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Film Review: Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon

Jun 29, 2011 03:56AM ● By Wendy Sipple

The third chapter in this series again follows Sam Witwicky, who -- like the first two films -- deals with family issues, girlfriend issues, and finds a way to get himself in the middle of fighting robots. The full array of characters from the first two films are present, in addition to a few new cast members. Most importantly the main plot of the Decepticons using a teleporting device to transfer their planet here to rebuild using Earth and humans as slaves is actually understandable, unlike the second movie’s plot.

The Transformers series has been as an odd mix of high octane action mixed with horrible dialog and plot and then made even stranger with a variety of bazaar characters and out of place humor. This new sequel is no different. However no movie in history has put on screen the scale and detail of destruction that this film has. It absolutely dwarfs any other action film in terms of pure mayhem. Where most films mask destruction with a simple explosion, Transformers 3 shows every nut and bolt of every car crash and falling building. Not only that people run amidst the falling debris giving it that extra detail of reality. Unlike the previous films, people are graphically shown getting crushed, blown up and eviscerated by laser guns. Human skulls and dead bodies line the streets. 
The effects are second to none. The detail not only in the destruction but in the design of the robots is mind blowing. To the film maker’s credit every penny of the massive budget for this movie is on the screen. Transformers 3 had the same budget as Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and it is indisputable which movie has the higher production value. From a technical and action viewpoint Transformers 3 is on a level all its own.
With the same bravado as the action scenes, Michael Bay overdoes all the other shots in the film too. Every character is a cartoon. They are so over-the-top silly it’s hard to take any of them seriously. He even has a cast of extremely good actors but all of them are forced to act like aliens impersonating humans. They are that preposterous. Michael Bay also loves to have a female muse that he overtly sexualizes for the camera in a way that is cartoonish too. The woman in his movies feel more fake than the robots.
I could start to analyze the plot and pour over the countless absurdities in it, but is that really the point of these movies? Honestly the Transformer series as it stands is pure spectacle of the highest degree. In that regard Transformers 3 is a huge success. If you are looking for a solid plot, excellent characters and a story with an emotional payoff in the end Transformers should be the last place to look. If you want brainless popcorn action on the largest scale possible you won’t find a better movie for you.
Films like Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon – Transformers, Transformers 2 and Battle LA


Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.

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