Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Dark of the Moon Poster.jpg
(Insert Shia Labeouf scream here)
Genre: Sci-Fi
Action
Directed By: Michael Bay
Written By: Ehren Kruger
Based On: Transformers by Hasbro
Starring: Shia LaBeouf
Josh Duhamel
John Turturro
Tyrese Gibson
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Patrick Dempsey
Kevin Dunn
Julie White
John Malkovich
Frances McDormand
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Amir Mokri
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 23, 2011 (Moscow International Film Festival)
June 29, 2011 (United States)
Runtime: 154 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $195 million
Box Office: $1.124 billion
Franchise: Transformers
Prequel: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Sequel: Transformers: Age of Extinction


Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a 2011 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay and based on the Transformers toy line created by Hasbro. It is the third installment in the live action Transformers film series, and is the sequel to 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. It is also the first film in the series not to be co-produced by DreamWorks. The film stars Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. Transformers: Dark of the Moon first premiered at the Moscow International Film Festival on June 23, 2011. Linkin Park performed a special outdoor concert in Red Square in Moscow on the same night in celebration of the event. It was released on June 29, 2011. Though it was meant to be the final Transformers film, it was followed by Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014.

Plot

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his new girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), join the fray when the evil Decepticons renew their longstanding war against the Autobots. Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen) believes that resurrecting ancient Transformer Sentinel Prime (Leonard Nimoy), once the leader of the Autobots, may lead to victory. That decision, however, has devastating consequences; the war appears to tip in favor of the Decepticons, leading to a climactic battle in Chicago.

