Let’s pretend for a minute that we are all back in high school. It shouldn’t be too hard as Transformers: Dark of the Moon (the third installment in the series) certainly has a lot in common with a teenage boy- fast cars, hot woman, a short attention span, and enough explosions to deem it easily excitable. That said, I would still certainly vote this teen “most likely to succeed” when it debuts this weekend at the box office.
The latest Michael Bay masterpiece continues the plot line of the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons- rival groups of extraterrestrial flying machines who can easily shape-shift into unassuming motor vehicles. As before, the Autobots believe in freedom and our on the side of mankind while the Decepticons wish to destroy humans, at least Americans that is! Sounds oddly familiar. In the latest movie, the usual historical liberties are taken and it is revealed the real reason for the U.S. space race to the moon was not to beat the Soviets but rather secure the location where an Autobat had crashed after a war on Cybertron. A cameo by the real Buzz Aldrin confirms it. Sure….why not. It’s not as if plot lines every had to be plausible before.
There is the expected return of the unlikely hero in Shia Lebouf’s Sam Witwicky, along with his hunky military special forces helpers played by returning cast members Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson. One plot twist…and possibly the only twist you don’t see coming, is the change up of love interest played by Rosie Huntington Whiteley (equally as hot as her predecassor Megan Fox and with a British accent to boot). John Torturro is once again the comic relief as the crazy former intelligence agent and possibly the only part of the movie you wish to see more of. Transformers newcomers Patrick Dempsey, a slick mogul with a love of fast cars and woman, and Frances McDormand, the rigid head of national security, help pack the extra star power.
This third installment has the added benefit of being in 3-D which makes the unusually long (or for Bay perhaps I should say usually long) fight scenes seem less excessive. The extra dimension works well as debris and flying vehicle parts seem to effortlessly reach the audience and with so much exposition, it hardly detracts from the story line. Despite its flaws, Dark of the Moon is certainly better than its predecessor and perhaps as enjoyable as its original contender. It is the typical summer Blockbuster perfect for a mindless escape in a cold dark theater….plus, who doesn’t enjoy seeing their favorite childhood cartoon immortalized on the big screen?