Grade B-


Director Michael Bay returns to take charge of the third “Transformers” movie, “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.”  So here is the basic rundown of this flawed story: an Autobot ship carrying the leader of the Autobots and hundreds of devices that can teleport a planet has crash landed on the dark side of the moon.   Decepticons have known about this for quite some time, and they are gearing up to fool the Autobots on Earth to go to the moon and retrieve the powered-down, Autobot leader and a few of the teleport devices.  Of course, the Decepticons will try to steal the teleport devices to bring destruction to Earth and its inhabitants.

As this is happening, Shia LaBeouf,  hero of the previous two movies, now has a new girlfriend.  Megan Fox’s disappearance is explained in about 5 seconds when LaBeouf says she dumped him.   This is a pathetic way to brush off a loved character because some powerful, geeky, Hollywood big shot couldn’t take a joke.  Anyway, LaBeouf is once again entangled in the fight against the evil robots, screaming and joking his way through battles that would kill the average person in seconds, but somehow he lives through them with just a few manly scratches.  Hey, realism isn’t Bay’s focus, I know.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” is the scene when LaBeouf is being interviewed for a job by John Malkovich.  This is the craziest character I have seen Malkovich play, and he plays it to perfection.

What the audience gets from this movie is what is expected of a Michael Bay blockbuster: fast pace, slow motion sequences, fleeting, dramatic moments that are overpowered by lengthy, numerous action sequences that are amazing; nonsensical plot, comedic scenes that seem to have been written by pimply-faced, teen boys who have yet to touch a breast, and very loud, catchy music.   In general, realism goes out the window and is replaced by deafening spectacle.  While most audiences expect a bit of a break from realism here and there, most of us do not want one ridiculous, action scene after another.  That said, I am a long time fan of the “Transformers” toy line and cartoons; and that love extends to the movie versions, hence the relatively high grade I gave despite the numerous, negative aspects “Dark Of The Moon” contains.

— M