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Transformers: Dark of the Moon Movie Review!

I am a true child of the 80s. I remember the great war between the Gobots and the Transformers franchises. I remember the Gobots were rushed into stores in order to beat out the far superior Transformers. Although the plan succeeded in the short term, go ask any kid today about Gobots and you’ll only get a blank stare. With the third installment of the Transformers film franchise hitting theaters, obviously Hasbro and its robots won that battle.

My favorite part of any of the Transformer movies occurred when we first meet Optimus Prime and we see the blue and red semi tractor trailer transform into the leader of the Autobots. Oh what bliss when we hear the voice of Peter Cullen, the very same voice from the original 80s cartoon. Oh nostalgia take me away! Fast forward through a great first movie, a competent sequel and now to the present. Transformers: Dark of the Moon had a lot of promises from both director and lead actor. Both of which fall empty. The movie, which was a prime chance to close out a great popcorn trilogy, which I am a huge fan of, failed miserably.

The Pros: Michael Bay returned to his Playboy Video roots with a lot of his shots for Megan Fox’s replacement, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Leonard Nimoy supplying the voice of Sentinel Prime was genius, to which they even injected one of his most famous lines from The Wrath of Kahn (I’ll let you guess which one). There were two solid twists that can be appreciated and were honestly much needed as the story dragged. We get to see amazing CGI that was clearly crafted with utmost delicacy. And finally, we get to see a wide variety of fresh faces to the franchise share the screen like Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Alan Tudyk and Ken Jeong. I will say though, my personal favorite cameo came from real life astronaut and the second man to ever set foot on the moon, Buzz Aldrin. Super props for that one Mr. Bay. And of course the highly underrated Kevin Dunn and Julie White return as Sam Witwicky’s parents to provide some much needed humor.

The Cons: The movie was bad. It honestly felt as though I were watching a rough cut of the film and the editors hadn’t quite figured out timing and pacing issues. I place a large part of the blame on screenwriter Ehren Kruger, who seems to have a habit of writing some great films, Arlington Road and The Ring while also writing some truly awful ones, like Scream 3 and Reindeer Games. But the blame doesn’t stop there, even Michael Bay couldn’t seem to accomplish his signature style of great explosions and amazing robot battles. At times, it was even boring. The special effects were truly amazing, except for the early scenes involving Presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. The filmmakers used a mixture of archival footage, live actors portraying the well known Americans and the popular effect of placing the dead President’s face on an actor’s body. The combination did not work and was very distracting. And although I included it as a pro, I still cannot fathom why some of the actors joined the cast. First the Witwicky’s are clearly a side story which does not add to the film one bit. Ken Jeong is the typical funny man, but why? And John Malkovich appears to be in need of a paycheck (here’s hoping for Red 2). And last, but not least, the 3D was incredibly unnecessary. To date I have still only seen two films which aided from the new technology, Avatar and Tron: Legacy. If you absolutely must see this movie in the theater, save a couple bucks and leave out the extra dimension.

I don’t want to provide any spoilers, thus ruining the small positives associated with this summer flick, but I will say I am saddened that this appears to be the final chapter for a franchise that started with so many amazing things. I give Transformers: Dark of the Moon two out of five Nerdskulls.

I'm a true child of the 80s from a small town near Cleveland, Ohio. My all time favorite topics are Star Wars, slasher films and Cleveland sports (despite the misery it causes). I narrowly avoided law school, instead choosing film school. I have been accused of being a walking IMDB, but I take it as a compliment!

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