Bad Qualities

  1. It wastes potential for Shockwave, The Driller, Crankcase, Crowbar, Hatchet, Soundwave (again), Laserbeak, Dino/Mirage, The Wreckers and Wheeljack/Que.
    • Speaking of Shockwave, he was the most hyped, which many people believed that he would be the main antagonist. However, he only had seconds of screen time and Sentinel Prime was the main antagonist.
  2. Mikaela Banes (Sam's girlfriend played by Megan Fox), doesn't appear in this film and is instead replaced by Carly as Sam's girlfriend, due to her decision to leave the franchise. Carly herself isn't that interesting of a love interest compared to Mikaela. Many fans believe it's a wasted potential since she never appears again and it could have made the movie better if Mikaela Banes was married to Sam at the end of the movie.
  3. The pacing makes the film feel longer than it needs to be.
  4. The main villain, Sentinel Prime, while his reveal is surprising, can be considered a rather poor antagonist, as his statement perfectly contradicts what Optimus Prime learned and said from Fallen, at the same time that Sentinel falls into the "good character who was actually bad" trope, which is quite forced since Sentinel has 9 or 10 minutes on screen.
    • The most unfortunate thing about the character in addition to his screen presence is that he only has a total of 26 lines in the entire movie, mostly just repeating, "The war destroyed us, we never won the war, we will restore Cybertron, activate the pillars and our race or Planet will survive", which far from being disappointing is a complete insult, considering how important Sentinel Prime is in Generation 1.
    • Although nothing helps what Ultra Magnus was going to do originally, the one that was going to take the role of Sentinel.
  5. Ironhide's death was pretty unexpected but poorly-handled as he had no good reason to be killed off in the movie whatsoever and he's immediately forgotten after that scene. It's as bad as his death in the 1986 Transformers movie where he wasn't treated like a character; the creators wasted him.
  6. The performances of Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Julie White, Frances McDormand, Ken Jeong, John Malkovich, and Patrick Dempsey are incredibly bad.
  7. Lots of plot holes, for example, Carly overheard Sentinel's plans but just looking into a microscope and once she was rescued, Sam told the N.E.S.T about their plans despite Carly not having any time to tell him.
  8. All of the Autobots are treated as disposable redshirts except Bumblebee and Optimus. For example:
    • Jolt, and Chromia are suddenly gone with no explanation of what happened to them.
    • Mirage and Wheeljack have been renamed to "Dino" (pronounced as De-No in the movie) and "Que", Mirage was renamed because of the legal rights from Ferrari not wanting a Transformer character representing their company while Wheeljack was renamed for no reason.
    • In fact, a good part of the autobot characters have from two to only nine lines on screen, while characters like Ironhide or Ratchet unfortunately only have a total of 3 to 4 minutes on screen.
    • When Ironhide is killed by Sentinel Prime, nobody seems to care or acknowledge the fact that he died.
  9. Like the previous film, it has several unpleasant and annoying characters, who far from serving as comic relief or help within the plot only hinder.
    • It can be said that Jerry Wang, Dylan Gould, Judy Witwicky, Charlotte Mearing, Bruce Bazos and Sentinel Prime, get to make the most unbearable of the entire movie.
    • As mentioned ablove, Carly isn't as interesting as Mikaela as she's not as cool and just spends most of her scenes being the kind of character Michael Bay usually portrays women in his movies.
      • The only good scene she has is her brief conversation with Megatron.
    • Sam Witwicky still isn't as likable as he was in the first film.
  10. Several major Decepticon characters are violently killed off for no real reason other than because they're evil, while some major Decepticons from the previous movies reappear only to be killed off in the background.
    • Speaking of the Decepticon models being reused, this movie has the most reused Decepticon models that it gives the beloved Decepticons not much of an identity anymore.
  11. The second film being a case, it contains a large number of scenes with a sexual nature, such as:
    • The conversations between Sam and Carly
    • In the scene where Carly's Thong is seen
    • In the scene where Sam meets Dylan, Dylan starts talking about Carly.
    • The moment where Sam interrogates Carly, where she tells him that she is indirectly a whore, due to the favors she receives from Dylan.
    • In the scene where Sam argues with Carly where she is briefly seen naked
    • There is a Starscream moment where he cornered Sam and Carly
    • The moment when Jerry questions Sam and an employee catches them because he thinks they had sex.
    • In the opening scene where it is hinted that Sam and Carly had sex
  12. Like the second installment, this film has characters that are limited to making offensive stereotype jokes, for example:
    • Jerry Wang is the most notable, he is a stereotype of paranoid Asians, Ken Jeong's thick accent doesn't help at all.
    • The Autobots, such as Wheeljack in brief moments, speak as if they were like stereotypical African-American or stereotypes of Europeans mainly of the English and French.
    • The Decepticons act and talk like stereotypical African-American people.
  13. Despite being very good, there are very marked moments in the film where the effects are similar to those of a PS3 game, at the same time scenes of changes designs in the Autobots and the Decepticons are shown where both look faded or bad structured.
  14. Many of the characters that were underdeveloped in previous films never develop in any way.
  15. Cliche moments here and there such as Autobots faking their death and when Optimus Prime says "You didn't betray me, you betrayed yourself".
  16. There are notable errors in the choreography of the film, where you can see a sunny day, but then a cloudy or semi-cloudy day on the same stage.
  17. Although the voice acting of the Autobots and Decepticons is masterful, it is also disappointing, considering that several of the voices, including Optimus, Rachet, Mirage, Sentinel, Ironhide, Megatron, Starscream, use a rather thick tone or scratchy, that there are several moments where what they are saying is not understood, and the emotion of the voice does not match the vocal expression of the characters, something that never happened in the 1986 film or in Generation 1
  18. A few shots can be very disturbing for a PG-13 movie, such as a shot where a Decepticon fighter turns a group of running civilians into skulls and bones, and a shot with human corpses in a destroyed bus.
    • There was even a scene in the original script where Megatron shoots an elephant which leads to scaring the animals, but was never made being deemed too violent for the movie and due to Michael Bay being an animal lover. That scene however is available in the comic book adaptation of the movie.
  19. Much like Revenge of the Fallen, the final battle is epic but feels overlong.
  20. In the different dubbing that is distributed of the film, several of the voices (such as Sentinel, Soundwave, Barricade, Leadfoot, Soundwave, Bruce Brazos, Charlotte Mearing and Shockwave) are very deficient.
  21. Seeing the running civilians in terror getting blasted apart on-screen is very frightening, depending on your view.
  22. The film uses a rather nasty glow and filter on different scenes featuring the Autobots and Decepticons, which can make the viewer uncomfortable.
  23. The opening scene where the Ark crash lands on the moon is a blatant rip-off of Transformers: Armada's intro.
  24. Sam and the others go to Chicago with their only intention being to save Carly, and not to stop the Decepticons from taking over the entire world.
  25. Some of the soundtrack is reused, such as the "Battle" music heard in both of the Freeway Chase and the scene with the Autobots storming Chicago respectively.
  26. Optimus Prime still hasn't recovered from his flanderization as he's still just as cold and murderous as he was in Revenge of the Fallen.

