When I think about my childhood toys, the Transformers are probably the ones that really stand out. I remember buying and playing with them on my summer vacation trips to the UK, as at that time not many had heard of them in India. Transformers: The Movie (animation) still remains one of my all time favourites.
When there is a strong connection between a series it's quite understandable that I enjoyed the live action Transformers that have graced the screens over the past few years. While most people critiqued the movies, I have always enjoyed them as no brainers. So my expectation from Transformers: Dark of the Moon was not much. All I wanted was popcorn entertainment (I love that phrase by the way, so I use it a lot), but unfortunately that is not what I got.
Yes! the action is all there. Yes! the transformers are all there. Yes! it's a no brainer. We have already had that in the past two installations of the franchise and to be honest I don't mind that it was all there in this one too. What I do mind is that not much was done beyond that.
For starters when you have such a strong supporting cast with John Turturro, Frances McDormand, and Patrick Dempsey, you really milk them out and not just play hide and seek with their characters. Give them something stronger to work with. Use them.
I also hope that after this movie we all can agree that pretty a face does not necessarily make a good actor, even in an action movie. I'm no fan of Megan Fox, but I strongly feel that she brought a certain WOW factor to the character of Sam Witwicky's (Shia LeBeouf) girlfriend-in-distress. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley just looked and acted all confused and although her character demanded exactly that from her the whole act was simply awkward.
Comic elements in an action movie are important. They provide a break from all the mayhem that is going on. But, just like too many cooks spoils the broth (or something on those lines), too many comic acts spoil the fun. We had Ken Jeong playing Wang (seriously from Chang in Community that is all they could think of). John Turturro's Simmons has been the geekish over-the-top comic guy since the first movie, but this time we had to have his man-friday called Dutch who further added to the comic elements. Lastly we have the two tiny Autobots who further try their level best to crack up the audience. So yes, way too many sub-par comic acts.
There has been a new trend in movies lately, specially the sic-fi types where events in the history of earth are linked to aliens etc. Similar to that we have a number of events from history (primarily the lunar landing) that are linked to Autobots and Decepticons being part of our history. Personally, I always feel a bit confused about the entire situation. At times I feel they make for an interesting storyline, but there are times when I feel that it was completely unnecessary and maybe another path could have been taken.
The P-Factor was one of the points where the movie was a real disappointment for me. What is that you ask me? Simple, it is the time I have to hold on from going to the toilet. It simply tells me that the movie was way too long and that maybe shortening it a bit would have made the experience more entertaining. Anyhow, the P-Factor of the movie was a pretty high 45 minutes. Oh yes, I did hold on for that long. I would also like to remind you that in India we have 3 hour movies, but then that is why we also have an interval.
Lastly, some small points that irritated me personally during the movie; The action seemed repetitive. I'm not mentioning the now much talked about scenes that were rehashed from earlier movies, but in general the fights seemed a lot familiar to the earlier ones. The Decepticons all seemed similar to me (leaving aside a few). I think in my book SoundWave died like three times. Also more importantly the story lacked structure and just jumped from one action sequence to another.
There you have it. A movie that I went into expecting only entertainment, but one which left me wanting much more. A disappointing 2 stars out of 5.