CliqueClack Flicks

Transformers: Dark of the Moon – It did suck

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Theater Review
Release Date: 06/29/2011 - MPAA Rating: PG-13
Clacker Rating: 1 Clacks

Why should I care about the characters in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon'? Especially as director Michael Bay doesn't seem to care about his audience. Or anyone. Plus there aren't any real characters to care about. The film left me bored and angry in equal measures.

I’m aware that this is the third review of the new Transformers film on here, but I think both of my fellow Clackers were far too generous. I refuse to credit director Michael Bay with any more intelligence than he attributed to his audience.

Dark of the Moon (whatever that means) opens with what looks like a weird episode of The Kennedys, and gets worse from there. The first hour is completely pointless, achieving nothing more than making everybody hate every single character. The last hour is a boring extended action sequence, extended being the key word. And the 18 hours in between are equally painful.

I didn’t see the second film and barely remember the first, but it doesn’t seem that I’ve missed much. Within seconds of meeting Sam, played by charisma-void Shia LaBeouf, I loathed him; he’s smug and obnoxious and rude and utterly full of himself. I know he repeatedly saved the world, but I’d rather we’d all been killed by Decepticons if it meant that he’d just shut up. You’d expect that he’d be hired by the government in some capacity, being the strongest link the humans had to the Autobots, but Sam is unemployed, presumably because no sane person would hire him. This leads to a comedy sequence in which he tries to find a job. By “comedy” I mean Michael Bay-style comedy, which is like regular comedy but not funny.

Megan Fox has been replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Carly, due to Megan Fox’s complaining about Michael Bay, which leads to strange digs at her throughout the film, which seems needlessly bitchy. I won’t complain too much about Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s performance, because she is a model rather than an actress. I’ll just say that I’ve never heard an English person doing a worse English accent. Shia LaBeouf, on the other hand, is probably not a Victoria’s Secret model; he is an actor, and therefore has no excuse for his awful performance. The Transformers themselves are also generally badly played, in some cases adopting even more terrible accents. Just because you’re a robot doesn’t mean you can get away with hammy acting. Furthermore, the dialogue is constantly wooden and unrealistic. At points, pieces of coherent storyline will sneak through, presumably when Michael Bay isn’t looking. But he’s quick to stamp them out, and throw in a bizarre caption like “Middle-East: Illegal Nuclear Site.”

That’s all the best stuff about Transformers 3. The worst comes mainly in the form of misogyny. Michael Bay makes no attempt to hide his reasons for selecting Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, constantly zooming in on parts of her body like a horny teenager. The first shot of a character can tell you a lot about them; Carly is introduced with a shot of her behind. She is then made to do a lot of standing next to nice cars for the sole purpose of bad innuendo from male characters, who comment on the “curves.” Which is clever. One needs just an ounce of respect for women to see the problem with what this film reduces them to. There’s also a problem with Ken Jeong‘s character, where the joke seems to be that there is an Asian person called Wang. Really? That’s the joke? It’s unfunny at best and borderline racist at worst. Even if it isn’t offensive to Asian people, the sheer laziness is definitely offensive to the audience. Oh, and talking of borderline racism, I saw The Hangover Part II today.

But in an inadvertent act of equality, none of the characters in Transformers 3 ever feel remotely real. They’re all just there to serve whatever purpose, which in most cases seems to be to annoy everyone. We’ve all heard that joke about Avatar having 3D graphics but 2D characters. Well the characters in Transformers make the ones in Avatar look like fully rounded people.

Tranformers: Dark of the Moon was insulting on every level; appalling acting, lazy dialogue, painfully long, horrendously unfunny and morally dubious. And don’t get me started on that Linkin Park song…

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

9 Responses to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon – It did suck”

July 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM

. . . . .

Buzz Aldrin notwithstanding – and keeping in mind I’m not jumping on any bandwagons here – I’m relieved I wasn’t swayed by any friends’ or associates’ pleadings of “You need to see this movie!”

July 12, 2011 at 4:10 PM

All I know about Transformers are: I still have (stored in the attic) the Transformers and Voltrons which belonged to my boys when they were kiddos…back in the early 80’s; and, they hurt when stepped on with bare feet.

July 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Wow, you really didn’t like this movie. I would agree with a lot of your problems, just not to the same degree. There were actually a couple other things that irked me more, but maybe it’s because I saw the first two movies and the random silliness and the wasting of veteran actors (Malkovich) was to be expected. The dumb stuff I didn’t expect were humans working with the Decepticons, and Optimus completely screwing over the city of Chicago.

First, as a general rule of thumb, you don’t work with or trust a group named the Decepticons. And then, after they tried to wipe out Chicago with you in it, you still try to help them out?

And I’m sure the U.S. would just be glad the Autobots showed up, and would totally overlook him letting the Decepticons quarantine off Chicago and kill everyone.

July 12, 2011 at 5:16 PM

You’re so right about this:

This leads to a comedy sequence in which he tries to find a job. By “comedy” I mean Michael Bay-style comedy, which is like regular comedy but not funny.

Let’s see… painfully lame, misplaced comedy; obnoxious, unnecessary characters; and holes in logic big enough to fit Cybertron through…

The only reason people like me go back to the theatre each time a new Transformers movie comes out is that we feel an emotional attachment to the Autobots, specifically to Optimus Prime. (I actually have an action figure of Prime on my desk! At work! Fortunately my coworkers don’t comment on it – they are too distracted by the ninja turtle who is locked in combat with Darth Tater).

Don’t you hate it when some cinematic butcher destroys a story or franchise that you love? I can’t keep from looking at the carnage – I always end up watching, even knowing it will be awful. Next up… one of my favorite books, The Three Musketeers, will be hacked apart by Paul W. S. Anderson.

July 12, 2011 at 6:13 PM

I disagree whole-heartedly with your opinion on the movie. The second one sucked, true, but this one more than made up for all of its shortcomings. Dark of the Moon, of course, refers to the dark side of the moon where Sentinel Prime’s ship crashed. Yeah, it’s an awkward reworking of the term, but that’s what it means. No real mystery there.

My biggest problem here is your use of the word “misogyny.” Michael Bay is anything BUT a misogynist! The definition for a misogynist is someone who HATES women. Bay obviously LOVES women. Yes, he is a sexist and maybe a chauvinist, but no one can seriously claim Bay is a misogynist! He leers at the models he’s cast (and I’m sure Huntington-Whitely knew exactly what to expect considering she’s made a career off of selling herself as a sex object in the modeling world), but he doesn’t do awful things to them (or their characters) and he has a strong female in Frances McDormand’s character (who didn’t die or was not otherwise abused, demeaned or humiliated). So call Bay a sexist pig all you want, but leave the misogyny to those torture porn directors that revel in doing horrible things to their female characters just for the fun of it.

July 28, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Leering at women and reducing them to sex objects is not LOVING women. That IS misogyny and comes from a place of hate, not respect. Yet, somehow, I don’t think you’ll ever ‘get’ that.

July 28, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I never said Bay respected women, I said he was a sexist pig and most likely a chauvinist, but I respectfully disagree that he fits the definition of a misogynist.

July 13, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Michael Bay wont take my money for a third time for a movie where the Autobots are supporting characters in their own movie. Also, it is an absolute fact that this movie causes brain damage.

It’s sad, the family lived in a neighborhood I grew up in.

Also, the film makers are dicks.

July 13, 2011 at 6:33 AM

Actually, Dicks doesn’t describe it, at all. It’s deplorable. I’m raging, but UGH, It’s just far too wrong.

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