Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the third (and supposedly final, who can say with Hollywood?) film in Michael Bay’s film series based on the popular toy line and cartoon series. And from watching it, Bay seems to save the best for last as he end things, literally, with a bang. It even takes some cues from the first film by tying the events of the plot to American history, this time to the Apollo moon landing and the “real” purpose behind it, even “explaining” the reason contact was lost for a brief time.
Following the events of the previous movie, the Autobots, with the Transformers now revealed to the public, are working more closely with NEST and the U.S. government to both hunt down any Decepticons in hiding and track down any Cybertronian technology being mis-used by humans. A mission to Chernobyl in Russia leads to the discovery of a missing Autobot ship crashed on the moon (and the real reason for the Apollo moon landing). An even bigger discovery is made: Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy), Optimus Prime’s predecessor as leader of the Autobots.
Meanwhile, the Autobots’ human ally, Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf), is trying to adjust to a normal life. While he does have a hot new girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), he’s having trouble finding a job. When he does find one (thanks to Carly’s rich and influencal boss, Dylan Gould (Patrick Dempsey)), he stumbles across evidence of humans having conspired with the Decepticons for the last several decades. As Sam, the Autobots and NEST try to put the clues together, the Decepticons and their leader, Megatron, come out of hiding to make their final play to take over the world.
As I said, Dark of the Moon truly ends things with a bang, and I don’t mean with just the massive amount of action scenes, complete with explosions (which we all know is Michael Bay’s forte, after all). The movie has a great cast, with both the old (LeBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro and Tyrese Gibson) mixing it up with the new, which includes Huntington-Whiteley and Dempsey along with John Malkovich as Sam’s quirky new boss and Frances McDormand as strict National Security director Charlotte Mearing. The interactions between these characters, like with any movie, help to keep things interesting outside the action, like Duhamel’s Lt. Colonel Lennox and Turturro’s ex-Agent Simmons trying to deal with Mearing, who doesn’t do a lot to help our heroes at first (typical habit for government types) and has a history with Simmons that livens things up. Of course, much of the spotlight is on Sam, who is still his usual awkward-in-normal-situations-self as he tries to deal with trying to find a job and his jealousy of how close Carly is to her boss. And just like in the last two films, it’s when the action starts that he really starts to shine, bringing out those take-charge qualities he doesn’t always display normally (makes you wonder why LeBeouf wasn’t ever cast as Spider-Man, go figure). As for Sam’s previous girlfriend, Mikaela Barnes (played by Megan Fox, whose feud with Michael Bay and departure from the film was quite the hot topic), her absence is explained, and while I won’t say what happens to spoil it, it isn’t what you think.
Now for the real stars of the movie, the Transformers themselves. Many of the previous robots from the last two movies are back, such as Optimus Prime (now sporting a trailer to go with his vehicle form that doubles as a weapons platform), Megatron, Bumblebee, Starscream, Soundwave (now sporting an Earth form, but for some reason seemingly smaller than how he looked in Revenge of the Fallen), Ironhide and Ratchet. And, of course, we get some new ‘bots to add to mix, not just Sentinel Prime (who even looks a bit like Leonard Nimoy), but a couple old favorites such as Laserbeak (who, like Frenzy, proves to be the ultimate spy in being able to take on multiple forms to carry out his missions) and Shockwave (who, for being promoted as a major villain in the film, doesn’t seem to appear much). You can bet much of the movie’s budget went to its special effects, and not just to all the robots that appear in the movie (and there are a lot, too many to list in fact). There’s also some impressive action sequences, some of which require some necessary CGI to pull off. If you’re an action fan, especially the kind that has explosions, you’ll like this movie.
There are some complaints, but thankfully not many (of course, that could just be me, being the comic book geek and child of the ‘80s that I am). Some of the Transformers do look rather goofy in appearance, such as Que (who is supposed to be Wheeljack), the Autobots’ resident scientist who looks like an old scientist, complete with “buck teeth” and “glasses”. This sort of thing looks strange (and idiotic) compared to how most of the other Transformers look, some more like robots or even close to their original counterparts. Yeah, Sentinel sports a “beard”, done to make him look old, but that’s minor compared to some of the other things.
Overall great flick and cgi effects.
Transformers 3 comes to you with a 1080p transfer that would make the Easter bunny jealous. The colors pop and are vibrant at every effect. The CGI is down right amazing. It truly feels like an incredible representation of how every hue was intended to look. The age or battle damage effects on the autobots/decepticons look perfect and the blacks are extremely deep where need be. No different with audio on a Michael Bay flick, the video quality is top notch!
The audio quality on this release is out of this world. It’s beyond 5 stars, it’ll rock your socks off. Boasting a 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track Transformers 3 dishes it out and impresses even little kids in how awesome the sound is. The Fronts will be taking the major portion of this audio load along with your center channel if you have a home theater set up. The sub will get plenty of action too and the rears will engulf you in this audio excellence. And that’s exactly what you would come to expect from a Michael Bay film. Audioholics rejoice!
Sadly this disc has no extras, which is a shame because it comes with a nice slipcover and is a 2 disc version. You’d think it’d be the most complete edition. However not, it houses the blu-ray and dvd + digital copy. It does come with a $10 coupon for Transformers 3 – 3d which has all the goods for the content mongers. A small bit of rating credit for the dvd/digital copy.
As mentioned, this is supposed to be the final film in the Transformers movie franchise, and I will say it does wrap things up well. Knowing Hollywood, we could still get another film (probably a reboot or something in a few years), but for now Dark of the Moon completes the trilogy. It’s definitely one you need to see, as well as add to your blu-ray collection. The video and audio quality are top notch, slight hit taken to no extras on this edition but it’s still Transformers 3 and Michael Bay! Need I say more? Ninja APPROVED!