Though he deserves most of the criticism he gets, it’s never really a good summer for movies unless there’s a Michael Bay movie.
The Transformers series has been pretty much the perfect vehicle for Michael Bay. Cars. Babes. Explosions. Technology. Despite the weaknesses of the films, you’d be hard pressed to find their equal visually. Dark of the Moon is perhaps the best of them all on that end.
Strangely enough, this time Bay seemed to make a point by not trying to feature as many explosions… to show damage and destruction through a more detail-oriented way. There ARE explosions, but the damage is much more focused. For example, rather than having a Deception blow-up a crowd of people we see them vaporize humans individually. It’s the kind of action you want to slow down and watch frame by frame just to understand the scope of what’s happening.
The detail is so extensive that the brain winds up glossing over it to some extent. You may find yourself struggling to follow some of the robot v. robot action. It’s not nearly as bad as it was in Transformers 2, but it can still be difficult.
The real problem with the movie is the same one that’s plagued the series (primarily in the second film). The story just isn’t there.
The main issue is the width of story. There are a lot of characters in the film. Keeping up with all of them is a chore. Giving them all things to do is a chore. Lennox and Epps eat up valuable screen time while the transformers get short-changed on development.
Whenever the story hovers around Sam Witwicky, it works. It’s easy to root for Sam. He can’t find a job, and he can’t tell employers how he saved the world. Much of his story revolves around his new girlfriend, Carly. It’s a missed opportunity. We see how they meet, but we never really understand them as a couple.
Most of the transformers really aren’t treated like characters. We see them in action, but we get almost no incite into what drives them. Who they are. I don’t think we even get to see them talk to each other except to bark orders. It’s a shame too, because Optimus really gets to shine in the last half of the movie. How much better the film would be if his story had some development.
Really it all boils down to a script that flashes all over the place to cover too many characters. The results are story shortcuts and plot holes. Too many things are left unresolved are simply never acknowledged again.
For example, Patrick Dempsey’s character Dylan forces Sam to wear the Decepticon equivalent of a wire and try to get information from Optimus Prime. OP doesn’t say anything. The wire later drops off and runs away. That’s it. What was the point of that plot device? Yes, Sam hates Dylan. We didn’t need the bug to do that. Sam says good-bye to Optimus, and Optimus says he isn’t returning. Again, no point in having the bug at all.
Most of the logic of the film doesn’t work.
Consider Cybertron. At the end the Decepticons try to teleport it near earth. Do they not understand gravity? The effect of suddenly placing a planet twice the size of earth (give or take) right next to earth would be catastrophic for both planets.
You can go right down the script and pick apart just about everything that happens. THe logic is THAT flawed.
But it IS pretty. I give them that. Even without a story, it’s worth seeing on the big screen for the eye candy.