Good Qualities

  1. Unlike the previous Transformers movie, the Transformers have more screen time than the humans, which is good.
  2. Pretty good CGI for the Transformers, as like the previous films.
  3. Some of the action scenes are awesome.
    • In fact, the final battle between Optimus Prime, Sentinel Prime and Megatron is pretty cool.
  4. Good and emotional soundtrack composed by Steve Jablonsky, especially the credits song ("Iridescent" by Linkin Park).
  5. Once again, the voice acting for the Transformers is still amazing, especially having Leonard Nimoy (AKA Spock from Star Trek, another Paramount-owned franchise) voicing Sentinel Prime, which is also a call back to him voicing Galvatron in the 1986 animated movie.
  6. The idea of an Autobot betraying the Autobots is brilliantly executed, showing us that not all Autobots are good, just like how the previous movie showed us that not all Decepticons are bad.
  7. The movie's dark theme, while it can be too much for some, it did help to make the movie more serious.
  8. Great sound design.
    • In fact, it could be said that at the time, it was even better than the previous two films, given a trivia point below.
  9. Jerry Wang can be funny sometimes (although unnecessary).
  10. Unlike the previous movies, this movie has human antagonists (although not the main ones), which is a nice change and well executed.
  11. The ending is a lot more satisfying than the other three Bayformer films (Except the first one). Despite that many major Decepticons are killed off without fleshed out detail.
  12. Some pointless Transformers from the previous movie such as Skids and Mudflap are removed (the latter 2 are barely in the movie has they were killed in the comic book adaptation).
  13. The cinematography doesn't look too bad.
  14. The visual effects are amazing.
  15. The sound effects on the Paramount logo sound cool.
  16. The pacing is slightly better than the previous film.
  17. Some Bayformer fans still consider this better than Revenge of the Fallen, and also could've been the last live-action Transformers movie.
  18. Michael Bay's direction is slightly better than the previous film.
  19. Some of the Autobots like Ironhide, Ratchet and Sideswipe are still great characters.

Videos

Reception

Transformers: Dark of the Moon received mixed reviews from critics, audiences, and fans of the series, who praised the special effects, cinematography, action scenes, scores, 3D work, and the performances of Peter Cullen, and Leonard Nimoy, and is considered improvement over the second film while criticizing the long runtime, storyline, performances, and screenplay. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 35% based on reviews from 261 critics, with an average rating of 5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Its special effects—and 3D shots—are undeniably impressive, but they aren't enough to fill up its loud, bloated running time, or mask its thin, indifferent script.". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 42 out of 100 based on 37 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.

Awards

Despite the mixed reviews, it was nominated for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects at the 84th Academy Awards, like the first film, however, like the second film, it was nominated for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Supporting Actor (Patrick Dempsey, and Ken Jeong), Worst Supporting Actress (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), Worst Screen Couple, Worst Screen Ensemble, and Worst Screenplay at the 32nd Golden Raspberry Awards, however he did not win any (since he lost everything to Jack and Jill), same case with the Academy Awards.

Trivia

  • This was the first Transformers film to be released in 3D and the first to utilize 7.1 surround sound audio.
  • This was the final Transformers film to be dubbed in Bengali and Marathi.
  • This was originally supposed to be the last Transformers film, but Paramount wanted to make more Transformers films.
  • This was also the first Transformers film not to co-produced by DreamWorks Pictures.
  • After Avengers: Endgame dethroned Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time, Paramount announced that they would re-release Dark of the Moon in theaters with five additional minutes of content and keep it playing until it outgrosses Endgame.
  • There are two scenes where it can be clearly seen that the stock footage of The Island, also directed by Michael Bay, is used. Click here to see the proof.

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