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>> Sunday, July 3, 2011

This is my first Transformers review for my website and I can't express to you all how glad I am about that. We all know just how plain awful Revenge of the Fallen was, but we also know the first film in the series showed some promise (and not enough Megan Fox, winkity wink). As much as I think Megan Fox is a, well - fox, I also recognized immediately the poor thing couldn't act her way out of a student film. The replacement of her by the slightly superior Rosie Huntington-Whitely was the first step in making Transformers 3 a fresher film.

You'll find the effects are well done (as always) and the 3-D is still whatever (as it is in any movie really). The action however is much, much better and this could be for a number of reasons. The first may be that there is simply just more of it, and less of a love story between Sam (Shia LaBeouf) and his girl of the hour. There's also less of Sam's very annoying parents. We get it, they're the comic relief - we also had enough of them in the first one. You not only end up with more, but better action here. I didn't care much for the pyramid scene in Revenge of the Fallen and it's certainly trumped in Dark of the Moon by the battle in downtown Chicago. There's something insanely cool about the scene where that highrise was tipping over (or it may have just been my subconscious telling me to watch Inception again). This brings me to second reason the action is better - which is really just because it's so much more epic. If you don't think you'll enjoy a movie about a mechanical alien race, then you're there to see the special effects and action and this is the first Transformers where I felt satisfied.

As far as the story goes, I can honestly say you won't care. You may like the fact that Patrick Dempsey is in it (if you're a girl), or you may like the fact that there's less of that Sector 7 douche, John Turturro (if you're anybody else). It's the same old stuff and it's predictable for the most part. There's bad robots and there's good robots and there's girls and cars and explosions. Director Michael Bay may not be the finest filmmaker, but he did really seem to put more effort into Dark of the Moon and it shows by the time the credits roll. He took all of what worked in the first two and left out what didn't.

What's new in Transformers 3 is the Forest Gump-like history tie-ins they use to explain why it's called Dark of the Moon. It's actually quite impressive and reminded me a lot of what we saw in X-Men: First Class. Expect to see more of it (for a third time this year) in September's Apollo 18. Perhaps Hollywood is sponsoring the next Moon trip and wants to make sure it's numbers are good?

I'm giving Transformers: Dark of the Moon an open door. I hope it's the last one (my Transformers fan friend insists it almost has to be - due to original story restrictions). Plus, with Reel Steel coming out this winter we may have already had it with robot movies by the time the end of the world mosies along next December. But this movie is enjoyable at the very least, and you're rarely left wondering why LaBouef seems to be doing a better job quitting the franchise on national TV than actually promoting this thing.

*Stills courtesy of Paramount Pictures


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