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‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ Movie Review

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Civilization, as we know it, is under decline – economically, morally, and now that the Decepticons have waged war on human-kind, it is up to Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and the Autobots to rise to the occasion in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

Michael Bay’s third attempt at making excessively stimulating works of special/3D effects with alien-robots  is once again a success.  A visual triumph, it could also be said that “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is a colossal mess.

With two sides of the alien-machinery race fighting for the noble cause of man-kind and against our species, there seems no real premise behind the third Transformers’ sequel except to merely have the warring alien races continue to hack at it with each other.  While story-wise there isn’t much to dissect from, Bay manages to bridge some really interesting concepts regarding the state of our economic crisis along with our nation’s past.

For the first half of the movie, Shia LaBeouf’s character, Sam Witwicky is unable to find work in this economic slump.  Having graduated from an Ivy League university three months prior and a proven hero in the first two films, Witwicky is still left unemployed; although having a girlfriend that looks like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who plays Carly in the film, certainly does add some bona-fide points to his male integrity.

But to much of most movie-goers annoyance, it will be Carly’s presence that compromises much of the film.  Held hostage by Patrick Dempesy, who plays Dylan in the movie, with the help of the Decepticons, Sam Witwicky’s new female interest seems to be more of a burden story-wise and as a technicality.

Throughout the most epic scenes in “Dark of the Moon,” Huntington-Whiteley is seen thrown around in the midst of action like a rag-doll.  Instead of furthering the action, like Shia LaBeouf’s former co-star did (Megan Fox), Huntington-Whiteley dragged more than propelled the scenes.  Next time, if there is a next time; LaBeouf’s love interest should roll up her sleeves instead of having the men, literally, push her around.

Interesting enough, layered into the film is what is assumed to be real footage from the Kennedy legacy juxtaposed with film-actors reenacting memorable moments in our nation’s history as well as the Obama administration,which is also captured in the movie: A picture of Obama could be seen handing out a medal to Sam, as well as an actor impersonating the President presenting the award in real time.

Whatever Bay is trying to say with that gesture, presenting the moon-race between the Russians and the US as a mere slice of ongoing history between the Decepticons and the Autobots, simply does not slide well with affidavits of US history.

In Dark of the Moon, human policies nearly disrupt the actual saving of the earth, and  Michael Bay’s directorial vision nearly does the same to the execution of Transformers 3.  What saves the film, in the end, are the fantastic graphics and visual effects that will, for sure stun, viewers and set the bar visually for future releases.  “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” opened Tuesday, June 28 in select IMAX theaters.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Jackson

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