Day 5 of the repeat/reorg series: I may have overstated this one.
(((Rating))) “Transformers: Dark Side of the moon” is passionate, palpable and positively pulverizing. The movie deserves 4.5-out-of-5 stars.
“Transformers: Dark side of the moon,” directed by Michael Bay (Armageddon, Pearl Harbor) is the epic finale needed to do justice to such a beloved franchise.
The movie begins with a backstory of the war on Cybertron and how the Autobots tried to evacuate a ship holding a secret weapon and while on the outer atmosphere of Cybertron, the ship gets shot and crashlands on a moon in a different atmosphere. Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA learns of the crash on the moon and the movie reworks original presidential footage of the moon landing, to tell that the push to get to the moon was to learn what crash-landed there. Ultimately they discover a slumbering transformer named Sentinel Prime.
When the introductions finally conclude,, we \ learn more about the Transformers and how they are helping humanity. After the cut scenes of missions in the Middle East and homeland defense, eventually we come to Megatron and Lennox (Josh Duhamel) executing a mission in the Ukraine.
Something is amiss at the Chernobyl disaster site and Lennox and Megatron are there with a team to try to figure out what is going on. They come to find out that the reactor at Chernobyl was powered by a fuel cell that flew off the ship that crash landed on the moon.
There is a quick battle scene after they recover the fuel cell because the Decepticon Shockwave ambushes them along with a massive robot. The interesting thing about the battle scene is some of the angles used for shots. There are a series of shots where we are put in the helmet of one of the US soldiers and are being directed by Lennox as to what is going on. It’s interesting to see shots being made this way because, while it is limited to a direct conversation, it thrusts the viewer into a participatory role in the action similar to the way video cut scenes can be filmed.
After all that we meet up with a post-college Sam Witwicky (Shia Labeouf) with his new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whitely) in their monstrous apartment. Sam has had trouble finding a job since the last time he saved the world, even after getting an award from President Obama (no cameo, it’s an actor).
A quick note on Carly, Rosie Huntington-Whitey is delightful as the replacement to Anne Frank, Err, Megan Fox. The Victoria’s Secret model shines in her first acting role, has wonderful chemistry with LaBeouf and will hook your attention from the time she is first revealed on screen.
The pressure to get a job on Sam is only worsened when his parents show up to visit. They are on a cross country tour and pay a visit to see Sam and his new girlfriend.
Sam’s parents provide a hilarious comedic foil by the way. Played by Kevin Dunn and Julie White, they offer brevity and insight to some of Sam’s more pressing matters.
From there, the movie moves back to Sam’s life. After a hilarious montage in which Sam goes between job and job, he eventually finds one as a mail room guy in a technology company. After getting the job, Sam b-lines straight to Carly, visiting her at her job as the personal assistant to the extremely wealthy Dylan (Patrick Dempsey).
Sam and Dylan clash from the very start. Both being a car guy, Sam is instantly Jealous at the bevy of exotic cars Dylan showcases. Carly, playfully mocks Sam on the way out.
Once the playful bickering is over, we see Sam at his first day of work. Amidst the montages of running packages to executives, Sam is cornered into a mens room stall by Jerry Wang (Ken Jeong), who lets him know the Autobots are in danger. He tells Sam about what was found on the dark side of the moon, the pillars that were found with Sentinel Prime, and what the wrong hands intend to do with them.
Jerry leaves Sam alone and returns to his office, only to be attacked by the Decepticon Laserbreak and fall to his death from his office building. After Laserbreak was done with Jerry, he moved on to finding Sam. Sam barely escapes, makes his way back to the apartment to get Carly and make way to the Army base that holds the Autobots.
Once inside the army facility (there was a short scene in between in which Carly and Sam had trouble getting in. Sam had an emotional outburst, and guilt tripped Bumblebee who eventually came to his assistance), Sam is reunited with everyone and informs them about the dark side of the moon. At that point, the story snowballs and we learn more and more about the moon project, how the pillars interact with all the transformers and what that could possibly mean for humanity.
The story of “Transformers: Dark side of the moon” is mature, developed, and was totally unexpected. There are more twists and turns between the characters than the previous two movies and it keeps the action fresh and exciting.
Dark side of the moon definitely has the best special effects for the summer movie season and should be seen as the best action movie of the season. With things flying out of the sky, flying out of the ground, and people trying to stay in falling buildings, the pulse of the movie will make you arch your back forward with apt anticipation of what is going to happen next.
The 3-d was kinda cool too.
LaBeouf does well playing a character that could possibly be what his career will eventually become based around (Similar to the way people see Harrison Ford primarily as Han Solo). He gives Sam Whitwicky depth as someone searching for their place after not being needed and someone learning what they value in their life.
Because of some of the content in the movie, the comedic characters jump off the screen. John Turtutto as Seymour Simmons and Alan Tudyk as Dutch do an excellent job mixing comedy with action by walking a line of hapless and heroic with every utterance of dialog.
“Transformers: Dark side of the moon” will undoubtedly be in theaters for the rest of the summer and would be worth any price of admission.