Transformers Dark of the Moon brings us once again into a world where robotic aliens are locked in a death-struggle to control the future of the earth. Like the previous movie, the good guys (Autobots) are engaged in mortal combat with their evil enemies (Decepticons). While this latest version isn’t much different than the previous entry, there are some notable exceptions.
The first noteworthy difference that Dark of the Moon offers is the level of interaction between the transformers and human beings. This time around, the Autobots are actually working as a kind of paramilitary force supporting world governments. The Decepticons also develop relationships with human collaborators. While this may seem like a small thing, the way that these plot points are carried out is both sophisticated, and believable.
The plot focuses on a technology which the Autobots brought with them from their home planet. This technology allows for instantaneous teleportation across galactic distances. Of course, the Decepticons are eager to acquire this technology for their own evil purposes. Battle lines are drawn, and these ancient enemies prepare to square off with the future of earth hanging in the balance.
While more could be said about this plot; people don’t go to a Transformers movie for the plots. The reason people go to a transformers movie is to watch giant robots fighting each other, and of course, explosions. Dark of the Moon radically ups the ante in these categories. Almost every aspect, right down to the way the transformers ‘transform’ has been spruced up from the previous entry. The special effects of Dark Side of the Moon have significantly raised the bar both for the Transformers series, as well as for action movies in general.
Gun fights, car chases, and scantily clad women abound. The movie becomes a nonstop thrill ride as soon as the required plot elements are all laid into place. Dark of the moon will certainly satisfy the demographic at which it is targeted. There is very little room given to nuance once the initial scaffolding of the movie is in place, and this is exactly how it should be.
As you might expect, a movie about giant alien robots isn’t particularly dependent, or concerned with the acting of its human cast. Shia LeBeouf delivers a solid performance which is remains believable, if over the top at times. The best acting by LeBeouf is turned in during his comedic scenes.
Speaking of comedy, John Turturro is hilarious as a sort of secret agent slash flimflam man. Turturro steal nearly every scene that he is in. Laugh seekers will also enjoy the performance of Alan Tudyk as Turturro’s tortured sidekick, as well as hilarious performances by Ken Jeong and John Malkovich. Dark of the moon gets bogged down in interstellar morality at some points, but for the most part it is a solid on-rails action movie that keeps viewer attention well. It isn’t epic cinema, but it is certainly a thrilling sci-fi adventure. Well worth the cost of admission.