This is the third and final movie of the Transformers trilogy, directed by Michael Bay, and thus begins the fall of Earth to the Decepticons. The Decepticon assassin Shockwave made his appearance in this movie as the video game of the same name introduced him. According to the video game, as declared by Optimus Prime, “he is about as deadly as they come,” and Shockwave was a hard nut to crack for Optimus Prime, the Autobots and the humans. It took all of them to defeat this mighty Decepticon assassin.
Shia LaBeauof reprises his role as Sam Witwicky, the hero of the first two films. Tyrese Gibson returns as Epps, and John Turturro is the former Section 7 agent Simmons. Josh Duhamel plays as Lennox again. Witwicky’s parents, played by Kevin Dunn and Julie White, also come back. Sam Witwicky’s new love interest, Carly, is played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Patrick Dempsey plays Dylan, Sam Witwicky’s rival. John Malkovitch plays Bruce Brazos, Witwicky’s boss. Frances Macdormand plays Mearing. And lastly, Ken Jeong plays Jerry Wang, Witwicky’s co-worker.
For the Transformers, most of the Autobots return from previous films. The voice of Optimus Prime is by Peter Cullen. Robert Foxworth is the voice of Ratchet. Jess Harnell is the voice of Ironhide. James Ramar is the voice of Sideswipe. Francesco Quinn plays the voice of Dino, otherwise known as Mirage. George Coe is the voice of Wheeljack. Tom Kenny is the voice of Wheelie. Reno Wilson is the voice of Brains. Ron Bottitta is the voice of Roadbuster. John DiMaggio is the voice of Wheeljack. Lastly, Leonard Nimoy is the voice of Sentinel Prime.
For the Decepticons, Hugo Weaving plays the voice of Megatron. Charles Adler is the voice of Starscream. Frank Welker plays two roles — the voices of Shockwave and Soundwave. Keith Szarabajka plays the voice of Laserbeak.
The movie begins with the first landing on the moon by the United States, and a view of older footage brings insight to the crash of the Ark, an Autobots spaceship carrying pillars necessary for interstellar transport. Despite his assistance in the two defeats of the Decepticons in the previous films and being honored by President Barack Obama, Sam Witwicky can not find a job much of anywhere after college. He resides with Carly in Chicago, as he tries to find a job. He finally lands a job as a mailroom clerk in the office of Bruce Brazos. Meanwhile, the Autobots go to Chernobyl and encounter the Driller of Shockwave for the first time as they discover a missing Cybertronian artifact. Meanwhile, Laserbeak assassinates the original seven officers related to the American moon landing and the discovery of the Ark. As Jerry Wang passed on information concerning the dark side of the moon, he is assassinated by Laserbeak as he is thrown out of the office window. With this in mind, Sam Witwicky relies on the assistance of the unexpected — former Section 7 agent Simmons. Simmons and Witwicky decide to contact two of the former Russian cosmonauts on an explanation as to why their space mission to the moon was terminated early. The cosmonauts shows both Simmons and Witwicky the original satellite photographs of the moon. On the moon, there were hundreds of pillars, the source for interestellar transportation by the Transformers, stranded near the Ark. However, Witwicky discovered that they have been moved by the Decepticons here on Earth. He also concluded that Sentinel Prime perhaps had other plans that did not involve the Autobots nor assisting humans. Simmons and Witwicky rushes to NEST headquarters in Chicago to warn Optimus Prime and the Autobots. Unfortunately, they were delayed by an attack by the Decepticons on the highway, and ultimately, Sentinel Prime turns on the Autobots, and one of the Autobots fall to a surprise attack by Sentinel Prime. Luckily, Bumblebee escapes as Sentinel Prime causes havoc with NEST headquarters. Sentinel Prime makes his move on Chicago and around the world with the help of Megatron and the Decepticons. Carly is kidnapped by Dylan and Soundwave, and of course, Sam Witwicky is off to save the world once again. With a ploy by the Autobots, the Decepticons believe that they have destroyed the Autobots and finalize their process of bringing Cybertron to Earth. Sam Witwicky, Epps and Lennox plan to invade Chicago that has been overtaken by Sentinel Prime, Megatron and the Decepticons. The Autobots surprisingly return to assist the humans in taking back Chicago. With the Shockwave and his Driller among the first to fall, the Autobots and humans make their push closer and closer to Sentinel Prime. Ultimately, Optimus Prime defeats Sentinel Prime and Megatron with one arm, and as the half-formed Cybertron collapses in space, Optimus Prime and the Autobots realize that Earth is the only home now.
The special effects were amazing, like the first two films. The explosions, closeups of transformations of Decepticons, and the flying shrapnel were spectacular. The sound of the explosions were fantastic, like the previous Transformers films by Michael Bay.
3-D or Not 3-D?
The choice for 3-D is not really necessary for the first half of the film, as it was mostly buildup, plot and character development. However, once Sentinel Prime and his agenda gets rolling, the 3-D becomes useful and quite spectacular. The shrapnel flying as the Transformers battle against one another is an amazing visual. I can almost smell the electrical smoke as wires and gasoline were cut. Although the building collapsing was a bit over the top, the visual in 3-D was actually quite good. Is 3-D worth a $2 or $3 addition to a standard movie viewing of Transformers: Dark of the Moon? Only if you want to see shrapnel and transformations up close and personal. Otherwise, this movie, for the most part, can be viewed as a standard 2-D movie, and you won’t miss too much.
Verdict (Out of 10)
Perhaps the best summer action movie so far, but the best summer movie still goes to Super 8. Although it was better than the second film, Revenge of the Fallen, the story wasn’t as cohesive or as compelling as the first movie. There was no explanation of Shockwave nor of some of the other Decepticons in this movie. Also, there was no explanation of the new Autobots as well. If you played the video game of the same name, it would provide the necessary background, but in Bay’s arrogance perhaps, not everyone wants to or can play the video game. There were some nice, witty and funny one-liners in this film, particularly a tribute to Star Trek by Leonary Nimoy as Sentinel Prime. In spite of this, it is not to say that it is bad as Michael Bay spent all of his special effects budget on this film — the explosions, the battles and nearly all of the action scenes were fantastic. Overall, it is a solid 7.5 out of 10 for me.