Saturday, July 2, 2011

At the Movies: Transformers:Dark of the Moon

Michael Bay is one of those polarizing directors thanks to big budget action films which are characterized by fast edits, stylistic visuals and substantial special effects. Films like Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Bad Boys 2, The Island, Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, have definitely packed movie theaters and earned mountains of cash for the studios, but Bay himself constantly receives scorn for his signature directing style.

The boys over at Ain't it Cool News, seemed to like his latest franchise film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but even then they just couldn't resist taking potshots at him for perceived misogyny, due to the way his depictions of women tend to come across on-screen. English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is introduced to audiences in a sequence that shows off her buff physique in a semi-risque way, and I've gotta say that this didn't bother me at all. I'm an unrepentant chauvinist, and she is so smoking hot that I say, "why not". If this young lady doesn't make you forget all about Megan Fox from the previous two films, you may need to have your blood pressure checked. Wow!

The AICN critics also dissed the comedic elements in the film in characterizations by everyone from John Turturro to John Malkovich to Ken Jeong to Kevin Dunn & Julie White (as the Witwicky parents). Someone over at Harry's website specifically mentioned a quote made by Mrs. Witwicky that although it is a double-entendre, isn't used at all in reference to Sam's (Shia LaBeouf) new girlfriend, as they mistakenly suggested.

Look, Transformers 3 is a summer blockbuster flick. That is what it is, and what it is meant to be. The implied sexuality is primarily geared towards the young hormonal crowd and the humor - at least from the performers in question - is an established part of their characterizations. The laughs are well-done, and funny as hell! They also don't take up very much of the two and a half hours of the flick, so armchair critics really need to chill out on this matter.

I won't spoil anything further, but I will say that this flick is better than the previous two movies put together. The latter portion of Dark of the Moon is a massive extended battle between Autobots and Decepticons on the streets of the Windy City, so if you've got a grudge against that town, you don't wanna miss this film. Chicago really gets hammered! Returning cast members Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro all have moments to shine. Frances McDormand, Alan Tudyk and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are all great additions to the ensemble. Since this IS a Transformers film, the voice cast MUST receive their due with Peter Cullen returning as the voice of Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving returning as the voice of Megatron, plus Robert Foxworth, Frank Welker, Charlie Adler, Jess Harnell, Tom Kenny, James Remar and Reno Wilson. Leonard Nimoy joins the voice cast as Sentinel Prime, former leader of the Autobots; and genre geeks can expect some peculiar dialogue snippets that homage his famed turn as Mr. Spock in Star Trek.

This is a fun feature film and there really isn't anything wrong with it that's worth complaining about. Recommended!


Kid Terror said...

Well said! Does one go to the ballet or opera for character development and nuanced story telling? No, you go for the spectacle. Michael Bay has provided a grand spectacle that is a ton of fun. It's nice to read a positive review of this film, I quite liked it.

cash_gorman said...

I'm afraid I found #2 so mindnumbingly stupid in several regards and the robots are so busy looking that combined with the editing style that I frequently just mentally checked out during the action scenes as I couldn't tell what was going on in the fights.

I might go see the new one when it hits the dollar theater.

Went and saw PRIEST at the buck-fifty. It's actually a good action movie and a good superhero-esque movie, better than Thor and Green Lantern in recognizing that the fight and action scenes should be exciting with the heroes feeling like they are really in jeopardy.