Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Everything that Battle: Los Angeles should have been.

The third installment in Michael Bay’s trilogy travels back to 1969’s historic moon landing, when Neil Armstrong and his Apollo 11 cohorts touch down in the Sea of Tranquility … and discover what appears to be a downed Transformers craft. Flash forward to the present, and the Decepticons are ready to exact revenge on Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots. Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, the Autobots’ human ally.

To get myself ready for this one I went through the whole series. The first one was pretty good; the second one was unbearable; and this one was the best of the whole series. And although that’s not saying much, I still had fun.

The world of Michael Bay consists of explosions, sparks, fire, giant robots, sexy chicks, destruction, and the craziest things that you thought could never happen in real-life. Bay does a great job here as director because he actually keeps the story pretty easy to understand, and a very simple story at that. This is a lot darker than the past films and although the comedy wasn’t as funny I still chuckled, and there was a nice balance between the story and the actual silly stuff.

The action here comes and goes within the first hour, but once that hour is gone, the rest of the film is just insane. You have robots beating up robots, guns blasting, cars flipping, buildings collapsing, and for once I could actually tell just what the hell was going on. There are also some really good action sequences that will keep your eyes glued to the screen and just make you scream “baddassery” at the screen right when the scene is over. The action never stops, and you watch all this chaos and destruction happen but at the same time, you won’t feel annoyed with no plot development or the fact that just about everything you see is special effects. Basically the payoff is bangin’, and I promise you, you won’t leave this film feeling like you didn’t get any action.

Although, the main problem with this film is that it is 2 hours and 34 minutes long and after awhile that starts to take a toll on you. I don’t mind when films are that time-limit as long as their entertaining me, but even though I was entertained with this one, I felt like they needed to wrap it up pretty soon because there was a time that I felt like this film could have ended at any time.

However, when it did end, it was so completley abrupt. I think that they probably budgeted this film so high to the point of where they had almost no money left they just decided to end it, in order to avoid conflicts for money. And of course, in the end, there’s the obligatory U.S flag waving proudly in the wind. You love your country Mr. Bay, we get it already. No need to shove it down our throats along with outworn speeches of freedom. He is so damn patriotic sometimes, I think he almost forgets that he’s talking about a movie about robots that turn into cars, and beat the shit out of each other.

Shia LaBeouf does what he always does well; just make exaggerated faces, scream like a girl at times, and put on that angry face that we can laugh at but you know what, that shtick never gets old. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaces Megan Fox and is surprisingly quite charming and sexy; Josh Duhamel seems like he’s trying so hard to be Timothy Olyphant; Patrick Dempsey hamms it up pretty well as Dylan; Tyrese Gibson is whatever as Epps; and John Turturro is less annoying in this one than he was in the second one, which is very good. The rest of the cast features a lot of random names such as John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Alan Tudyk, and the most random of all, Frances McDormand. I don’t think I could have ever imagined Frances McDormand talking to a robot in my life, but somehow, Bay has a way of getting Oscar winners into his shit.

Consensus: Since this is a Michael Bay film, many will hate it for being chaotic and insane, but this time I could tell what was going on and even though the first hour may be a little lame, it picks up and becomes the epic, and most action-packed final installment we could ever ask for from these robots.



  1. Nice review! I loved this movie and already seen it 2 times, and am going for more! I agree that the run time is too long, as with all these Michael Bay movies are… but at least it’s jam packed with action! 😀

  2. Wicked review, Dan! I just saw it tonight and will be blogging about myself tomorrow. Totally agree with you. This is the strongest of a shitty franchise. The action and fx are so freakin’ awesome that it is ultimately a good time.

  3. Agreed, comparatively this was the more polished of the three.
    The blind alley of Carly’s rear was unnecessary as was some of the monologuing by Optimus. The only other issue was what happened with parents? Small items like that were irritating but not a deal breaker. Good review!

  4. The real problem with Michael Bay’s works in general is that they seem to be basically just about explosions and little else. He is capable of doing decent work (the first Transformers movie was quite good, though not great), but instead of doing that, he just churns out mindless action sequences one after the other.

    It’s interesting that yesterday you posted a review of the original Terminator. The second film in that franchise is everything that a science fiction action film should be. It’s intelligent, it’s got some decent emotions to it, and the action scenes actually make sense and serve to move the film forward. Transformers: Bark at the Moon just doesn’t accomplish that.

