Transformers: Dark of the Moon

In Revenge of the Fallen we left Sam Witwicky (Shia Labeouf, or Labuff as he shall now be referred to) having saved the world yet again from Decepticons with help from his Cybertronian friends, the Autobots. But in Dark of the Moon we see his life a lot more toned down. He’s living with his girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Wait, who? Where’s Mikaela?), trying to find a post-college job, with not so much as a transforming alien car to keep his life just a little bit interesting, until work colleague Jerry Wang – we’ll come back to him later – drags him back into the world that he’ll deny he’s missed.

So, what’s the problem this time? Well, in 1961 a Cybertronian spacecraft, The Ark, crashed on the dark side of the moon. Piloted by Sentinel Prime, the then leader of the Autobots, it carried “the Pillars”, technology that could secure the Autobots victory in the war on Cybertron. After discovering that The Ark is on the moon, Optimus Prime launches his own mission to retrieve the Pillars and revive Sentinel Prime. The real doozy here is that if the Decepticons manage to get the Pillars and find a way of getting Sentinel Prime to use them, then basically they’ll transport a huge Decepticon army to Earth and life as we know it will be over.

The story may sound basic, but who cares? The plot is more a platform for the interaction between the characters, human AND alien, to develop further. The script is witty, with more laugh-out-loud moments than can even be remembered and it’s the actors strong chemistry that make them so.

A particular comedic scene stealer comes in the form of Ken Jeong (a.k.a. The Hangover’s Mr Chow) whose character Jerry Wang could even force one of her majesty’s beefeaters into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Mr Chow and Labuff exchanging mass conspiracy theories in a toilet cubicle; you’ll have to see it to believe it.

Even the special effects have come on in extra-terrestrial leaps and bounds as each robotic transformation is now smoother, more artistic and as a result, significantly more bad-ass. If you need a pre-viewing of the film visual, just think a robotic Jackie Chan with a gun. The aforementioned transformations coupled with extensively detailed scenes of mass architectural destruction make the special effects more than visually stimulating; they’re spectacular.

Talking of visually stimulating, a mention should be made about Sam’s new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Now as much as we’re sure she’s a top notch gal, we’d be slack-jawed idiots if we stood here and said that she was selected to play Carly based on her acting ability. Considering she’s never actually acted before in her pretty little life, it’s safe to assume she is there for aesthetic value. A theory greatly supported by the several camera pans up and down her body and a two minute sequence at the beginning in which we follow her bare legs up the stairs to a dozing Shia Labuff. But you can’t knock the girl for trying. In her acting debut she clearly gave it everything she had, and even though her acting wasn’t THAT bad, it’s just impossible to get past an unbelievably good looking, posh-sounding British girl in an all American hero sci-fi robot blockbuster.

And now people, we have saved the best for last. The undefeated heavyweight champion of the universe: Optimus Prime. He is machinery’s answer to Bruce Willis, with his macho one-liners and his save the day with a pow, pow, POW attitude. He is The One, The King, The Don. What’s not to love?

Yes Transformers has been slated, but the enjoyment of a film isn’t always based on strength of narrative alone. Bubbling chemistry, clever dialogue, side-splitting humour; this is a blasty-fun flick that brings out uncontrollable hate for the bad guy and that brings tears to our eyes when one of our beloved characters may be lost forever. Go, enjoy, we won’t tell anyone.

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