was something that could be classifed as a colossal waste of talent, Dark of the Moon would undeniably take the cake. Further squandering the talents of LaBeouf, Turturro and their recurring costars as they continue to involve themselves with this mindless schlock, newcomers including Patrick Dempsey, John Malkovich and even Frances McDormand have succumbed to this trainwreck’s gravitational pull otherwise known as an above average paycheck. Truth be told, it’s LaBeouf and the gang that really make the film at least borderline tolerable throughout its ridiculously overblown run time, and although Ms. Huntington-Whiteley sure stands out on account of her looks, maybe the future just isn’t ready for Victoria’s Secret angels-turned-actresses after all. At least not yet.
Seeing as how this write-up is inexplicably longer than I ever could have foreseen, I’m going to promptly wrap things up by saying Transformers: Dark of the Moon is easily the worst film of 2011 thus far. Reigning supreme as an unbearably loud, overlong and utterly worthless piece of filmmaking, the only things keeping me from walking out of the theater were the money I’d regretfully spent to see it, the mildly respectable efforts of the cast and a barely intelligible visual flair. With a central premise as inane as they come and all previous appeal long gone, it can be assumed that any future installments in this already abysmal franchise won’t even have a leg, or robot appendage of choice, to stand on.