Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon is the latest entry into the summer blockbuster landscape. It distracts bored summer minds very well and even stands just above the current offerings. The story is lackluster and is only there to give reason for the action scenes. The action is awesome and exciting, truly outstanding and certainly the best part of the film. But over the movie’s two-and-a-half-hour run, some may find the literally non-stop action sequences tiring. The cast is mediocre, but with such an uninspired raison d’être, it is almost expected. Transformers 3 blows the audience away, but not emotionally.
What redeems Transformers 3 is, unsurprisingly, the action, stunts and effects. While the story is perhaps overwrought, the main focus of the film is solidly not on the story. The non-effects scenes could probably be counted on one hand. On paper, having most of the film be computer-generated sounds like a bad approach. However, most of the characters are robots, and the resulting computer-generated imagery is nothing short of amazing. Chicago is destroyed in an apocalyptic alien attack, robots battle it out in space and intergalactic black holes abound. All these things are fantastically achieved and make the movie what it is: an over-stuffed action monster wielding a plywood story of excuses for explosions. This movie is so full of action that the action can get dull.
While the story is the hallmark weakness of the Transformers franchise, this one is better than the other ones, but still not good. It is more engrossing than the previous installments, but is still not the reason anyone would go to see this movie. The script starts out with a revisionist history lesson informing the audience about the real reason for the NASA space program. This tie-in starts the movie off on the right foot, but that novelty soon wears off as typical yelling concerning imminent invasions dulls the audience into a stupor. There are the usual excuses of alien invasion and doom for the human race. The story gets more and more boring as the movie progresses and eventually falls below acceptable standards. The last half hour of the movie is unnecessary.
The “New Megan Fox,” also known as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, looks more terrestrial than the previous model. Her acting skills are about on par for a character of her archetype, but that’s probably not really the reason she was hired. Her face moves, and she looks good with Shia. In fact, no one is showing off their acting chops in this Cannes non-winner as the story decidedly serves the action sequences.
While the story may not be great, and the acting perhaps is not the best, the movie stands solely on the action and effects. This can work for some audience members and totally turn off others. But for the target audience, this movie is fantastic. It is solidly better than the previous installments but objectively is still not a good movie. The movie makes no effort to be anything it is not, and focuses on what it is, which is why it succeeds.