3-D. Michael Bay. For producers, this would be a match made in heaven; for critics, a little further south.
To be fair, Transformers: Dark of the Moon had a lot to live up to. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen all but decimated any relevancy the Transformers franchise had achieved with the first movie, which says a lot considering the whole thing is Hasbro’s shameless toy promotion.
The keys to the first movie were simple storyline, intense action. Giant robots land on Earth and fight for supremacy. Popcorn for everyone. Then it was decided that simple stories wouldn’t cut it, so they throw in a back story about how Transformers have been around forever(thanks to the knowledge of ultra-conspiracy theorist Agent Simmons), and a giant, bad-ass Decepticon has been hanging around Saturn, waiting until after the initial battles between Autobots and Decepticons to destroy the world. Add two Jar-Jar Binks Autobots and a trip to Egypt, and you have the pile of donkey poo that is Revenge of the Fallen.
You’d think they would have learned their lesson: the more complicated the storyline, the more you have to block out the action in order to make sense of the movie, but if there’s a ton of action, you really don’t have time to think. What does Michael Bay do? He makes the storyline ultra-complicated, and floods the whole thing in 3-D, complete with unnecessary shots which are only there for their in-your-face 3-D interactions.
So, how do you complicate a storyline? Simple. Take the past of the last movie and erase it so that Agent Simmons, and everyone else, is later surprised that a Transformers ship was found on the moon. Make the survivor of the ship Optimus Prime’s former leader, Sentinel Prime, that has the technology to create a giant time/space transporter that only he can use. This is good news, because Primes are good. I mean, they all sacrificed themselves in order to protect Earth from the Sun Harvester in the last movie from the only bad Prime, The Fallen, right?
Nope. This Prime wasn’t part of that posse, apparently. Even worse, he’s as bad as The Fallen, and the entire first movie was merely a way to get Optimus Prime to Earth in order to have him rip apart Megatron so that he could be rejuvenated in the second movie and help The Fallen help Optimus Prime gain the Matrix of Leadership so that Optimus Prime could revive Sentinel Prime in the third movie so that he could enslave the human race and we could see a Transformer with facial hair.
Or something like that. The movie spent a whole 15 minutes explaining the story, and the other two hours throwing in 3-D scenes. Such gems include sending 5 helicopters with base jumping commandos to get into the city of Chicago for the purpose of having some 3-D base-jumping action and having about 4 survive, whereas Sam Witwicky(Shia LeBeouf) and an army of has-been commandos merely drove on in. “But that was earlier,” you say? What about the SEAL team that just floated over to Chicago to help out? Oh yeah, there isn’t much 3-D value in frogmen. My bad.
Then we have the Decepticons defending the core of the space bridge, the Master Pillar. Sam and his gang are in the upper part of a building across from the Master Pillar. The Decepticons know this. Do they shoot the building to shit to make sure there are no survivors? No. Instead, they try to split the building in half so that the heroes can slide through billions of pieces of broken glass and not be bleeding to death as they slide out a window. Makes sense to me. My life is not complete until I’ve dodged glass shards coming out of a movie screen.
*SPOILER ALERT OVER*
Film scenes that like these that are just action infusions made for 3-D effects is why 3-D seems to be failing. Too often, movies are forced to derail a smooth storyline in order to plop a nonsensical 3-D shot in front of the audience. This is supposed to make 3-D relevant, but really only dilutes the movie as a whole. Unfortunately, when they use 3-D correctly, like in Alice In Wonderland, it doesn’t seem to justify the immense cost.
Besides seeing a giant robot play dress-up with a dirty cloak, there were two decent things about this movie: Shockwave, and Carly Spencer(played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Shockwave has always been one of the more bad-ass Decepticons, even though his transformation in the cartoons was a laser gun. Here he just has said laser gun connected to his body as he controls a giant Decepticon worm thing.
Carly Spencer, on the other hand, is just hot. Hotter than Megan Fox, who she replaces because Megan Fox had better sense than to do the third movie? Yes.
Hot enough to save this movie? No.
I give this movie 2 out of 5 GoBots. Maybe that’s the next toy primed for the big screen.