Review: Transformers Dark of the Moon

The first Transformers film was ugly, boring and witless. It was, though, positively jaunty compared to the second, which was like seeing the world from inside the head of a man who was just about to climb to the top of a clock tower with a loaded rifle – a desensitised vision that reduced humanity to soulless fodder.

I'd say it was among the most hateful films I've ever seen and some kind of artistic nadir for western civilisation.

But now here comes part three to tell you that there's a little spark of goodness in everybody – even Michael Bay. When reviewers slate big popular summer films people are apt to whine about them 'not being critic's films.'

Which is ridiculous: anyone who would want to get paid to watch films in this day and age must have a keen ap-preciation for Big Dumb Fun: it's just that maybe we are a bit picky. It has to Big and Dumb and Fun: not Big, Wilfully Pig Ignorant and Joyless.

The most infuriating thing about the first two Transformers films is that it seemed perverse that films about cars that turned into fighting robots and went around smashing stuff up weren't entertaining. How could that not be fun? It turns out that the formula didn't need that much tweaking to succeed.

In Transformers three the characters are caricatures as opposed to the reductive travesties of humanity that they were in the first two films. See, it's just a little change but it makes a world of difference.

Dark of the Moon puts you in a good mood right from the start with an opening half hour spent outlining a hokey conspiracy that ties the Transformers story in with the Apollo landings, the space race and Chernobyl. It wobbles a bit in the middle but makes up for it with spectacular action sequences.

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It's done on a ludicrous scale. I don't know what the budget for this was but it feels like twice the size of any pre-vious summer blockbuster. And the 3D? It actually makes a difference.

This is about as good a Transformers movie as we could have hoped for, which turns out to be pretty damn good.


Director: Michael Bay

With: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Frances McDormand and John Malkovich

Length: 152 mins