The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.
A despondent Sam finds himself out of the limelight as the Decepticon threat appears to have lessened, Mikaela and Bumblebee have left him and he struggles to find a job and direction in life. But when Optimus Prime learns that humanity had found a vital Autobot ship crashed on the Moon, he rescues Sentinel Prime from the wreck, just when the Decepticons return with a plan to restore their homeworld of Cybertron.
Watching Dark of the Moon feels like an endurance test by the time it finishes, this is due to a ridiculously drawn out battle set in Chicago for the climax. While it makes up for Revenge of the Fallen's terribly underwhelming finale, it does become a blur of insignificance after a while because there's simply too much happening! But if there is one thing done right this time is a correct use of characters. A lot of the ludicrous padding and fluff from RotF is completely missing; our human characters are involved but not excessively (ie. Sam's parents hardly feature at all!) and let's say this film provides us with humans who aren't noble and just. There's a lot more of the Transformers too (you would hope so) and it feels like they have a lot more respect shown to them now. Decepticons genuinely appear threatening and the Autobots are shown to have personalities again, continuing from the first film's groundwork (a scene with a silent, brooding Optimus-in-truck-mode is a favourite). The action is off the rails too. More in keeping with the original film we see them transform during battles.
There are some deeply unsettling scenes too. The setup involves assassinations against humans who knew about the mission to the Moon, executed by Decepticon Laserbeak (great to see him too), one where he infiltrates a family's house by pretending to be a friendly Autobot playing with their daughter. Woah, woah! RotF was too cheesy, but this is really dark all of a sudden!
As a fan of the Transformer characters, this film sees a lot of deaths. Some are most unforgivable. We haven't seen this many prominent robot deaths since the slaughter that was the 1986 Transformers: The Movie! The only other gripe I mostly have about this film asides deaths and a bloated finale is Carly, Sam's new love interest (the forgettable Rosie-Huntington Whitely) who is given things to do thanks to the plot, but is far less notable than Fox's Mikaela (I cannot believe I just wrote that) but I do believe the film would be stronger without a love interest. But it is Michael Bay, we need a girl for those slow-mo shots.
It is a vast, vast improvement and a faithful sequel to the 2007 film. It is too long, and it does make some unforgivable decisions regarding Transformer characters, so it feels less perfect in those regards. It is still a fun film though.
- Jul 12, 2014