Friday, July 15, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - **1/2

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is an intelligent, well-crafted action/drama that serves as a biting commentary on today's socio-economic landscape. The battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons has over the course of three films evolved into a layered metaphorical critique on current Unite-- Okay, no it hasn't, nor is there any biting social commentary, but we knew that going in, right?

The Transformers series is about one thing, and that's spectacle. Dark of the Moon has great effects and well-staged, if not almost exhausting, action sequences and, yes, the female love interest is most definitely introduced by a close-up of her ass... The spectacle is there. And what's better is director Michael Bay and his writers seem to have learned from the second film that the robots are not interesting as characters, which yields far less scenes of the robot teams just hanging out on world monuments talking strategy. Oh, and no racist robots this time, either.

So what else occupies its bloated 150 minute run time? A great opening sequence that was sort of ruined by being the film's teaser trailer, nine minutes of over-the-top comedic gold from Ken Jeong that is better than anything and everything in The Hangover 2, and John Turturro delivering some of the weirdest lines in recent memory ("Megatron! Let's tango!").

Is it perfect? No. Is it kind of hollow and empty inside? Sure. Could they have shaved 40 minutes off of the run time? Yup. Will you probably forget most of it twelve minutes after leaving the theater? Absolutely, but while you're watching it, it's honestly a pretty good time.

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