What Jeff hates: The latest Michael Bay installment of the ’80s craze ‘Transformers’
by Jeff Shedden
With all of the things to hate about “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” I’m trying to keep my inner nerd on a leash. I was a child of the 80’s. I started collecting Transformers toys when they were first released. I had collected a ton of the figures and assorted paraphernalia, and amassed quite a knowledge of their backgrounds and exploits.
The entire premise behind “Dark of the Moon” is that an ancient Transformers spaceship hit the moon at some point in the 1960’s, and our entire race to the moon was to check it out first. Apparently the Transformers spend a lot of time just launching crap in Earth’s general direction.
This faux history lesson is accompanied by the worst JFK look-alike I’ve ever seen.
Shia Lebeouf finally shows up and gives his expected Oscar-worthy performance. And by that I mean he flails around like a chittery little spaz and fails to convey anything approximating emotion.
Since Megan Fox was smart enough to get herself fired from the series, we’re expected to believe that Lebeouf managed to snag another super-hot girlfriend. Of course, this is explained away by his mother telling him that he’ll never get another, and then pondering the size of his genitalia. Wang jokes are funny only if you don’t just pop it out there and expect a reaction.
My main problem with this film, and really all of the “Transformers” movies, is that something really awesome will happen, followed by something so amazingly lame that it causes literal pain. There’s a scene where John freakin’ Malkovich shows up, which is awesome, but then he says “WTF” in conversation, and I bit off part of my face.
There’s also no excuse for going three movies without a single dinobot.
The Autobots don’t seem to have much to do since defeating the Decepticons, so now they spend their time fighting the Taliban. I rolled my eyes so hard, that I could actually see my brain cells committing suicide.
Now I’m definitely no prude, but I was a little taken aback by the amount of adult language used in the movie, including an f-bomb. Yeah, it’s a mixed audience film, but I imagine there were at least a few unhappy parents. My friend from the fourth grade, Danny, got all of his Transformers taken away when his mother heard Spike drop an s-bomb in the 1986 animated film. I can’t imagine what she would have done if she had seen this film instead. Probably make him start wearing dresses and play with Gem and Rainbow Brite.
Without spoiling anything, I will say that I had a problem with events later in the film. Basically, the Decepticons decide to take over Chicago and proceed to engage in just wholesale slaughter of thousands of people. The Autobots finally show up to surprise the Decepticons and everybody cheers. I honestly thought they were a bunch of a-holes for letting the body count get so high.
For most of the big, climactic battle, Optimus Prime is nowhere to be seen. It’s like 20 minutes before he decides to join the fight. I guess he was just waiting for Shabbat to end. Of course, it doesn’t matter because he ends up getting tangled in wires and spends most of the rest of the film just hanging around like a goon.
“Dark of the Moon,” and indeed all of the Michael Bay “Transformers” films, ultimately suffers from the practice of taking all the ingredients for a fantastic Transformers movies, and then swallowing and passing them through the sphincters of the writers, directors, and producers. There should be nobody younger than 30 or older than 37 working on these movies.
Bah weep graaaaagnah weep ni ni bong indeed.
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