    • It didn’t do what a classic like T2 does but I still had a fun time, watching the craziest of all shit happen here. But I see what you’re saying though!

  5. LOL! i will agree it was certainly a fun movie, but i ddin’ think there was any checmistry between any of the actors. some of the names are random, like you mentioned, but i did love mcdormand, malkovich, and jeong in their roles. and i love turturro. the ovie could have been them and the robots. the principles–shia, rosie, josh, and tyrese didn’t add anything for me. and the script is unbearable. the action is its only savinbg grace.

  6. Yo man, as promised I stopped by to check out your blog after you left a comment on my review. Holy Shit! You’ve been at this for awhile, huh? You’ll have to give me some tips when you have the time…

    As for the review… its pretty much like you said. I think you and I arrive at the same score, right down to the fact it runs wayyy too long. LOL.

    Man, I’m booked this weekend, but I’m definitely going to spend some time leafing through your archives to see how it’s done!

  7. why was the 2nd transformer unbearable. i haven’t seen this one yet but if you think it’s the best of the series i think it deserves more than 7.5. by the way, is there gonna be another transformer or is this the last one?

    • I actually enjoyed Malkovich’s character so much that when Turtorro showed up on screen he seemed redundant to me. That older, crazy character quota was already filled, so for the rest of the film it was just a lot of…”Let’s get back to Chicago robot battles, please.”

  8. thanks for looking at my movie review, nice site you got here 🙂 twitter @theideagirl i follow back 😉

  9. “Everything that Battle: Los Angeles should have been.”

    I felt so much that I was actually watching “B:LA” during this latest “Transformers.” From that angle, “Dark of the Moon” was a step up and a success. I got bored with both, however. Mr. Bay needs to learn how to pace himself. If you throw insane action at people for three hours nothing you do for a climax will have any chance of serious impact.

    • True! But this really worked because that last hour is just filled with so much no-holds-barred action that I couldn’t help but enjoy myself.

      • Hmm. I felt like the Chicago portion of the film (the climax) has some peaks and valleys in terms of excitement level… I don’t see how it’s just action all the way till the point where it’s boring.

  10. I sort of enjoyed Battle: LA, but it was missing a lot, and the third Transformers certainly delivered everything. You wanna talk about patriotism: how about when Optimus shows up in Chicago and delivers his whole “we fight for freedom, stand for freedom, freedom, freedom, go freedom.” Best part was when people at the showing cheered after he said it. That’s probably one of the most blatant Go-America moments I’ve seen in theaters. I would actually be interested to see how foreign markets take it.

    I also agree with it being a little too long, but not too much so. It was still very enjoyable with awesome action. My biggest complaint, actually, is Shockwave. I felt like he was meant to be the main villain but in the end is only there for like ten minutes. He was cool, I guess, but only said one thing and shot a few robots. Eh.

    I’d love if you checked out my review, linked in the name!

  11. Watched it a few hours ago. Really awesome final battle, but the parts before it were bad for the most part. At least I enjoyed it more than Revenge of the Fallen.

  12. Easily the best of the series and I’m glad you dug it. Funny the mid 7 score seems to be a universally accepted score for those who like it. Run time did get taxing but the full on hour finale was just what Bay had wanted to do in the first two films but finally delivered here in effen spades!!

    I saw the overly over the top nature like Bays’ The Island ( a much better movie than people acknowledge) which had explosions for the sake of having them. But I guess when you have giant robots duking it out you have to bring the rain and pain otherwise it would feel unconvincing right? Also there’s a blatant love affair that Bay has with the military and that said, maybe he should be directing the other Hasbro mainstay G.I. Joe. I’d go see that!

  13. Well, since you read my review, there’s no reason to reiterate my disgust. But if this movie isn’t the worst at the end of 2011 on my site, you will know I endured no less than two hours of torture.

  14. Your reviews are always so entertaining to read! I nod my head in agreement and laughter often! I liked this Transformers flick as well, as you know. Funny line in your review was about Josh Duhamel trying to be Olyphant! hahah

    if and when they do Transformers 4, who would you like to see direct? and who to be the human? since Bay and LaBeouf have both said they won’t return.

  15. I didn’t really think this film was that great…it was wayy too long and the only thing that saved it for me was Shia LaBeouf and Josh Duhamel hehe

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