Cast: Shia LaBeouf, John Turturro, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Frances McDormand, Alan Tudyk, and John Malkovich, with Peter Cullen, Hugo Weaving and Leonard Nimoy.
Australian Release Date: June 29th 2011
Australian Rating: M
The third instalment of the modernised live action Transformers films. The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft on the moon which is linked to a mysterious cover up from Earth’s history. These discoveries bring a war to Earth, so expect losses.
What can I say? Michael Bay is a perfectionist, and it shows. Not only is the acting believable, so is the CGI. Big budget and big effects, not to mention nice bodies and hot cars. Now that the shallow selling points are out of the way, let’s delve a little deeper.
The story successfully integrates historical fact with fictional additions and is the direct sequel to the previous films. As such it is perfectly in sync with previous film story lines, since it is the one story. No prise for guessing it is about the dark side of the moon, and thus, the space race. You get to see most of the original characters, continued on from the previous films: where they have moved on to and progressed with their lives. This film also saw a range of new characters. While the last movie saw the addition of Ravage and other characters, this instalment brings to life Razorbeak, and you get to see Soundwave in action. As well as a number of extra Autobots.
There is also a new love interest for Sam (LaBeouf). I tend to have mixed feelings about her though. Carly (Huntington-Whiteley) is very different to (Megan Fox’s) Mikaela. She is classier, cleaner, and has no real love for adventure, which tends to cause friction in her relationship with Sam when he goes looking for it. This adds a more personal conflict in the film than who is first to say “I love you”. But there is still the quest to have the lead female say that, which is a little repetitive. And when I say cleaner, I mean in personality and appearance. She constantly wears white, and even when she inevitably gets thrown around, she has not a smudge on her. No dirt, no scrapes, nothing. Make what you will of that.
A more solid personal journey in the film is that of Sam himself and his adjustment with reality. After saving the world twice, he feels he should be entitled to a job where he can be somebody and feel important again. But since he cannot tell anyone about what he has done, he is seen as a regular college graduate who must start at the bottom like everyone else. This is what leads him to jump on any opportunity he can to see the Autobots again. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t resolve this after so much foundation, but it is left open for continuation in a fourth movie if they make one. Otherwise, it just highlights Sam’s inability to assimilate back into regular society after exposure to a greater existence. This is a little sad considering he is the hero of the movies. So I would like to think there is a conclusion to this self journey. At some point.
When it comes to the robots and special effects: brilliant as always. There’s not much else to say about that. As for story development in regards to the Autobots, however, they have become more involved in Earth defence, which was best shown in their training sessions teaching humans how to take down a Decepticon (needless to say, that comes in handy). There is also more interaction between Sam and Bumblebee, which is always delightful. And there is still no loss of emotion when conveyed on their robotic faces.
Other than some minor points, I have nothing to really complain about with this movie. I thought it was a wonderful film. All of them have been so far. It doesn’t even matter if you are a Transformers fan from the 80s, a newer fan, or a girlfriend being dragged along. I think you will enjoy it no matter your background.
~Spoiler Discussion – Do not read if you haven’t seen the film~
With all of the big name Decepticons ‘killed’, what does that leave for a potential 4th movie, assuming Michael Bay would be willing to do another one after they forced him into doing this one early?
My guess would be a tap into the Unicron and Galvatron story arc. Michael Bay did once say he would love to make a movie with the Dinobots. And it’s a good thing Starscream’s spark is immortal 😉 What do you guys think?