*Originally written March 12th, 2017*
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is an odd beast of a film. It never reaches the level of fun seen in the first, but it's streets ahead of the absymal trainwreck that was 'Revenge of the Fallen'.
I'm amazed the studio let Michael Bay return after the last films shambles, but whatever, he's back and he made the film 155 minutes long. Think of that, a film about fighting robots is over 2 and a half hours long, and it's not even the longest in the series. That's absurd.
It's also the third and currently final appearance of the Witwicky clan. They are still just the worst. Annoying, vexing and borderline unbearable like all the humour in this film. As bad as all the humour gets, nothing gets as irritating as the Witwicky family shenanigans.
John Turtorro and his new assistant Alan Tudyk are also brutal. Then they somehow got John Malkovich for a role I can only describe as "bizarre". That's without even getting into all the racial, sexist and homophobic stuff that's a staple of Michael Bay's films.
Tonally, Dark of the Moon is at war with itself. We go from these lame and crude jokes to scenes of innocent people getting slaughtered in these surprisingly gruesome and dark scenes that feel so out of place. This film needed better writers and a better director to make it feel natural. These films are based on kids toys, they shouldn't be this dark and miserable.
There is at least some fun to be had here. It goes on far too long, but the final battle in Chicago is pretty spectacular at times and features some really inventive set-pieces, including a scene involving a collapsing building, which was oddly a lot more thrilling than I remember.
That's where the good ends though. There are some interesting ideas. I like the thought of incorparating the Transformers into real world history, leading to an unexpected cameo from Buzz Aldrin playing himself. All these neat ideas are collapsed under the plot heavy and convoluted story. I honestly have no real idea what was going on by the end, and I was pretty numb from all the mindless action. There's also the "portal in the sky" end of the world thing that has become so tired and overdone on display here. I can't blame the film for that, as it was probably one of the first to do it, but still, it's pretty tiring to see.
One of the more interesting things was Megan Fox being replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The behind the scenes drama caused Fox to be replaced, but in all honesty, Whiteley is pretty annoying. Bay's perversion also causing her to be nothing more than a sex object. One of the opening scenes is nothing more than a tracking shot of her ass as she's walking up the stairs. Bay is just a disgusting pervert.
Dark of the Moon is a step-up from the previous film, but it once again fails due to its horribly racial, homophobic and sexist humour, Bay's gratuitous and misogynist direction and above all, it's too long by at least 40 minutes.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:
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