I've had a chance to calm down, so here's my full review of Dark of the moon.
This film should have a lot going for it, the budget is insane, the cast boasts some very impressive names, it has some good ideas, and you have the concept and backstory of one of the coolest childhood franchises around - transformers. However, Bay doesn't seem content until he's squandered all of this, with a wealth of poor decisions that left me perplexed.
There was lots of talk in the run up to the movie that the filmakers had taken on feedback from the 2nd film, and were primed to learn from their mistakes, but I can see little evidence of this. Looking at each point in turn, i'd go as far as to say they've actually made the bad bits worse.
First off, comic relief: The twins are gone, the parents are downplayed, great job! However they are quickly replaced by similarly annoying robot sidekicks and an Asian man who's name is 'wang' (seriously). there's some great comic talents in the film, but they've been given abysmal lines to work with. A much subtler touch is needed to provide laughs in this film, and Bay's 'go big or go home' approach falls down flat.
Second, reactive plot: Just as in 'revenge' the plot is absurd and scrambling. The set pieces are all planned out, and the script is cobbled together to make sure we hit those scenes. What's genuinely infuriating is that there's some great ideas here - the moon connection is an awesome premise, but that's all it is, a selling point.....the connotations of the human race withholding the information is brushed over pretty quickly and never given the exploration it deserves.
Sam begins his story feeling cheated and left out, striving to be someone, 'to matter'. Again this is a really interesting character arc that would have given the human focus we need in the film, but instead Sam is shoehorned into the story by a string of ridiculous and unnecessary connections that get him in the right places ready for the set pieces.
Third, your villlains suck: We're 3 films in now, and i'm still yet to see megatron and starscream do anything. In revenge, the final battle is mostly just generic robots smashing about the desert for an hour before our main characters reappear for 5 mins to wrap it up. Here it's a similar story, with the main characters vastly underused in favour of a tedious warzone where humans I couldn't care less about, fight robots I care even less for.
I appreciate that transformers is hardly the height of character drama, but megatron and starscream are well developed, intriguing characters. Quite why Bay feels the need to backline them in favour of bland 'extras' is a mystery to me.
Fourth, it's soooo long: I can hack a long film, but if you want to hold your audience past the 2 hour mark you better have some damn good pacing. I know that Michael Bay knows how pacing works, he's occasionally very good at it. But here, and in other films he doesn't seem to have a clue.
With so little connection to the characters, massive action sequences are just long pauses where nothing happens. There's pretty pictures for certain, but i'm not interested in the players and therefore I have no emotional link to what's going on. Worst still when we finally get back to progressing the story, the pace speeds up lightning fast with little reverence to the mammoth struggle that proceeds it.
Most of the action scenes could be cut in half, or down to a quarter maybe and still be just as effective. If that time and money was then spent on giving us more time with our robot friends, then the action would be infinitely more exciting and poignant.
In conclusion,all the pieces are here to make a great film. Yet they've been arranged in such a way that they make a very worthless and tedious product which acts as little more than a crumpled mannequin to model Bay's 3D explosions.
Last edited by Varakir; 06-30-11 at 02:49 AM.