A quick little disclaimer before I delve into the review: I didn’t LOVE part one of Transformers, definitely didn’t like part two, so I didn’t go to Transformers3 with high expectations. I didn’t follow the press releases so I had no inkling of anything happening in this installment aside from the brief glimpses I got during trailers of other movies I DID wanna see.
If all you want to know if whether or not to see it, or just want a general rating of it, I’ll say this. Go see it, make up your own mind. Purely for the entertainment value of this review, to me, personally, this movie was somewhere in between GOOD and GREAT. A B+, 3 out of 4 stars, take your pick.
This review WILL contain spoilers (so, no bitching in the comments) and it will have plot lines revealed as well. Onward ho!
Paramount’s early screening was unfortunately in 3D so I was apprehensive. Luckily, Transformers3 is the first movie I’ve seen that has utilized 3D properly and I have to admit, it was utilized well. Right off the bat, you are taken to Cybertron in its last moments of war and the sheer scale of the planet is apparent and it’s breathtaking. There is one scene with an Autobot ship swooping down across the landscape that reminds me of Star Wars, in that the sound effects are the same and it moves like the Millennium Falcon would while evading the Empire. You’re immersed in a very nicely detailed origin story about the Autobot/Decepticon war and it coincides with Apollo11’s trip to the moon. It also fills in some gaps from the previous movies and you get your first glimpse at Sentinel Prime voiced by the fantastic Leonard fuckin’ Nimoy.
Again, the detail to create an old ass looking Autobot is pretty cool. As we go to earth and reunite with Witwicky and the Megan Fox replacement who appears with no introduction or explanation. She would be pretty if her lips weren’t gargantuan and accounted for half her face. Her body is very nice but I tire of the dumb, helpless girlfriend roles in action movies. She’s there to look pretty and miraculous emerge from the movie unscathed and to bat her eyelashes at shia lebeef, which she does a LOT. I’m also not a car girl but they were pretty and shiny. I couldn’t tell you what make and model but again, they were pretty. The various key players make their entrances (among them an excellent performance as a hard ass by Frances McDormand) and there’s the token scene of insurgents as the plot is explained. Am I alone in wishing for a movie without political undertones?
There are a couple of jabs at Megan Fox (or her character…you decide!) from the mini autobots keeping Sam company and I dunno…it was unnecessary but so was Josh Duhamel in this entire movie. He didn’t do anything of note, his character just barked military orders. We learn there is a conspiracy surrounded the moon landing in 1963 but not whom it involves but we do learn it’s real purpose is to investigate an Autobot crash on the dark side of the moon. This is the main vein of plot line for the movie. There is a tiny sub plot of Sam Witwicky feeling inadequate after saving the world, twice, and not being able to get a job and living off his hot, semi well of girlfriend. I enjoyed portions of this subplot: one, I enjoyed the cocky Sam being brought down to ground level and humbled by the wonderful John Malkovich, two, I always enjoy Ken Jeong in weird, comedic roles and he yet again, doesn’t disappoint. There is a cameo from the real Buzz Aldrin, which was great, and out of the Decepticons in this movie, Shockwave was my favorite. He (It?) was a great main antagonist and I loved all his scenes and his wormy desert thing. Very cool and exciting. I also enjoyed Laserbeak, Soundwave’s minion. Decidedly evil and a voice to match, he could definitely be scary to a lot of kids. For the Autobots, the racist twins of the second movie were gone but…in their place we have two NEW characters who are also extreme caricatures of the nationalities they represent. We have the large bellied red car Autobot with an arranged metal kilt type of thing who is very Scottish and we have the tall green car Autobot who is definitely Irish. Sorry, but not as funny as the twins.
You can tell the graphics are much better in this installment based on the fluidity in which everyone moves and transforms. The action scenes are well done, the soundtrack is present but not overpowering anywhere and as the movie reaches it’s height and the inevitable betrayal happens, it surprisingly holds it’s own. We see Sentinel is equipped with a Buster sword type of weapon and the plot expands a little further. There are pillars that were hidden with Sentinel on the crashed Autobot ship that were stolen by the Decepticons and in fact, the Decepticons are in cahoots with an Autobot. When the pillars are activated, it creates a teleportation/space bridge to bring Cybertron to Earth. For some reason, the main pillar is placed in open view and if something shoots it, the whole plan goes to shit. Again, I’m reminded of Star Wars and it’s tiny exhaust port in which the Death Star is destroyed. REALLY, DECEPTICONS??? You’re going to place your master plan in an easily accessible area where the Autobots can shoot it up. * facepalm *
By the way, a robot apocalypse looks fucking scary. As the movie ends it’s two and half hour plus run, I cry. I won’t say why, but I cry. Things happen and I won’t be a bitch and spoil everything but it’s sad and I fear for some Autobot lives. Of course, Optimus Prime saves the day and everything about his big heroic scene is perfect. The bullet time is used well, the soundtrack swells with glory, and every movement is calculated to perfection. Plus, decapitations and spine rip outs are kickass. Good triumphs over evil and a battered American flag waves at you as the credits roll.
All in all, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t ridiculously deep, Patrick Dempsey plays a rich boy douche bag well (TOO well), but it was fun. This is a movie to see once and if you’re a die hard fan, maybe see twice